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Sunday, December 5, 2010


Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: formerly called WERECATS, now called SHIFTERS 
Plot Type: UF
Ratings: V5, S4, H3
Publisher and Titles: Mira
      Stray (2007)
      Rogue (2010)
      Pride (2009)
      Prey (2009)
      Shift (2010)
      Alpha (2010) (FINAL)

     I'm not sure why I love this series so much, but I can tell you that I have been anxiously awaiting Alpha, the final book in the series, for months. The heroine, Faythe Sanders, can be irritating, the good guys can't seem to win, and the love story is rocky to the extreme, but Vincent tells a good story, takes a fresh approach in her choice of creatures, and gives us a scrappy and intelligent heroine.

     I really like Faythe and keep hoping that she eventually will find her happily-ever-after life. As you prepare to finish the series by reading Alpha, here are the salient questions: Which lover will Faythe choose? Can Faythe survive more serious battering? Will the South-central Pride finally defeat  Calvin? Who will die? Who is the alpha referred to in the title? 

     If you haven't been reading the series, here is a synopsis: Faythe is a werecat (like a housecat, only much larger). She is the only daughter of the alpha of the South-central Pride, which is located in Texas, so this series is really more WF (western fantasy) than UF.

     In the werecat world, females are valued highly because of their reproductive abilities. All females are expected to mate and produce children as soon as possible, and the selection of mates is often made for political reasons rather than for love. Needless to say, Faythe doesn't accept this traditional female role.

     Faythe has had a happy childhood with strongly supportive parents, but she has as much angst and insecurity as most other UF heroines. Faythe begins the series as a college student with a human boyfriend (Andrew) and a werecat ex-lover (Marc), whom she deserted at the altar five years earlier because she believes that he values the Pride more than he loves her.

     The series follows Faythe’s adventures as her need for independence and her inability to control her big mouth lead her into deeper and deeper troubles, both inside and outside the Pride. Faythe’s rocky road through the series includes some extremely deep potholes as she must deal with a surprising and unpleasant development in her relationship with Andrew, enormous emotional swings in her relationship with Marc, and the addition of a second love interest.

     All of the characters, and particularly Faythe, are always in some stage of healing from extensive, serious injuries incurred during their frequent bloody battles with their enemies. Villains include rogue strays, dangerous jungle cats, bloodthirsty thunderbirds, sociopathic werecats, and a power-hungry Pride leader (Calvin Malone) who is out to get Faythe, Marc, and Faythe’s father. Don't develop too much affection for any of the supporting characters because they have an annoying habit of getting killed. Keep in mind, by the way, that the all of the action in this series takes place over the period of just one year. 

1 comment:

  1. I hated this series. The female lead is too promiscuous.