Archive for » March 21st, 2014 «

Strays: A Review

This is the first book in the Glaring Chronicles by Matthew Krause and was gifted to me in return for a review.

I want to start by saying that I totally love this cover and the whole cat theme throughout the story. Here’s the blurb:

There are 500 million cats in the world, but some of them are not all that they seem. Part of a secret order called The Glaring, these mysterious changelings move freely among us, sometimes as common cats, sometimes in more human form, marking our movements as we go about our lives.

An ancient evil known as Jackal has waged an eternal war with The Glaring, threatening the human world that it protects for centuries. In order to defeat Jackal, The Glaring must enlist the aid of two unlikely heroes from the human world:

Sarah, a teenage runaway fleeing a life of horrible abuse; and Kyle, an awkward alcoholic misfit who is reluctantly enlisted as her protector.

Sarah doesn’t know it yet, but she possesses a healing light so brilliant that no evil, not even Jackal, can resist it. The only chance the Jackal has to carry out his wicked plans is to keep Sarah in the dark about her power, weakening her spirit until she breaks.

With nothing to protect her but a teenage alcoholic and an army of shape-shifting cats, Jackal’s rise to power seems almost assured.

To be fair that also summarises some of the series I think and this book barely gets into the over all plot. It also has a cliffhanger, so those readers who like to have everything before they get started will want to wait a bit longer perhaps (book 2 is out but there might be more to come). With that said it does still feel like a self contained plot. The characters achieve their main goals, even if there’s definitely more to come and more threads.

The book’s style reminds me very much of Stephen King’s early not too horror genre work. It’s got the sort of otherworldy evil feel to the bad guy and his sort of descriptive violence, which is something I know a lot of people love, even if it’s not something I’m particularly fond of. The idea behind the cats is also awesome and probably what kept me reading (I skipped the gore).

All in all I can’t complain about the book. The few things I didn’t like were because it’s not my genre of choice but I love the premise, love the plot and adored the characters. I highly recommend this series and this writer for those that don’t mind a bit of gore, a dance with the devil, and plenty of tense moments to keep them turning the pages.