Feral Nights (Feral Series #1)

Feral Nights (Feral Series #1)

4.0 6
by Cynthia Leitich Smith

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Fans of the Tantalize quartet will thrill to see werepossum Clyde and other favorite secondary characters — plus all-new ones — take to the fore in book one of an all-new series.

When sexy, free-spirited werecat Yoshi tracks his sister, Ruby, to Austin, he discovers that she is not only MIA, but also the key suspect in a murder

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Fans of the Tantalize quartet will thrill to see werepossum Clyde and other favorite secondary characters — plus all-new ones — take to the fore in book one of an all-new series.

When sexy, free-spirited werecat Yoshi tracks his sister, Ruby, to Austin, he discovers that she is not only MIA, but also the key suspect in a murder investigation. Meanwhile, werepossum Clyde and human Aimee have set out to do a little detective work of their own, sworn to avenge the brutal killing of werearmadillo pal Travis. When all three seekers are snared in an underground kidnapping ring, they end up on a remote island inhabited by an unusual (even by shifter standards) species and its cult of worshippers. Their hosts harbor a grim secret: staging high-profile safaris for wealthy patrons with evil pedigrees, which means that at least one newcomer to the island is about to be hunted. As both wereprey and werepredator fight to stay alive, it’s up to mild-mannered Clyde — a perennial sidekick — to summon the hero within. Can he surprise even himself?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Smith kicks off a spinoff series to her Tantalize books with a noirish adventure featuring shape-shifting werepeople old and new. Eighteen-year-old ladies’ man (well, werecat) Yoshi, the younger brother of Ruby Kitahara (last seen in Tantalize), travels to Austin, Tex., in search of his missing sister. Upon arriving, Yoshi learns that Ruby is the prime suspect in the murder of Travis, a werearmadillo whose ghost haunts his nerdy friend, Clyde (“My werepossum metabolism usually keeps me warm enough, but Travis’s spiritual presence has a chilling effect. Like a ghostly mini air conditioner,” Clyde quips). Clyde, still recovering from injuries incurred in Smith’s Blessed, wants to avenge Travis’s death, but the unlikely trio of Clyde, his crush Aimee, and Yoshi are forced to unite when they are captured and taken to Daemon Island, to be hunted for sport. Smith’s fantasy smoothly switches between the three protagonists’ perspectives, while expertly blending the mythical and the modern. The story’s sharp banter and edgy plot make for an entertaining and clever story about loyalty and reconciling differences. Ages 14–up. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Werefolk abound in the first book of a new series from the author of the popular "Tantalize" vampire series. After Yoshi's shenanigans cause his grandmother to chase him off the family farm, the seventeen-year-old werecat decides to track down his sister Ruby. She left the farm herself some time ago, headed for Austin, but Yoshi hasn't heard from her in quite some time. He is shocked to find, upon his arrival in the Texan town, that his sister is the leading suspect in the murder of a popular were-armadillo and a pair of police officers. Since the murder in question predates this story, readers may feel as if they are playing "catch-up" for some time; this feeling intensifies as the plot quickly grows to include the interrelationships of several were-characters of various types, humans, angels, demons, and even Yeti. A love triangle between human Aimee and a pair of were-characters gives a Twilight feel to this book; the kidnapping of several key characters and their relocation to a private island for participation in a "big game hunt" calls to mind The Hunger Games. This book may not be appropriate for all audiences, due not only to violence but also overt sexuality during some interchanges. For example, the book begins with scene of coitus interruptus with a half-clad main character in a hayloft. Later, the same character is propositioned by a precocious fourteen-year-old were-Tasmanian Devil. Fans of Smith's previous works are sure to enjoy this one. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This first book in a new series features Yoshi, a werecat searching for his missing sister, Ruby. On his first trip to Sanguini's, a vampire-themed restaurant where Ruby worked as a waitress, he meets Clyde, an injured werepossum and his friend, Aimee, a homo sapien. Clyde and Aimee are trying to uncover the truth behind their friend Travis's death, a murder for which Ruby is suspected. Clyde is being haunted by Travis's ghost, who has no idea who murdered him, while his family of royal werearmadillos put a bounty on the heads of both Ruby and Yoshi. After settling initial tensions Yoshi, Clyde, and Aimee continue their search for the truth together. What they uncover gets them kidnapped, sent to a deserted island, and imprisoned by an entirely new species of unknown origins. These "greedy yetis" imprison wereanimals of all types in order to charge wealthy vampires, witches, and humans for exotic "hunting" trips. Despite being separated, the friends work together to make this "hunting trip" their last. Told from the perspectives of the three main progatonists, the narrative gives readers a bird's-eye view of the action. However, with so many different characters, plot points, and story lines, it all adds up to one dizzying reading experience. The mix of paranormal, supernatural, mystery, sci-fi, adventure feels like overkill. However, this book will intrigue readers of the author's earlier series as it was written in part in response to fan queries about popular secondary characters.—Sunnie Sette, New Haven Public Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Shape-shifting werepeople battle to survive on a remote island while vampires, Yeti-like creatures and other creeps hunt them for sport in this action-packed, goofy companion novel featuring secondary characters from the series that began with Tantalize (2007). Werecat Yoshi heads toward Austin, Texas, looking to find his sister Ruby, who's been missing since her involvement in the death of an evil vampire chef and a well-liked teenage werearmadillo, Travis. He enlists the unlikely help of Travis' friends, a human, Aimee, and a wereopossum, Clyde. The trio is eventually kidnapped and spirited to the island, where the story takes its surprising Survivor/Hunger Games turn. Teens who favor humorous paranormal romance that never takes itself too seriously will enjoy dialogue that sparkles with wit, filled with both literary and pop-culture references. ("You're saying that you and my sister perform exorcisms on vomiting children with rotating heads?") Aimee, Yoshi and Clyde take turns narrating in the first person, each of them sarcastic, with varying levels of self-deprecating snark coloring their inner monologues. It may be difficult for readers to keep track of the vast ensemble of characters, particularly if they haven't read the previous four books, but many won't care--instead they'll be wrapped up in the playful, smart tone. (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)

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Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Cynthia Leitich Smith's Feral Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 10.20(h) x 1.20(d)
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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