Friday, 22 February 2013

Rameau Friday: The Cat's Meow - Stacey Kennedy


In Charleston there have been several magical cat murders and it’s time for the Pet Detective local Enchantress to step in and put a stop to it.

In the “About the Author” section it says:

Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart-squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll also find fast-paced action, life-threatening moments, and a big bad villain who needs to be destroyed.

Having read The Cat’s Meow I can vouch for the lighthearted fantasy part with a good chuckle or three. The heart-squeezing element relied heavily on my overactive imagination as Kale Griffin was kept as a mystery for far too long and his personality was mostly built on a handful of action descriptions and guesswork. This would apply to the thigh-clenching part too, because once Kale was allowed a moment of honesty and openness the book rushed to its inescapable conclusion. 

The fast-action and life-threatening moments make this book a compulsively readable and fun as long as the reader has firmly switched off their brain and any sign of logical thought. The big bad villain was unfortunately of the cardboard sort—easily sketched and depthless—and burned down just as easily as any paper doll would. It’s fun and entertaining as long as you’re not expecting the story to be anything more than a simple romp.

Libby as a character has her good moments. She’s a witch responsible for tracking down and stopping anyone who practices dark magic or threatens to expose the magical community to humans. She mostly stands up for herself against the Alchemy, her mother, and the occasional free-range warlock. She has clear motives for protecting herself and her friends from harm, she’s smart enough to figure out Kale’s secret mostly on her own, and she doesn’t let her sex-addled brain dictate her actions. Until she does. This again is my complaint about the ending—the speed. I’d have much preferred had Libby’s and Kale’s relationship taken several books to develop to the point it reached here.

So all in all, it’s a quick and fun read for the fans of paranormal romance.

Unless you’re one of those people who actually care about accurate portrayal of Wicca and respect for other religions. I admit Kennedy never uses the word Wicca or its equivalents and that I’m not an expert on the subject, but I know enough to be miffed. Very much so. I would have gladly let Kennedy get away with murder in her portrayal of modern magic, had she not dragged in the Goddess and made the deity an integral part of Libby’s characterisation. None of the witches or warlocks show appropriate respect towards their Goddess while practicing magic. Would this be a Christian praying, I have no doubt the handling would be very different.

I also didn’t particularly care about the patriarchy bleed into this system of magic or the general attitude shown by men—even the hero—towards women. Men are the strong ones in power and women, no matter how special, are weak and to be protected. 

If you want to read a light witch version of The Southern Vampire Mysteries, this might be the book for you. If you expect anything thought provoking or progressively feminist, you’d be better off skipping The Cat’s Meow.

3 stars

I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.



Series: Witch's Brew #1
Pages: 256 (ebook)
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
ISBN: 9781622668
Published: December 13th 2012
Source: NetGalley

39 comments:

  1. Great review! This sounds like a fun read. Sometimes it's nice to be able to switch your brain off and just read without thinking too hard about everything. I'll have to add this to the list. :)

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    1. I hope you'll enjoy your brain holiday.

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  2. The light hearted fantasty with funny parts make it sound like a great book.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  3. I liked this one it's a fun and nice book but you're right too it's for a light moment.

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    1. I usually prefer something with a bit more depth but luckily I wasn't too miffed to read something ridiculous instead.

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  4. Who is the best? Rameau is the best!

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    1. That's code for something... right? That any guest blogger is only as good as the blog admin is? That's it. *nods*

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  5. I have a copy of this and I need to read it soon. I could care less that it isn't progressively feminist and that the Wicca stuff isn't overly accurate I want fun and that is what I am going to get, right?

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    1. I'd say yes, absolutely, but now I'm afraid you'll hunt me down if it's not.

      :P Fun is on the agenda with this book.

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  6. It sounds like she invents her own form of witchcraft. I can deal but I can also see how you could be upset about it. Still, it sounds entertaining enough.

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    1. What Kennedy portrays as witchcraft was pretty close to the descriptions of Wiccan ceremonies and "magic" as I've read about, but it utterly lacks the reverence that's crucial to the belief.

      I wouldn't have minded that part--plenty enough tv shows and films have done it before, taken the magic and nothing else--but Kennedy has Libby talk about the Goddess and her respect for her and how she'd be nothing without her in a way that comes across insincere because it doesn't show anywhere else. Her belief in the Goddess isn't shown to be part of the magic she does. And that part, the superficial respect for a real religion and deity of actual believers is what I found disrespectful.

      Of course, this is only upsetting if you care, and if you don't, it's simply a fun read.

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  7. I do love a light, fun read, and sounds good..but I can see how it would bother you.

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    1. Which is why I'm of two minds about this book.

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  8. Light reads are my sort of reads. Actually just seeing the cover for this book makes me want to read it.

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  9. It sounds like it could be a cute, light read. Great review!

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  10. I do want to read this book, I have read other reviews that really appealed to me. And all the anti-feminism really doesn't bother me all that much.

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    1. In an book I mean. In real life, that would be different.

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    2. I can look past it, the anti-femisnism, in books, sometimes, but not always.

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  11. The fast-action and life-threatening moments make this book a compulsively readable and fun as long as the reader has firmly switched off their brain and any sign of logical thought.

    Right. Nail, meet the coffin. Not for me, thanks for sparing me the angst.

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    1. Angst is about the furthers thing from this book you can get, but I'll gladly save you from the headache.

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  12. Magical cat murders? Awesome! Well, in books of course. Moving on, I'm glad you liked it!

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    1. I feel like I should have been more upset about the cat deaths than I was.

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  13. light with funny parts? This sounds like fun :)

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    1. You don't want to know where my mind went at "funny parts". Anyway, I hope you like.

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  14. The Cat’s Meow sounds like a quick, light type of read.

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  15. Most of the time I don't want to think too hard when I'm reading..this one might be a good escape book.

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  16. Okay, I am in love with that cover. Sue me.

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    1. The cover is the reason why I requested the book from NetGalley.

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  17. I enjoyed this one and I agree completely with you, this book is perfect for those moment when you want something light and fun.

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    1. We all need something fun and light from time to time.

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  18. I love that cover. And it sounds like one that you sit back and just enjoy the fun relaxing ride. I like those kinda reads from time to time. :) Thank you!

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    1. If you're in the right mood for it, this is a good, quick, and fun read.

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