Monday, June 5, 2017

Review: Stray by Rachel Vincent

Stray (Shifters, #1)
Series: Shifters #1
Genre: Paranormal
Age Group: Adult
Published: January 2007
Mass Market: 618 pgs

Rating: 2/5

Trigger Warnings: Sexual assault

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...

The longer I think about this book the more issues I have with it. While reading I was interested and engaged in the story if still a bit skeptical and frustrated with the length of the novel. Now though, I have a whole host of issues with it.

The first issue I had with this book was about the female lead. Faythe is not as strong a character as she is made out to be. She is immature and selfish. I have very little patience for her after 600+ pages of her antics. While we constantly hear about her struggle for freedom, it feels surface level. Faythe walks the line of cliché the entire book and I was never taken by surprise by her actions or the story.

Another issue was the extreme length of this novel. It took 300 pages for this story to become interesting. It was too long! It dragged on forever. Trimming the beginning of the story down (excluding some of the weird sexual posturing) would have really helped keep me interested at the end. When the main plot of the story finally came into view I wasn't as invested as I could have been because I had already suffered 300 pages of nonsense. Also did every villain in this story need to be from Mexico or South America? 

Finally I was disappointed in the romance. Again the story fits a trope and we see Faythe involved in a love triangle. There isn't anything interesting about this triangle either. The witty banter I expect in paranormal romance was extremely lacking. Instead Faythe plays with both boys emotions and acts like a pouty teen rather than the twenty-four year old she is.

I'll continue on with this series since I already own them, but I sincerely hope there are some improvements in book two.

My Recommendation: Read this Instead

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