Book Review of Feral Nights by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Posted April 25, 2013 by Kara in Kara / 7 Comments

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: February 12th, 2013
Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult-Paranormal
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher.
Series: Not sure of the series title, but this is #1 in a new series.

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Description from GoodreadsFans 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?

Less than ten pages into this book and I wondered what I was getting myself into. You see, one of the main characters is a werepossum. That’s right. A WEREPOSSUM. I was thinking this was going to be a major cheesefest and impossibly hard to suspend disbelief for. But surprisingly, it really wasn’t. Because this book is humourous. It’s supposed to be, and I think the author made the characters this wacky on purpose. I kinda loved that about it.

Yoshi is a perverted werecat that sleeps around a lot, Clyde is a dorky werepossum with bad acne, and Aimee is the human that lost her boyfriend, werearmadillo Travis (LOL), to a murder by a werecat. Yoshi’s sister, Ruby, is the main suspect. The main storyline is about solving this murder, but they end up getting kidnapped and then the story becomes much more than that and gets even MORE ridiculous. In a funny way, of course. 

It’s a surface story. If you decide you want to read this one, do it for the fun. It’s a guilty pleasure read that never has much depth. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s just one of those mindless books where you don’t have to think much and you read for the enjoyment. Books like that I rarely rate over three stars. That doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s great at what it does, it’s just not going to stick out in your mind as an all-time favorite. 

Apparently the characters in this book were sidekick characters in the author’s Tantalize series and fans asked her to write a new series featuring these characters, and this is the result. I never read the other series, and I’m not sure I’m going to. I like her writing style enough and I do love her sense of humor, but I just don’t think these types of books are for me. I may continue this one, as I am already invested, but that’s only if I have time. It’s not on the top of my list or anything. I’m just looking for books with more depth these days. I get in the mood sometimes to read lighthearted books and I don’t generally turn to the paranormal genre for this. I usually read a contemporary.

BUT, I would definitely recommend this book and author to fans of the humorous paranormal genre. She does it well. There’s a small amount of slut-shaming, which I know doesn’t bother everyone, but it made me a bit angry, but it’s minor compared to other books I have seen in YA. Still, I’d like to eradicate it completely because it’s problematic and not okay. Read Feral Nights if you are looking for an entertaining palate cleanser that’s fun and short.

3/5 Dragons

7 responses to “Book Review of Feral Nights by Cynthia Leitich Smith

    • Me too! I didn’t read her other series so I was unfamiliar with her characters. I didn’t have a huge issue with her writing, I just found it very basic. She definitely did think out of the box!

  1. Sam

    Just reading your review has me laughing! Some of these ideas are definitely out there. I mean, a werepossum? You don’t come across that every day! Though I would never have guessed from the cover that this could be a humorous book. I haven’t tried anything by this author before, and I’m not sure if this one is for me, but it sounds like it will have its place among readers. Great review, Kara!

    • I am glad I made you laugh! Her ideas are TOTALLY out there, but in some strange way they really worked! This particular author has a cult group of fans and I think I understand why. She’s not for everyone, but it sure was entertaining.

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