Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rachel Vincent 'Stray'

If you were wondering why Ms. Vincent's book, Stray, is on my To Be Reviewed list when in fact it's not a romance novel, you are a more astute student of the romance genre than I am. I guess it speaks to the recent trend in genre bending, that I had to get almost half way through the book before I could be sure that a romance novel wasn't hiding in there somewhere damn-it. I'm still not positive but given my romance 'to be read and reviewed' pile, I think I need to cut bait.

I didn't finish the book but I might as well comment since I invested close to five hours in this one. Faythe is a English grad student and a werecat. She has a rather wide independent streak and when someone starts attacking female werecats around the country her Dad calls her home from school to keep her safe. The 'world creating' (or species creating) back story is engaging and I liked the book but the description of this close pride of werecats and Faythe's overwhelming need to be alone didn't gel for me. Her defining characteristic was completely at odds with her description of their species and her upbringing. If it's not nature and it's not nurture, Faythe is either a genetic mutation or a character created solely to echo American teenage angst. But then who am I to judge marketing versus literary integrity? Hell, I judge my romance novels primarily by the fantasy fulfillment quotient of the hero. You Go, Rachel.

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