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December 17, 2010 - Jodelle Greiner
If you’re tired of vampires, but you like your paranormal with sharp teeth and big, beefy men, you might want to try reading Rachel Vincent’s six-book Shifters series, which is about werecats.
The last one, “Alpha”, just came out, so you can get “Stray”, “Rogue”, “Pride”, “Prey”, and “Shift” and read them one after another. Each book is a complete story itself, but the series is an on-going story with common threads throughout.
Faythe Sanders is a grad student at the University of North Texas in Denton — only Faythe isn’t just a grad student. She was born a werecat, a shape-shifter. Her family runs the south-central Pride, which takes in a big chunk of the lower U.S. and her father is the Alpha, or head of the Pride.
Female werecats, or tabbies, are rare and therefore important. A tabby is expected to marry young and produce as many babies as it takes to get a girl, to insure the survival of the Pride and the species. Like the other young tabbies, Faythe is expected to marry a man who can replace her father as Alpha and start producing the next generation of werecats.
But Faythe is no meek tabby; she learned her fighting skills alongside her four older brothers, with her father’s approval. At 23, Faythe is the oldest unmarried tabbycat and she intends to stay that way — at least for the forseeable future. She wants more out of life than a husband and a half-dozen babies so, five years ago, she left her fiance’ at the altar and ran off to UNT.
When another tabby disappears, her father drags Faythe back to the family ranch for her own safety. But Faythe has no intention of being safe; she wants to join her father’s band of hired protectors or “enforcers”. In spite of the objections from nearly everyone in the werecat community, Faythe serves her Pride with her fists. It’s more that just taking down strays and wildcats, the group of guys includes her ex-boyfriend, Marc, and a lot of long-buried feelings. Faythe thinks she can handle all of the physical and emotional strain and maybe on the way, she can change the werecat world and give the tabbies some choices. Life rarely turns out the way we expect and before it’s over, Faythe will face love and loss, attacks from inside and outside the werecat community, and literally fight for her life.
Vincent has created a unique world that exists alongside our own and a feisty, complicated heroine in Faythe, who doesn’t conform to anybody’s expectations.
The stories are told in Faythe’s first person account, and Vincent lets the reader see how Faythe’s brain works and her growth over time. The style lends itself to the fast-paced, blood-and-expletive-laced, action-packed plots. And when I say action, I mean intense physical fights and sexual encounters — Faythe has a very... um... complex love life.
If you like reading books that will make you say “No, she did not just do that!”, try Vincent’s Shifters.
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