Thursday, 8 September 2011

Book Review: Chasing Tabby by Misty Burke

Title: Chasing Tabby
Author: Misty Burke
Series: Book #1 in the Katt Tales series
Release Date: 25 May 2011
Number of pages: 21 pages
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Source: review copy provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon

Grade: 1.5 stars

Novellus horrendus!
Goodreads appetizer: The town of Crowder is werecat territory and the Katt family has lived on the Caterwaul Ranch for generations. But when a pack of werewolves start ravaging the land, Tabitha Katt is surprised to learn that her brother has sent a very human cowboy to protect her.

Jake Brown sure knows how to make her blood run hot, so when he gets bitten by one of the wolves they have to decide ... can there be any love between a werecat and a werewolf?

This review was originally posted on Book Lovers Inc.

My Thoughts: I love shifter stories and though I love werewolves, I find it a pity that feline shifter stories are so rare. There is something wildly irresistible and charming about the graceful strength of big cats, be they lions, tigers or panthers, so when I read the blurb of Chasing Tabby I was excited to finally stumble upon a feline shifter story. Sadly it was such an express and light read that it didn't have enough meat to make me feel disappointed.

The main and central problem of Chasing Tabby is that it is so short (approximatively 21 pages!) that there is absolutely no time and space for the author to develop all the characters she introduces (there are "only" 6 major characters!) and the main mystery layered with different subplots.

You see this length constraint would make it a challenge to tell a good story with a beginning and an end even if it didn't have much of a plot. Whereas Misty Burke tackles werewolf infection, feud between canine and feline shifters, a love story, family background, werewolf hierarchy among other things in this very very short story, which is detrimental to the story. There is too much going on, everything is just mentioned, the events take place as if on a production line, the reader doesn't get any insight into the characters, we don't even get to know them. The romance (and sex scene) between Tabitha and Jake reads as if it were an inventory list, no (gradual) development of feelings at all, after their first kiss they talk about having a one night stand (they start kissing and then "...waited for the last of several orgasms to subside" when did that happen? where was I? It was as if I missed out on several pages), and after that a few pages later we learn that she said yes to his proposal. O_O They are engaged when their love and romance didn't even have a chance to blossom.

Besides the no-development of the characters and their relationship my other complaint is that there were many details which discredited the story. Like when Jake who wasn't even aware that any supernatural species existed outside of horror movies and novels not only accepts the existence of werewolves, but gets over being infected and turning into a werewolf without as much as a grunt. No shock and no pain, and no incredulity at all. What the hell?!

The story doesn't flow naturally, the consecutive scenes read like independent flashes, like a string of pearls with no transition or link. Due to this the narrative is fractured and it takes some effort to follow the plot and not get lost. (Also the constant misspelling of certain words like starred instead of stared and rouge instead of rogue gave some additional bumps to the story.)


The big resolution of the main mystery couldn't have been more anticlimactic than it was: Jake a newly infected werewolf simply orders a pack of werewolves to leave the area and not bother the locals and they tuck their tail between their legs and leave! Werewolves are bloodthirsty animals who like to fight (especially when they are threatened and one of their is attacked), furthermore it's a pack, so they are more than him alone and they are in wolf form while he is in human form. Sorry but this scene with a pack of werwolves simply whining and leaving felt wrong on more than one account.

*End of spoiler*

What I liked and was a bit of a redemption (though tiny) was the humour of naming the werecat characters: Thomas (tomcat), Helen (hell cat), Tabitha (tabby cat) and Allison (alley cat).

Verdict: I blame the length restrictions. Why try to squeeze so much into such a teeny tiny story? Why not spend more time and develop the ideas? Or if preferring to make it short, Misty Burke should have limited herself and the story to only a basic plot, but cramming all these storylines with so many characters only harmed the story.

Unfortunately there is very little I can applaud about Chasing Tabby, so I only give it 1.5 stars.

Plot: 2/10
Characters: 3/10
Ending: 1/10
Writing: 3/10
Cover: 2/10

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