REVIEW: Pride by Rachel VincentFriday, February 20, 2009 1:00
Pride is the third book in Rachel Vincent’s werecat series and my third time to give her a chance. Normally I would give up if I didn’t think the first book was anything special, but Stray and Rogue came so close I couldn’t help but give her another chance. It’s rare I find a series I want to like so much but don’t. Fortunately, I think Pride took a running leap in the right direction.
One of my biggest problems with the first two books was Marc and Faythe’s relationship. He was too controlling; she was too absorbed in her own drama. In Pride Marc allows Faythe to make her own bad decisions. If she’s not so indignant over people trying to stop her from acting dumb maybe she’ll realize how terrible her decisions are. And, hey, presto! She does have an epiphany about how crappy she treated Marc and the terrible decisions she made regarding that relationship. I can’t say some of the decisions she picks out are ones I would, but baby steps.
On the other side of the baby steps coin, Faythe shows some rudimentary signs of understanding politics. That is to say, she understands the general shape of other’s machinations. She still prefers to make her point with a verbal sledgehammer. Sledgehammers lack the ability to make a convincing argument. Of course, in Pride many of her points make sense. Faythe is defending herself against a murder she committed in self-defense and takes on the protection of a young girl. Both are difficult in an institutionally misogynistic society.
With the progress Faythe made in Pride, I’ll give it the benefit of a doubt that she learns from her mom’s example and begins changing the system by bending it to a little. To paraphrase one character, she doesn’t make the rules and never has (so maybe she ought to pay some attention to them).
The action side of the story is straightforward but exciting. Faythe’s trial is being held in free territory and it turns out several rowdy strays have been staying in the area. The local bruin (think werebear) takes offense to their conduct and asks the Pride to take care of it. (As this is the third group of strays working together in as many books I wonder why the characters still believe a stray’s usual pattern of behavior is being a loner.) While this plot gets shunted aside for most of the books, it isn’t complex enough to demand more time and delivers excellent action scenes when they’re needed.
Pride isn’t a slam dunk. However, it’s a quick-paced read with a heroine shows empathy for others and demonstrates just enough smarts to live. It’s a book that makes me finally, truly like this series. Okay, so I won’t reread the first two. I’ll still pick up the fourth with something other than desperate hope. I may even pick up Vincent’s upcoming venture into YA lit.
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…
Read an excerpt.
Other books in the series: