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(Shifters #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  36,974 ratings  ·  2,098 reviews
There are only eight breeding female werecats left...

And I'm one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, 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
Mass Market Paperback, 618 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by MIRA
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Megan It was amazing, I would also try Bitten by Kelley Armstrong if you haven't yet.…moreIt was amazing, I would also try Bitten by Kelley Armstrong if you haven't yet.(less)
Morgan Yes, I liked it. Mind you, the bad reviews have a lot to do with people not liking the main character, or the were-cat culture(male-dominated... femal…moreYes, I liked it. Mind you, the bad reviews have a lot to do with people not liking the main character, or the were-cat culture(male-dominated... females have little to no power or say). If you a super feminist.. don't read it because you won't like it.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  36,974 ratings  ·  2,098 reviews

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Feb 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Shannon by: Who's Your Author? Group
I had a really difficult time with this book. I went back and forth from really liking it and then really hating it. In the beginning I could sympathize with Faythe; nobody wants their life decided for them. But as you start to learn exactly what she's running from - responsibility and family obligation - the sympathy turns to annoyance.

Faythe is one of the few female werecats in the United States. For some reason females are very rare, although it's never really explained why. Faythe wants to
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
*cuing guitar riff for musical review*


Well we guess it would be nice
If we could lick your cat fur
'Cause you can make a tom purr
No hotter furry than you.


But I've got to think twice
Before Marc beats me 'til I die
That shit hurts; I ain't gonna lie
Maybe a kiss or two...


Oh, but I need some time off
To go to grad school
I'll read some books and send my dad the bill.
And when the mean Enforcers
Drag my ass home, yeah
I'll forget about my boyfriend,
And get all up in your grill.

May 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
This is me being excited about Stray:

I guess you get the picture.

Alright, let’s see...what’s to say about this book? For starters: I didn't even finish it. I stopped at page 340 of 618. I think I gave it a fair chance, didn’t I?

Our heroine in this story is a 23-year-old werecat named Faythe. Werecats are basically organized like wolves, they’re living together in packs with an Alpha as its leader and they look like panthers. No wait. They can't look like panthers because there is no such thing a
Kat Kennedy
When I put this book onto my TBR list, I was immediately asked to confirm suspicions that Faythe was a horrible name. It's true. So very, very true. Especially when her first name is a perfectly respectable Katherine or some such derivative spelling!

This book is a lot like her name. It's a horrible bastardization of an otherwise sound concept. Faith is a perfectly acceptable name apart from the Pavlovian upchuck reflex it gives me when it reminds me of Faith from Buffy and Angel.

The concept is o
Emily May
Mar 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal-uf, 2011
There are a good many reasons why this book was lucky to get 4 stars from me, but also equally as many reasons why it could have possibly got more. I'll start at the beginning by explaining the general plot. So... Faythe Sanders is a werecat in a world where female werecats are rarities and also highly protected by the males in an often teeth-grindingly annoying fashion (but more of that in a bit); after 5 years at college, she is summoned back home in a bid to keep her safe from a wild, tabby-k ...more
June 12, 2016
Yup still 5/5 stars duh but Rogue here I come!

Feb 11, 2016
5/5 stars
Y'all I don't even know how to express how much I enjoyed this damn book.
Already ordered the rest of the books in the series!!
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book in one sitting. I could not put it down. I grew up reading urban fantasy and this felt so nostalgic to me. I loved our sassy main character and the witty banter between all of the characters. There were parts of the plot that were a little predictable, but I was okay with that and found it as more of a comfort. I adore urban fantasy and am so happy to have rediscovered the genre with this series.
1 Barley Deserving ★'s

“A smart woman would have shut up. Did I? Hell no. Intelligence is overrated anyway.”

This book was sooo not for me! I had such a difficult time with it. The main characters are terribly annoying. Especially Faythe, who is the 23 year old heroine in this story and I couldn't handle how goddamned immature she acted. I have read heroines who have acted more mature at the age of 15. On top of that she was stupid, irrational, obnoxious, cocky, acted like she was better than ever

I had only 1 hour and 25 minutes left of the audiobook when I decided I wasn't curious enough to care about the resolution of the plot, so I quit.
After a few hours of listening I started to lose interest in the book since the storyline was very predictable, the book had way too much unnecessary information and there were mayor issues with the main character and the foundation of the story.

