Friday, July 22, 2011

Cat's Call by Natasha Duncan-Drake

I've returned to the land of the book review living and I bring with me the awesome that is Cat's Call by Natasha Duncan-Drake. 
This is a first for me, an author with whom I'm familiar with their fanfiction first before diving into their actual fiction works.  I wondered if I would be as frantic to read each chapter as I was with her twists on everything from RPS to HP fanfic...lets just say I'm very glad to see she's made the leap to ebooks and hope that book 2 in this series isn't long in coming.

Charlie Waterman thinks of himself as your typical teen; plays video games, rugby with his friends and is about to attend Uni.  That is, until a clay cat figurine decides he would be of better use Between.  Charlie begins his journey into Between as one of 7 teens who will be tasked with maintaining order in their multiple universes.



Typically, I'm not a fan of teen quest novels, but because I'm a rabid fan of Duncan-Drake's fanfiction, when she mentioned this I decided to give it a go, knowing that if anyone could change my view of said genre it would be her.  And how right I was.

For this book Charlie is our main focus and as such, we're treated to how he deals with being the oldest and late student entering Between.  Things like a changing body, shapeshifting, the use of weapons and the inner workings of teenage conversation are all put into play.  The hormones and angst aren't too thick and the writer maneuvers through it well enough. 

Duncan-Drake also does an excellent job with handling the whole you will live forever and this is how we handle you not becoming a bag of bones when you've existed for thousands of years.  Universe building is hard work, but the writer doesn't overdo it.  We're given a cast of characters we can believe in, an intrepid hero who is coming into his own and no prophecy (thank the stars!). 

The main cast of characters in this story offers all of the elements I had previously missed in teen fictionn.  I have a bit of a block when it comes to this and I've admitted that while they are teens I hold them to adult standards and ideals, which while not fair, is how I roll.  And this means that the more adult the teen acts and behaves in situations the more likely I am to like them.  For this very reason I liked Charlie, he was adult enough to realize he was older, but young enough to realize he still had much more to learn.  The relationships he begins to build in Between show that. But Charlie isn't the only character that keeps this story going long and strong.

Meet Alexander.

With red hair and poise Alexander is the teen vampire that I wish other authors would write, but am glad that Duncan-Drake got their first.  Alexander makes the perfect foil for Charlie's more fun loving personality.  And the interplay between the two is rife with tension.  Case in point, Alexander is gay and Charlie is not...yet?  They flow into their relationship like some of my favorite guy pairings to read.

I could ramble on about this book, but I would much rather you go read it.  I think its on sale on everywhere this week for $.99.

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