Review: Shadow Cat by Reena Jacobs

Title: Shadow Cat (The Striped Ones #1}

Author: Reena Jacobs

Published: Jan 2011

Sypnosis: They formed a bond so strong even death couldn’t keep them apart. CEO Eric Randall’s plan is simple—fix the mess his researchers have created in Malaysia, experience the pleasures the country has to offer, and hightail it back to the comforts of America. Then again, simple plans always seem to have a way of going awry. All it takes is one beautiful aborigine to completely flip his world upside down, and Eric finds himself stranded in a world of Malaysian myths and legends. A novice shaman amongst her people, Berani is free and independent; the rainforest is her playground. Yet all is not well in her homeland. Evil forces are slowly causing her people to dwindle to extinction. When a strange speaking man invades her forest, she has one more item to add to her already troubled life. One thing for sure, she’s not about to let some overbearing human control her on her own turf. Attraction or no, she will fight Eric tooth and claw to maintain her freedom. But will she end up destroying herself in the process?

Status: Read from April 05 to 07, 2011 — I own a copy

My Thoughts:

Shadow Cat is a paranormal romance with an exotic setting and intriguing myth that gives it an edge in this crowded genre.
In the lush tropical rainforest of Malaysia, clans of wehr-tigers defend their territory against human encroachment. Berani, a female ‘orang belang’, is incensed by the encampment of humans who have destroyed a section of the jungle and is determined to drive them away.
Eric has inherited his grandfather’s pharmaceutical company and is desperate to prove himself in his role as CEO and fend off his rivals. He is pinning his hopes on the research team in Malaysia making a discovery that will cement his position, but the unsanctioned clearing of the rainforest puts the project in jeopardy. With his right hand man, and best friend, Bryan, Eric heads to Malaysia to rescue the situation.
An accidental confrontation between Berani and Eric results in startling changes for them both.
Shadow Cat has a lot to recommend it and a real strength of this book lies in Jacobs seamlessly weaving Malay legends that center around the ‘orang belang’, which translates as the ‘Striped Ones’, and the soul destroying demons known as ‘pennangalan’ into a contemporary setting. Jacobs maintains the truth of her world by incorporating the legend and language of Malaysia in a way that is credible and demonstrates careful research.
The storyline is well thought out and interesting. The relationship between Berani and Eric is integral to the story but doesn’t overwhelm it. As this is a series debut, I recognise that this first book plays a crucial part in grounding further installments but it does result is a pace that is a little uneven. Most of the action was reserved for the second half of the novel and I thought there were instances of repetition of information in the first half that could have been dropped or condensed to improve the flow.
Berani is a strong character who is immediately appealing. She is tough but also has an emotional vulnerability and is likeable. Eric is less attractive, his arrogance is off putting and while that trait never really recedes, he does become more rounded as the story progresses. The development of their relationship is well handled, initially it is heavily based on lust and the instinctual pull of mating with some well written erotic scenes. Berani doesn’t speak nor understand, English so her communication with Eric is primarily through body and sign language when the two are alone. Love, or rather lust, is an universal language of course, but Jacobs is careful to develop their relationship in a manner that is believable and also cultivates the emotional connection. What I particularly appreciated in terms of character is that neither partner has to compromise their strengths for the sake of the romance.
The book is well written with wonderful use of imagery and language. Jacobs uses Malay terms naturally within the story, and while she includes a glossary at the back, it is not necessary to refer to it (though it is interesting).
Shadow Cat is an impressive self published debut by Reena Jacobs with an unique setting, myth and appealing characters. I would recommend Shadow Cat to readers who enjoy a sensual paranormal shifter romance with a compelling storyline.

@ Goodreads

Please join me tomorrow for an interview with Reena Jacobs who will also be offering you the chance to win a print and e-book edition of Shadow Cat.

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Shadow Cat is available to purchase

@ Amazon (print and Kindle)

@ Barnes and Noble

@ Smashwords

 

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. blodeuedd
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 04:07:34

    I have this one waiting to be published on my site, sadly though my guest reviewer read it, and it seems that I missed out on a good book 🙂

    Like

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Taking Over Reena’s Blog! « Amaranthine Night

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