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Belle's Bookshelf

"With a dreamy far-off look, and her nose stuck in a book..."

Currently reading

What Maisie Knew
Henry James
My Friend the Enemy
Dan Smith
Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages
Guy Halsall
Vulpi - Kate Gordon 2.5 stars. Full review and more can be found at my blog.Vulpi by Kate Gordon is the follow-up to Thyla, the story of a unique species of shapeshifters running wild in the Tasmanian bush. While Thyla centred around Tessa, a 200-year-old teenager with no memory, Vulpi shifts the focus to brand-new shapeshifter Cat, a minor (and not entirely likable) character from the first book. This was a risk on Gordon's part and, unfortunately, it didn't really pay off. I just wasn't invested in Cat's character or journey, and she didn't do anything in the first part of Vulpi to make me feel otherwise. While other characters said they found her witty, intelligent and, frankly, irresistible (at least three fell in love with her), nothing she said or did actually showed these qualities to the reader, other than the odd mention of literature. Note: referencing the classics does not a smart heroine make (I'm looking at you, Twilight/50 Shades of Grey).The story itself was OK but, unlike Thyla, it wasn't enough to keep me compulsively turning the pages. The main conflict is around the increasing number of teens being murdered and the mysterious "Solution" the evil Diemans have been talking about. Not uninteresting, but still, this short, easy read took me three. Freaking. Weeks. As I mentioned in my DNF post, this wasn't entirely the book's fault - I've been crazy busy - but I also wasn't particularly compelled to pick it up.What I did appreciate was the shift from second person narration in Thyla to first person in Vulpi. It just flowed more smoothly and was more consistent. The dialogue was also an improvement on Thyla, with less info dumps at inappropriate times (though there were still a few). However, the way a few characters spoke was still quite jarring to me. The worst offender was the eponymous vulpi, Archie, an English chap whose dialogue just didn't feel authentic. It pulled me out of the story rather than into it. Speaking of Archie - I also didn't really enjoy the insta-love and the, "oh god, swooooon, gasp, shudder, shiver, derrrrrrr" every time he so much as breathed in Cat's direction.I feel bad for dissing the book because I really, really wanted to like Vulpi. I'm disappointed that I didn't. As I mentioned earlier, I really appreciate Gordon's unique take on the paranormal and the very Australian flavour she weaves into her work. But while I love the concept, I just didn't love the execution.