Stray (Werecats Series), Rachel Vincent

Stray (2007) by Rachel Vincent is the first book in the werecat series. This book is available as a paperback and ebook at your favorite etailer. This guest review is from Senetra and this is a DNF review. stray-by-rachel-vincent-werecat

I thought I couldn’t stand Emma Woodhouse. Hello, Faythe Sanders, 23-year old werecat brat. The story opens with her whining about her life: Her family didn’t want her to go to college, so she tricked them into missing her graduation. She resents that Daddy’s had spies on her for five years, but Daddy’s paying the bills for graduate school, so she “has” to put up with it, but she won’t like it! She smells a werecat who doesn’t belong in their territory, so she confronts him in an alley and gets mad when Daddy’s spy (and her ex-boyfriend) Marcus is a little late saving her from a beat down. Page 6 and she’s already TSTL. Mom is too June Cleaver. Her ex-boyfriend wants to marry her and turn her into her mother (despite evidence to the contrary). Blah, blah, blah. Whatever. Oh, and Daddy says that Faythe must drop out of school and come home NOW.

At some point, the world building begins, and we find out that in the U.S., there are 10 Pride families. Each family has an Alpha and a Dam, their sons (toms), and hopefully a daughter (tabby). Outside of the Alpha’s immediate family are the other males: assorted relatives and other Pride members, totaling some additional 40 members. Some werecats live outside of the Pride structure, and are ignored unless they enter someone’s territory. There are also weres who are “strays”, humans who were bitten or scratched and became werecats. For the most part, they aren’t welcome, but Marcus is a stray. Faythe is an unmarried tabby, one of only eight in the entire country. Finding this out makes me wonder how Faythe thinks that she can just live apart from the Pride. When it’s pointed out to her that if she did live alone, or even apart from the Pride with her mate, she would be at constant risk of attack because she is one of only eight marriageable females of her entire species in the country, she still believes it could happen. Cue lecture on how Faythe is so busy breaking and ignoring rules that she doesn’t see that some of them make sense and could actually be bent to her advantage. Cue Faythe dismissing any attempt at reason and logic.

Once Faythe starts whining about living on her own, we get back to the reason Faythe was pulled out of school. First, a tabby from another Pride went missing, then one of Faythe’s cousins. There are some scenes with her brothers, she injures Marcus for no reason, and has a weird flirtation thing going on with another of her father’s enforcers. Some other stuff happened, but I couldn’t tell you what it was since I decided to skip ahead by about 200 pages, and even then, it’s only the next day or so. Skip more pages. Faythe has been taken by the same strays who took her friend and cousin. I skipped ahead some more, found out who the villains were, skipped some more pages and bloody fight scenes, and read the last two chapters, which set up the next book in the series, which I won’t be reading since chapter one of book three lays it all out.

I can’t give this book an actual grade because I didn’t read most of it, so: DNF.

Disclosure: I already owned book two, Rogue, and had gotten book three, Pride, from the library. I didn’t read Rogue, but I did read Pride. I read the whole thing and gave it a B and plan to read book four, Prey.


This review is apart of the TBR Challenge 2009 and please make sure to check out the other participants who did reviews today. Thanks.


About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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17 Responses to Stray (Werecats Series), Rachel Vincent

  1. Avid Reader says:

    Wow. Looking over the reviews at Amazon and B&N, big difference in response from readers at B&N. I saw a lot of TSTL’s at Amazon. Can one skip ahead and read Pride without getting lost? Sounds like this first effort was a major Fail.

  2. BookBoor says:

    OMG, I had an almost identical experience reading this book. I read the first couple of chapters thinking this broad is all kinds of TSTL. I’ve seen reviews of the other books in the series, but never could bring myself to give it another chance. This book helped me decide to limit the number of series I followed. Life is short and there are tons of other books to read. I figure characters are just like real people, you’re not going to like every one you meet.

  3. jmc says:

    I hated Faythe with a passion, because she was beyond TSTL. I’ve seen the covers of the next two books, which look cool, but whenever I pick them up and see her name in the back blurb, the book drops like a hot potato.

  4. Carolyn jean says:

    You couldn’t stand Emma Woodhouse? What? I’ve always been intrigued by this series. I do need to check it out, though I’ve heard people really do like the narrator in later books much better.

  5. Renee says:

    I actually really like this series. To me, Faythe is less tstl and more immature. She is spoiled and judgmental at the beginning of book 1, and she changes slowly over the course of the series. Yes, there were a couple of times when I wanted to shake her, but I guess I’ll put up with a lot, as long as I see character growth. 🙂

  6. Avid Reader says:

    Renee: Faythe is less tstl and more imma­ture.

    Hey, we have a different opinion! Love it.

    There really is a fine line between the two but I hear you. I guess it depends on the reader’s perspective.

  7. senetra says:

    Avid Reader: Can one skip ahead and read Pride with­out get­ting lost? Sounds like this first effort was a major Fail.

    Yes. The beginning of Pride gives out more backstory and world building overall than Stray. I haven’t even opened Rogue, but other than Rogue’s main plot, there are two continuing plot points that matter in Pride, and they gets discussed, but one of them would spoil Pride completely if I mentioned it.

    Re Faythe being TSTL vs immature, she was both, but the TSTL scene really bugged me, because she was complaining about the spies, decides to confront an unknown stranger in a dark alley, then mad when Marcus wasn’t around to save her.

    Re Pride, it was just much better than the first book. Faythe was a more mature person, and she actually used reason and logic instead of “because I want to!” The writing was tighter (bless her editor!) and just a better told story overall.

  8. Barbara says:

    Damn. Another new series I’m gonna have to read.

  9. LesleyW says:

    I really didn’t like this one. Mainly because the heroine really got on my wick and also I thought a similar story had already been done – much much better – in Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten.

    With so many series coming out all the time, it really does become a case of having to decide which authors you are going to follow. I’m glad to hear the following books improved but don’t think I’ll be picking this series up.

  10. sally906 says:

    I am a day late – but mine is finally up – I read Be Still my Beating Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks 🙂

  11. sophie soph says:

    I was just about to order these books on amazon, but after all the reveiws here i have just cancelled it, sounds rubbish, thanks all. love twilight series, anyone know of books smiliar? thanks,.

  12. Werecat Lover says:

    I LOVED the book. I thought they were totally great. You my friend have no taste whatsoever.

  13. Avid Reader says:

    Thanks for your response! No. Really! I’m glad you LOVED it. I do. However, let me enlighten you, like I do for others who are curiously resistant or incapable of accepting other people’s opinion(s) outside of their own: it’s just an opinion. Ktxbai.

  14. Rika says:

    I really don’t think you should have gave a review, especially when you didn’t finish the book and skipped a whole other book. I’ll take someones review who can give me honest insight to a book they actually read.

    *scurries off to find someone who actually read the book*

  15. Jackson says:

    Thanks, I just wasted part of my life reading a review where the info isn’t helpful or solid. Go read some other reviews and see how it’s really done. Meaning read the damn book as Rika said, and don’t skip around.

    You gave Pride a B, I give this review a F.


  16. HAnnah says:

    um i love the series im rereading it right now i mean just cuse these ppl say they dont like it u should still give it a chance go get at the library or somthing but give it a chance. i mean i usualy dont go for this kinda thing but i thought they were awsome

  17. Navy Panther says:

    @sophie soph: This book is not total rubish, the way this review sounds makes it sould like crap but they havent even went through the experience of reading such an incredible book were events tie together beautifully! I have read all the books three times and still find suprises inside those pages. You should atleast give it a try.

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