Synopsis: I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifer, 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...
My thoughts: Faythe is one of only a handful of Tabbies in the North American Prides making her and the others highly treasured. When a Stray, a werecat with no Pride, attacks Faythe she is rushed home to her father's home and her Pride. This doesn't sit well with her as she has been struggling to make a life for herself. To be independent when her entire family struggles to keep her in their fold is a constant struggle. When a Tabbie goes missing Faythe knows that is the end of her independence but hopes to convince everyone in her life that she can take care of herself.
I thought that Faythe's constant whining about wanting to be away from the Pride was a bit much. As a large cat, her instincts should be completely opposite of wanting to be alone. Her need to prove she can take care of herself puts her in dangerous situations making her someone I'd want to slap. The first half of the book was tolerable but dragged with this. It also had most of the world building and a lot of info dumpage on how Prides work.
Thankfully the last half of the book really picked up. Faythe redeemed herself and towards the end I saw her as a total kick butt chick but still vulnerable. Stray really handed the reader some great villains and awesome (yet graphic) fighting scenes. Overall a really good read despite it was over 600 pages and the first half felt tedious.