Stray

Rachel Vincent, Author
Rachel Vincent, Author . Mira $6.99 (618p) ISBN 978-0-7783-2421-8
Reviewed on: 04/30/2007
Release date: 06/01/2007
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-30500-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 618 pages - 978-0-7783-2907-7
Paperback - 618 pages - 978-0-7783-0322-0
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Vincent’s debut, an urban “werecat” fantasy, is a good story that suffers from about 200 pages of bloat. Faythe Sanders is a Texas grad student with a secret: she’s a shape-shifting werecat. After she’s attacked by a Stray—a werecat without ties to any pride—Faythe’s father, the Pride Alpha, orders her to return to the family compound. As it turns out, two other werecat “tabbies” have gone missing, indicating an organized effort by the formerly go-it-alone Strays. The author’s world building is intriguing but overly narrow, reducing the range of jungle feline behavior to a keen territorial instinct. Secondary characters abound, including Faythe’s intended, formerly human werecat Marc; five years earlier, she escaped the pride on what was supposed to be the eve of their wedding. Unfortunately, they both have frustrating character tics that are only exacerbated by the novel’s length: Faythe is more often too-stubborn-to-live than kick-ass, and all the tears Marc wells up over Faythe don’t forgive his insufferable jealousy. A polished tale may hide within this one, but Vincent needs to rein herself in a bit if she wants to build a readership. (June)

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