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Book Cover Liviania‘s review of Prey (Shifters, Book 4) by Rachel Vincent
Contemporary paranormal romance/urban fantasy released by MIRA 1 Jul 09

I love it when I stick to a series and it pays off.  With Rachel Vincent’s Werecat books, the first two just didn’t work for me, but were so close to working that I couldn’t resist continuing.  I mentioned in my review of Pride that I felt it was a running leap in the right direction, which makes Prey the right direction.

The events in the preceding novels have really forced Faythe to grow up, especially becoming responsible for the health of a teenage girl.  That definitely helps Faythe understand her parent’s point-of-view better.The book begins with Faythe’s father still under fire for his decisions as the Pride’s leader.  It’s absolutely the wrong time for Marc to get kidnapped, because Faythe wants the best (and most egalitarian) leadership  for the Pride as much as she wants to rescue her lover.  Marc and Faythe’s relationship is finally leveling out to something that doesn’t ping my squick buttons.  (When something happens in Faythe’s love life that I wanted to happen in the earlier books, I was very upset since it was very much the wrong time.  Not that the wrong time wasn’t a believable time, just the wrong one.)

It helps that I also like the supporting cast.  The male members of the group add humor, as always, but this one brings out more of their relationships with each other and how they behave professionally.  Kaci’s dilemma is heart-breaking, but she can still be pretty cute, like a fourteen-year-old girl should be.  Manx, who is on trial during Prey just as Faythe was in Pride, is affecting as a tough woman stuck in a vulnerable position.  I wish we could’ve seen more of her even though it would have slowed the plot down some.

There are multiple plot threads in Prey, but they mesh well.  While something important is going on the narrative focuses on it, but never too long to forget the other plots/sub-plots.  It’s also easy to feel Faythe’s frustration and sometimes despair, since it would be tough to keep up with everything going on if you had a personal stake in all the events.  Not to mention with Faythe taking more responsibility for her actions, she takes the time to think about her options and weigh the consequences.  Impulsiveness can be less mentally taxing.

Like Faythe, the Werecats series has grown up.  I loved seeing the potential reached, with brutal fight scenes interspersed with drama.  (I think even if I weren’t a total softie Vincent would have made me cry with this one.)  I cannot wait for the fifth book to come out.  On that hand, I am happy with the quick release between Pride and this one.  I like that publishers are experimenting with schedules if the author already has the next book completed.  To me, it helps the story keep momentum.  Of course, Prey is fast-paced enough not to need much help with that.

liviania.jpgGrade: B+

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.
Read an excerpt here (scroll down).

Other books in the series:

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