Title: Stray (Book #1)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira, 2007
Genre: Adult – Urban Paranormal Fantasy
Page Count: 618
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Where to Purchase: Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble
Synopsis (From goodreads):
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…
I had a really good time with this book. Some of my favorite series of all time are from the urban paranormal genre, and I spent my time re-reading those books over and over throughout high school and college. So this book felt like a return home. It had all of the tropes of the genre that I know and love, making it feel familiar and nostalgic to me.
Faythe is a character that I really enjoy. She is stubborn and rash, but she also is very perceptive and strong. She is from a group of people that are very animalistic in nature (since they kind of are animals) and as such, she is surrounded by misogyny. But she as a character is not okay with that, and is always trying to subvert that. I found myself pulling for her throughout the story, even when she was making decisions that were less than thought out.
There were parts of the plot that I found a tad predictable, but that could be because of the amount of this genre that I have read. Having said that, I didn’t really read this book for the plot. I really enjoyed the world building and being introduced to all of these new characters and this new mythos surrounding shifters. I enjoyed all of the characters interactions.
The romantic elements of the plot I really enjoyed in this installment. Faythe has a pre-page one love interest who has come back into her life, as he is an ex, and I enjoy their relationship. I found it to be realistic, with a lot of back and forth, and that is what I like. Faythe gave as much as she got, and I really felt that she held her own in their power struggle.
Overall, I really enjoyed this first book. I read it in one sitting and found it to be the perfect start to a series.