Faythe The female main character. I don’t believe her character was well formed and that affected the
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is Bitten but with werecats. (Yes, werecats.)

In fact it has almost exactly the same premise as Kelley Armstrong's book...

Girl flees uber-intense 'were' family to live alone in the 'real' world. Yet, despite her best efforts to lead a normal life she never truly feels like herself. Girl is forced (literally) to return home to a house full of domineering male 'were-creatures'. Were-females are slim pickings so, of course, all the males fight over her. And there is this one super intense
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Warning. Review might contain minor spoilers. Read at your own risk.

I have to admit that I wasn’t happy about starting this book because of that horrid cover. I don’t know what it means to represent? Surprise buttsecs? Hos’r’us? Bad tattoos stay with you forever? I don’t know. Horrible cover is horrible.

What made me go ahead and buy this thing is the fact that more than half of my Goodreads friend list gave it either 5 or 4 stars. Well hello mister popularity. I guess we ended up reading differe
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Had to redo this review after reading my original review from last year and finding it to be pretty crappy and non-informative.

Stray is the start of a fun, action packed series featuring a very kick butt heroine and a yummy love triangle. The female lead can hang with the boys (and pretty much does, since there aren't many females hanging out at their compound). Faythe can fight like a man, and has the balls of a man when it comes to bravery. She has her stupid and selfish moments, but I also fe
Aug 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star-hated-it
So, I have some thoughts. I would like to start this review by saying that this review is going to be extremely biased-I have some very strong emotions about this book, and so this isn’t going to be about objective quality.
Stray follows Faythe, a female werecat shifter, and one of only 8 single female werecats in America. As such, she is highly prized and is encouraged to bear many children and marry. Faythe isn’t too happy about this and runs away from her fiance to go to school, away from any
Aug 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
I’ve had Stray on my shelf for like half a goddamn decade waiting to be read, but I still knew almost nothing about the series going in except that it had pretty covers, and was apparently popular enough to spawn like a bajillion sequels. Now, having given up exactly 163 pages in to the first book, I can’t help but wonder why NOBODY HAS EVER WARNED ME ABOUT HOW FUCK-OFF AWFUL THIS SERIES IS.

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

When I dig into Urban Fantasy, I prefer shapeshifters to be part of the background, blending in, doing their thing to propel the plot while other supes shine as the star players. I rarely invest in series which focus on shapeshifters as the mains – just not my thing (although Kate Daniels has proven to be a nice exception). This book is pure shapeshifter material – instead of werewolves, you have werepanthers, and there’s no other supe in sight. Still, the back blurb promised an entertaining
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really good! Ended nicely although the whole series is out and in my hands so a cliffhanger doesn't bother me now anyway. I love Faythe and Marc. I hope they aren't gonna be on again off again through the whole series. ...more
Before I began reading paranormal and urban fantasy books, I didn’t really know about the variety of “were” worlds out there. I’m glad to have discovered them.

Stray is the story of a Pride of werecats. The werecats are led by Faythe’s father, in a kind of mafia-like arrangement of leadership and enforcers. There are very few female werecats of breeding age; most of the werecats are male. In Stray, someone is kidnapping the tabbies (female werecats) and our heroine Faythe Sanders becomes a victi
Sep 26, 2007 rated it did not like it
Well I have to admit I couldn't finish it. It was so long that I finally gave up. I was tired of hearing about poor me I need my independence and I will do anything to get it including risking the lives of my friends and family. And don't think for a second that I will see the error of my ways or compromise. AND MY GOD this book was long... way longer then it needed to be so this is a no. Maybe next time she could cut it in half.
I did like how she described the shifting but she didn't get the c
Nov 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
What was that book where there's a rare female animal-shifter, who has a hottie guy-shifter practically obsessed with her who is convinced she'll eventually say "yes" to him and going all moody on her; who lives with a bunch of other guy-shifters in a pack, who enforce shifter laws in their area and who aren't to be crossed with - who gets kidnapped because of who she is and locked in a cage, and who throws a mean punch?

