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Predator Girl Paperback – July 17, 2012
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"Roozenboom is a heckofa storyteller." --Jadie Jones, author, Moonlit
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I liked the storyline, and generally I liked the characterization. My one hesitation was in Jared. I thought he was overwrought at times and often acted very irrationally. I could not believe his flippancy when in times of peril. I really liked Ilume, on the other hand, and even the antagonist in the story, who I thought was far more believable than Jared despite his evil streak.
I also found it a bit jarring at all the self-references to "hounds," "mutts," and other dog-like words. I realize this is the author's universe, one I really like, but in nature, wolves rather hold themselves apart from dogs, and in pretty much all lycanthropic tales, they consider themselves superior, so referring to themselves as "hounds" was a bit off-putting. There is nothing wrong with the author's choice in this. I am only relating a personal opinion based solely on other lycanthropic books I have read in the past. This is a very minor criticism, though, and should not put anyone off from buying the book.
I didn't realize the book was YA when I bought it, but I have enjoyed a few other YA books. However, the sex in the book, while not extensive with regards to adult fiction, might be a little too much for YA fiction. I think this needs to be considered if purchasing this book for pre-teen and early teen readers.
Overall, this was a good effort, and I would certainly buy a second volume if one is forthcoming.
Although I was somewhat intrigued by the general premise -- a group of beings who sit somewhere between humans and entities usually relegated to the realm of fantasy, who are able to function within both worlds. At the very beginning I was quite put off by what was basically an orgy (or close to) involving teenage boys; it's not described in detail, but the situation is clear, and it made me unsure whether I would like the story or the characters. The tone quickly changed, though, and I was drawn into the conflict between the two societies.
I particularly enjoyed the switching between viewpoints, so the reader gets insight into both Jared's and Ilume's perspectives -- the author does a pretty good job with the first-person narrative, which can be challenging. Perhaps the best part is the sensitivity which is shown by both main characters to the plight of the other -- this is in many ways a coming of age story for both of them, and both have to question their values and preconceptions about the Other (meaning humans or non-humans in general), though Jared has the biggest conversion.
I was quite impressed with the way Roozenboom dealt with issues like prejudice and the Other without coming across as preachy or heavy-handed, and the discoveries made the story more full and satisfying. The tone of the writing is a little more chatty than I always like, but it works in this instance, and the characterizations seem quite real and believable; the "villain" is sufficiently frustrating and repellent without feeling like a caricature, and struggles of the protagonists are easy to empathize with. The only thing that seemed weird to me was that Ilume's society referred to non-humans as "abnormals" -- generally speaking, cultures usually view themselves as the norm and outsiders as the "weird" ones; I could see Jared viewing the Rooks and Jackals as abnormal, but not the wolves themselves.
So -- if you like YA paranormal fiction, this is an excellent choice: it has much better writing than some, and though here is romance, the story and issues go beyond that to deal with universal human problems. I liked it quite a bit.