Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Claire Cain moves to small town Peculiar, Missouri after surviving a brutal attack in her home town, Chicago. She had exposed a drug ring at her high school to clear her best friend's name after drugs are planted in her locker. Starting over in a small town should be easy, but too many things remind her of Chicago. The day she arrived in Peculiar, a girl named Serena Sims goes missing in a storm just like the one that Claire was attacked in. A few days later, Claire is the one to find her body, crushed by a tree branch and partially devoured by the many feral cats that populate the town. She needs to find out what happened to Serena and her journey for the truth leads to the abandoned basement of her school and the secrets that lay within.
Despite the writing being pretty decent, I just didn't like Feral. It seems to want to be a horror novel, but never quite gets that terrifying. The creepiest parts are when the young girls are attacked. The cats in the town are described being malicious and evil, but this annoyed me more than anything else. Feral cats may be a nuisance, but they aren't evil. I'm also kind of a crazy cat lady, so this part made me roll my eyes like crazy. Also, since the cats are really just for atmosphere, I'm not sure why it merited naming the book after them.
Although Claire has my sympathy for being attacked, I simply didn't like her. She is super smug, entitled, and just not likable. I couldn't relate to her at all. She does pretty offensive things like blaming her best friend for the attack she experienced and not even sending a one sentence text to the same friend who contacted her over and over to see if she's ok. I understand being frustrated that their relationship changed after the attack. It's hard to adjust after something like that and I'm sure it came from a caring place, but that in no way justifies Claire's later actions. The other characters kind of blurred together and lacked dimensions
The book veers into supernatural territory quickly, but in weird and heavy handed ways. For some reason Serena could still feel pain after death and then she possessed a cat and turned evil. There was no real logic to it and no real reason for a murder victim to suddenly turn murderous herself. A fog literally started talking to Claire, which just made me think she was mentally ill rather than experiencing supernatural phenomena. And you can't be suffocated in a car with the heater blowing. That's just ridiculous when air is being blown into the car at warm temperature and I'm supposed to believe the people inside are suffocating. Too much ridiculousness for one book. I was extremely disappointed and likely will not read another book by the same author.
My rating: 1.5/5 fishmuffins