Yeah, exactly. It's Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (and the sequel, Stolen, for
maura delaney
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this!! I can’t wait to binge the rest of the series
I ♥ Bookie Nookie (
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to I ♥ Bookie Nookie ( by: FlibBityFLooB
I really liked this book. I was a little nervous about reading it because it is so long and I have seen such mixed reviews about the series. Well, let me put it to you this way--it is 600+ pages and I read it in 2 nights.

Faythe is the daughter of an Alpha who is also the lead Alpha for all the US werecat territories. She is also one of only 8 unmated tabbies or females in the US. Of course, she is very valuable as there are probably hundreds of unmated males to their one. Faythe has 2 potential
1st Read - February 2010
2nd Read - July 2015

Original Review

Stray is a fantastic start to the Shifters series & I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the books. Faythe is one of only 8 unmarried female werecats in America which makes her a very important member of her Pride. Her family are very keen to see her settled & married so she can start producing the next generation of werecats but this is the last thing Faythe wants to do. She is very independent and determined to have a life
Honestly, I was disappointed in this one.  First of all, it's SO EFFING LONG.  It doesn't look like it because the pages are super thin (damn you, marketing ploys! *shakes fist*), but it tops 600 pages.  Very few authors can sustain a book that long well enough to keep me fully invested.  In fact, only 1 comes readily to mind, where I didn't feel anything should have been cut, it was perfect as it was.  Stray needed some serious trimming with a sharp pair of editing shears.  For real.  There was ...more
Re-read in 2010: Still loved the book. If anything, re-reading made me like the character of Jace even more...
I stayed up all night reading this book. It got to be too exciting and I had to know how the main character would get out of the situation she was in.

I will say that I liked the secondary love interest better than the main one. I don't know if the next book in the series features the same characters, but if it does, I will cheer him on. Go Jace!
Ezinwanyi Chinyere
liked this one. Faythe is a cat shifter wanting some autonomy from her pride. She tries to live among humans until a crisis forces her home. Faythe has to deal with who she is, who she wants to be and who she can be in the future.
A good book 1 so I went ahead and bought book 2.
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review was originally posted on GracelingAccountant.

My review for this book will be up Wednesday, January 30th. I decided to change my rating to three stars after writing my review because there were things that I just couldn't accept and still give the book 4 stars. I'll post the review here when it's up.
Sarah Elizabeth
I think this is the fourth time I’ve read this book and I still love it.
I love Faythe, I love Marc, and I also love Jace! Faythe does have her moments when she really shouldn’t be arguing or negotiating and thinking instead, but she’s still such a great character.

The storyline in this is really good! It can be a little slow in places, but most of the time there’s action and sexual tension. So good!
Faythe is one of the rare female werecats in North America. In werecat society, she is only good for her uterus (something that really bugged me throughout the book). In part because of that, Faythe has been rebelling and fighting for her freedom from her family and their expectations. When some of the other females in society start going missing, she is forced to come home for protection. Her ex-boyfriend, Marc, is tasked with her care and it is quite clear that he is still in love with her, bu ...more
Not bad for the first book in the series.. I just kind of hope that each book gets better?

Stray was pretty entertaining. I loved and hated Fayth throughout the book. I shipped the crap out of her Mark.. but he equally annoyed the shit out of me. I just didn't really get the whole pack mentality - it irked me so much! Mostly because I've read so many animal pack shifter books.. and this was just like throwing out all of the rules from the previous books.

Faith wants freedom from her pack. However,
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[Note: Though Rachel's blog entries are cross posted here, she does not frequent Goodreads. The best ways to contact her are FB, Twitter, or her Wordpress blog. PLEASE DO NOT SEND HER MESSAGES HERE. SHE DOES NOT CHECK THEM.]

A resident of Oklahoma, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with

Other books in the series

Shifters (6 books)
  • Rogue (Shifters, #2)
  • Pride (Shifters, #3)
  • Prey (Shifters, #4)
  • Shift (Shifters, #5)
  • Alpha (Shifters, #6)

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