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3.27.2009

Review: Pride by Rachel Vincent

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Pride (Werecats #3) by Rachel Vincent
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Shapeshifters
Mass Market Paperback (MIRA, 400 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0778326497
I'm on trial for my life. Falsely accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend—and killing him to cover up the crime. Infecting a human is one of three capital offenses recognized by the Pride—along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human.
I'm two for three. A goner.
Now we've discovered a rogue stray terrorizing the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. It's up to us to find and stop him before a human discovers us. With my lover Marc's help, I think I can protect the vulnerable girl from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council.
If I survive my own trial…

Author Site:
http://rachelvincent.com/


Werecats and Werebears and Drama, Oh My! (4 stars)

Before I go into the plot of this book please, please note that this book cannot stand alone. You have to read both Stray and Rogue for any of this book's plot to make sense.

Faythe is back and this time she's in more trouble than most tabbies could even dream of getting into. She accidentally infected her former human boyfriend and then killed him in self-defense. That'd all be a great 'war-story' if it weren't for the fact that there are laws within the Pride against both infecting humans AND killing a fellow Pride cat. Now she's on trial for her crimes. This is one situation where her dad can't just bail her out. Gathered together in the Montana wilderness, a neutral zone suited for the task at hand, the Territorial Council is there to decide her fate. Unfortunately, in the werecat world you're guilty until proven innocent. Unless she can prove the partial shift and her innocence Faythe will be facing punishment. As a tabby, one of the few and valued female werecats, she should be facing being caged or losing her claws but because she's made it quite clear she has no plans to be a walking baby factory the Council thinks her life isn't worth preserving.

As if this weren't enough drama, the cabin compound is visited by a bruin (yep, a werebear!) who claims that the cats have been bothering his territory. The Pride definitely isn't involved which leaves only strays to be causing trouble on the mountain. But when the bruin brings in an unconcious tabby he's mistaken for Faythe the plot really thickens. Where did a barely teenaged tabby come from and where is her Pride? How has she survived this long alone and eluded capture by the strays raising havoc on in bruin territory?

So much plot packed into this one book! I have to say this is fast becoming one of my all-around favorite urban fantasy series. Faythe is a tough heroine to like because she's very stubborn and in many ways immature. She's always saying and doing what the reader knows she shouldn't and it isn't hard to find yourself wanting to bop her on the head or send her into a time-out. But this is what makes her different from most of the heroines out there in this genre. She's frustrating but with each book she matures a little more and that is very rewarding to watch unfold. In Pride she continues to make mistakes and be disobedient to her alpha. Yet she's slowly proving to the males around her that tabbies have uses beyond a filled womb. I think any woman with a feministic streak can rally around Faythe's need to show the misogynistic older males that she's capable of so much more than they expect from their females. I personally have really enjoyed seeing the very different female minds present within this series.

Another aspect of this book in particular that I enjoyed was the unraveling of the mystery behind the little tabby that comes into the care of Faythe. Kaci's story (sorry NO spoilers!!!) wasn't too hard to guess at and really added room for exciting possibilities in future novels. And, of course, as is often the case... I can't help but like secondary characters. Jace has been my favorite from book one and I loved Elias Keller (the bruin) but strange as it may sound I actually liked the really awful Council members because they gave a good glimpse into what other alphas besides Faythe's father are like.

The outcome of Pride is promising, leaving lots of room for an action-packed fourth installment with Prey. The only thing I can say I (and possibly other readers) didn't enjoy in this book was that once again the villains were more 'red-shirt' strays. I'd really like to see the strays evolving into more than just villains. Marc makes a good example that it could be done. Or at the very least give us a human who knows about the werecats! Something different. Still, great story and a hard to put down read.

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