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Saturday, February 20, 2010

'Prey: Werecats #4' by Rachel VINCENT

From the BLURB:

Sometimes playing cat and mouse is no game.

Play? Right. My Pride is under fire from all sides, my father's authority is in question and my lover is in exile. Which means I haven't laid eyes on Marc's gorgeous face in months. And with a new mother and an I-know-everything teenager under my protection, I don't exactly have time to fantasize about ever seeing him again.

Then our long-awaited reunion is ruined by a vicious ambush by strays. Now our group is under attack, Marc is missing and I will need every bit of skill and smarts to keep my family from being torn apart. Forever.

I have read the first 3 books in Rachel Vincent’s popular ‘Werecats’ series. But to be honest, I wasn’t blown away – mostly because I had a real problem with the female protagonist, Faythe Sanders. I found her to be self-centered, annoyingly naïve, whiny and ungrateful. Only those who are familiar with the series will know what I’m talking about – that although Faythe had a lot of unfair weight put on her shoulders as a Tabby, I thought her response to that pressure was utterly spoilt and pathetic. Furthermore I could not fathom how someone like Faythe could have two wonderful men (Marc and Jace) chasing after her in light of the fact that she is such an annoying and selfish individual. It’s not an understatement to say that I read ‘Stray’, ‘Rogue’ and ‘Pride’ with my teeth grit. That being said, I could appreciate the fact that Rachel Vincent knows how to tell a good story.

It was reading Patti and Tiffany’s reviews of the 5th book ‘Shift’ that prompted me to finally read book number 4. Both Patti and Tiffany spoke of huge plot-twists in book 4 that made ‘Shift’ an absolute rollercoaster of a read. So I was pushed to pulling ‘Prey’ off my TBR pile and putting up with Faythe Sanders at the promise of intense plot.

Vincent certainly delivers.

I found Faythe bearable in this book – mostly because she does a bit of reflecting on her past stupidity and is the most remorseful she’s ever been. I appreciate the fact that Faythe is imperfect (I hate Mary-Sue’s as much as the next person, *cough* Anita Blake *cough*) but she made so many hugely idiotic mistakes and sometimes came across as blasé regarding their impact. I also didn’t think she deserved the attentions of two very hot male Werecats, especially Marc who she put through the emotional ringer for five years (after practically leaving him at the altar!).
But I think Faythe makes up for past annoyances in ‘Prey’. She really steps up to the plate and starts thinking of her Pride’s future and her role as Alpha-in-training. This is the perspective she lacked in past books, where she insisted on ranting and railing against the unfair pressure put on Tabby’s, etc, etc, etc.
In ‘Prey’ Faythe does make yet another huge mistake in her love life – but the situation is somewhat understandable if not frustrating. And the ‘incident’ complicates her life so completely that I can forgive her stupidity, purely because it’s going to make things so darn interesting in future books!

The best thing about ‘Prey’ is the edge-of-your-seat plot. It is literally high stakes from the first page and only gets more intense from there on in. Vincent has a very tight mystery plot regarding Marc’s disappearance, but alongside that is a wider look at Pride politics that is very intriguing and beautifully sets up the trajectory of future books. This is a very tightly told story, and Vincent has perfectly paced the plot. There’s a great balance of action, romance and suspense.

I ran silently now, slipping between trees and soaring over brush, focused only on getting to Ethan quickly and unannounced. The sounds of the fight grew louder. A solid thunk. A low, feline moan of pain. A hiss. Then Ethan shouting, “Stay the hell back, you Benedict Arnold mother-fuckers, or I’ll bash your fucking skulls in!”

I have to hand it to Rachel Vincent as an author. She definitely isn’t one to let her series stagnate, and in ‘Prey’ she makes some very big changes that are both devastating, but impacting of the overall story-arc. She made me cry, she had me in a state of shock and awe and she has definitely gotten me amped up for book #5!

I can’t wait to read ‘Shift’ because so much happened in ‘Prey’ and there’s a lot hanging in the balance.

Thanks to Patti and Tiffany for kicking my butt and making me reconsider this series.

5/5

6 comments:

  1. *doing the happy dance* I'm so glad you gave it another try! One of the things I love about this series is watching Faythe grow as the books progress. And did you really cry? (shhhh...I did)

    I still say that this is a series you have to start from the beginning - A couple of people have asked and I stand by my statement that it's a good story but you can't get the whole impact unless you see where she began.

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  2. I totally agree about Faythe in the beginning.. Im so glad you gave it another chance! I LOVE this series and LOVE LOVE Rachel's wrting =)

    Im waiting for my copy of Shift and I cant wait =)

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  3. Danielle, I am so glad you gave it another shot. I share some of your same gripes about Faythe, but she really has grown over the series and Vincent's writing/plots have always kept me intrigued. Book 4 was so monumentally huge.... and I think it took balls. Vincent took a lot of slack for the things she did in that book but I agree, they were vital to the series. UF is supposed to be hard, its supposed to hurt a little..... its the rollercoaster ride we all love to hate!

    SHIFT is so good.... I can't wait until ALPHA. The cover gives me little goose bumps!

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  4. @Kindle Vixen - ooohh - I saw the cover too - it's great!

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  5. Hum, after reading your review and the comments - maybe I'll have to give this book a try too.

    Hawk

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  6. I am on the fence about starting this series. I have heard a lot of good and bad things about it. Impressive that you gave this installment a 5/5 rating, though!

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