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Review: Stray by Rachel Vincent

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Stray (Werecats #1) by Rachel Vincent
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Shapeshifters
Mass Market Paperback (MIRA, 624 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0778324214
Released: June 2007 (Reviewed: June 2007)
There are only eight breeding female werecats left...
And I'm one of them
I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.
Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.
I'd been warned about Strays -- werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.
This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever -- and whoever -- I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays -- 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them...

Author Site:

New Author, Not New Concept, Still Likable (4 stars)

Stray is a tale of tabby-cats and toms, the world of werecats is finally getting a little recognition. Enter Faythe Sanders, a cheap clone of Kelley Armstrong's Elena Michaels with a twist of southwestern spice. All mocking aside, Faythe may not be an original character but her world is fresh. Werecats have few females, the age-old idea for all weres, and Faythe is one of that handful. But like many modern girls the idea of being a brood mare for her Pride has never appealed to her.

This werecat coming of age styled story centers around Faythe's fellow tabbies being kidnapped and the lengths her Pride (and others) are going to in order to find them. The villains of this novel are "strays", the werecat version of lone wolves. Throw in a mix of men for Faythe to have troubles with from her brooding ex-boyfriend Marc to the flirtacious hottie next-door Jace and you'll be turning the pages to find out how she balances her beaus.

Oft times throughout the story we see Faythe's words telling us she doesn't want to piss off "Daddy" but then she turns around and does something that will. She is a contradiction from the first chapter. Told from her perspective she constantly repeats herself and the little details about being a werecat that we have already had ingrained into our minds.

Overall this book is pretty rough, constant repeated points and at times choppy dialog. But this is Vincent's debut novel and it's better than Armstrong's Bitten on many levels. Vincent has a nice writing style and I can see her growing as a writer as this becomes a series. I personally liked this book but I didn't love it. I reccomend this as a filler book when you've got nothing better in another series to chew on. If you love Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series this is right up your alley! I hope that the second book, Rogue, will tie up the loose ends left in Stray.

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