Friday, 29 October 2010

The Shifter Series by Rachel Vincent

Rachel Vincent is the author of the wonderful Shifter Series.  I have been meaning to read them for a long time after picking up the first book Stray and loving it. With this months release of the final book in the series, Alpha, I thought now would be the perfect time.  They are aimed at an adult audience, so may not be suitable for younger readers, but would definitely appeal to older readers of Young Adult fiction.   Reviews for the first five books in the series are below. 

While I have tried to ensure my reviews are spoiler free please bear in mind that the Goodreads synopses do contain spoilers for previous books.  I've made the text small so you can avoid them if you wish to do so.

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 . . .

Stray is such an absorbing read.  I found myself completely hooked!  I love the character of Faythe - she's tough talking, stubborn (sometimes frustratingly so) but just really likeable.  I also loved her family - especially Ethan, and I loved Marc.  The story is so well  plotted.  I had no idea what would happen but loved how everything unfolded!  There is plenty of action to keep you turning the pages at speed and also a great romantic storyline that looks as if it will span the series.  Let's just say I know what I would choose...

From Goodreads:  Okay, so cats don t always land on their feet.

I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I ve made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride, and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I m working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on- and off-duty.

But not all of my mistakes are behind me. We re beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet--two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear...

Rogue picks up three months after the events of Stray and jumps straight into the action.  I love the voice Vincent gives to Faythe - although she does seem to get (and talk) herself into a lot of trouble!  This one felt more of a mystery - I loved one of the twists and it tied in really well with the previous book.  The (rather stella) romantic storyline is still working it's magic - I really like that it's Faythe that's having 'committment issues' - but lets just say I know what I would do if I were her...   There's also a great ending that ensures you'll pick up the next book in the series!

From Goodreads: I'm on trial for my life. Falsely accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend—and killing him to cover up the crime. Infecting a human is one of three capital offenses recognized by the Pride—along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human.
I'm two for three. A goner.

Now we've discovered a rogue stray terrorizing the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. It's up to us to find and stop him before a human discovers us. With my lover Marc's help, I think I can protect the vulnerable girl from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council.

If I survive my own trial…

I love Rachel Vincent's opening lines and this one is my favourite yet!  There is some great humour present in this series as well as all the action.  This one felt as if Faythe had finally realised there were consequences for her actions - and not only for her.  It also introduced a new character Kaci - who I think adds an interesting dynamic.  She is an interesting character and she brings out a difference in Faythe.  Again there is loads of actions and Vincent really excels at writing these scenes - the kind of hold your breathe intensity.  But she is  so good at writing the emotional scenes too and it was here that this book really captured my interest.  I  love the whole Marc and Faythe storyline - the obstacles seem real and uncontrived and I really like that.  Another ending where you're dying to pick up the next book - luckily I have it right here...

From Goodreads 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.

This one picks up the story seven weeks later and again we are thrown straight into the action. The whole book was so tense - with some amazing twists and turns that left my head spinning, and my emotions completely raw!  I pretty much cried my way through the last portion of the story!  The turn of events are devastatingly sad and it feels as if this is the start of major changes to the characters lives.  Things have definitely shifted (no pun intended) and I get the feeling not everyone will come out of it unscathed.  Faythe appears to be stepping up to the plate in terms of her abilities as an enforcer and possible Alpha - but her romantic life takes a complicated turn.  I'm really interested to see how this will all pan out.

From Goodreads: Being the first female werecat enforcer isn't easy. Scars accumulate, but I'm stronger in so many ways.
As for my personal life? It's complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother's death and my father's impeachment, it's all I can do to prevent more blood from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.

With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only real option….

Taken place only a week after the events in Prey this is a probably the most action packed of the series so far.  The story starts immediately and doesn't let up until the final page.  This time we are introduced to a new shifter species and I welcome the addition.  The tension is present from the get-go, both from the initial attack on the Pride but also in Faythe's increasingly complicated romantic life.  I have no idea what direction that will take but I am definitely enjoying the ride. Faythe certainly has a difficult (if not impossible) decision to make.   I also really like the changes within Faythe - she's making more decisions that prove she's Alpha material and could lead her Pride one day.   I can't wait to read the final book in this series - I need to know how this will end...and if it will end well for all the characters I've come to love.


Check back tomorrow for a review of Alpha.

1 comment:

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

This series looks soo good! Rachel Vincent looks like she's gonna be the next big thing, doesn't she?
And I love the bite-sized reviews! (:


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