So long ago I had watched the show The Nine Lives of Chloe King. It was your typical angsty-teen drama whatever, but I was interested in the mythology behind it. The premise is there is this 16 year old girl who discovers she is something like a werewolf. Only in the sense that she has animal like powers, so nothing like a werewolf. In the show the race of humans with cat powers are called Mai. Since, in so many instances, the book is better than the show/movie I decided to give the book a go (since the mythology interested me so).
The series was written by Liz Braswell (under the pen name Celia Thomson) and originally consisted of three separate books: The Fallen, The Stolen, and The Chosen. In the version of the book I bought (and since they have been distributed as such) it was one giant book with three separate parts. So I’ll divide my review into three parts as well.
In this book we meet Chloe on the day before her birthday. To celebrate she decides to ditch school (taking her two friends with her) and they had up to Coit Tower. Her friend Paul gives her the gift of vodka and they spend the time at the top of the tower taking swigs. After sometime she gets bored/restless so Chloe leans up on a window edge and ends up falling over. She falls for 200 feet or so and blacks out (obviously). When she awakes there isn’t anything critically wrong with her but shockingly her friends insist she goes to the ER. Now here is where my first annoyance at the story flares up: consistency in writing. I don’t care if you aren’t 100% consistent, but if it’s something so glaringly wrong that it pulls me out of the story then I take issue. Case in point: Chloe fled the ER at 4. Then she goes home to take a nap. She wakes at 6 ‘after a 4 hour nap’. A few paragraphs later she calls Amy’s house and Amy’s mom wishes her a ‘happy birthday in six hours’. When she hangs up Chloe makes a comment about it being four hours to her birthday. I was severely annoyed, especially because this all happened within a few pages of each other. Clearly some editing went down and no one did a final read through (although I know that can’t be the case).
Enough of that though, continuing. Chloe goes out that night, gets into a club, drinks, makes out with a guy and then decides she should really get home. The next day her mom throws her a surprise party complete with champagne, catering and a cellist. Nothing like rewarding bad behavior. Whatever. Chloe begins to feel more confident and even plucks up the nerve to chat up Alyec, a popular kid in school. She also gets a budding romance with a customer at the store where she works, Brian. Chloe spends much of the book flirting with both of the boys while she tries to deal with her adolescent-induced estrangement with her mother. Also her estrangement with her best friends, Paul and Amy. The day of Chloe’s accident they ‘hooked up’ and have since started dating. In effect sidestepping Chloe entirely. This upsets Chloe and causes a giant cluster. However rather than fighting with Amy about it Chloe continues to live her life, and what a life it is. Ever since her birthday she has noticed changes, besides the boost in self-confidence. She can also run, not only run but leap and bound onto the rooftops. Her balance has approved, as have her reflexes and perhaps most bizarrely of all she has developed retractable claws. These physical changes mixed with the emotional turmoil of trying to figure out what to do with two very different boys. Add on top of that the appearance of an assassin who attacks Chloe when she least expects it. How is a girl to cope?
Now I’m all for artistic license and perhaps it’s my goody-two-shoes nature that’s really the issue. However, if a mother dislikes her daughter sneaking out and lying to her and wont let her date at all would she be likely to give that daughter a glass of wine with dinner? Let alone the next day complain that she should have given her red instead to war off the cold/flu that her daughter has developed? It’s just hard for me to align a mother so strict she wont let her daughter even talk about boys with one that’s mellow enough to freely give her daughter alcohol. Especially since she’s griping about her behavior. ‘Your being secretive like a typical teenager and I wont let you date but please, enjoy the champagne.; Once again, one of those things that if it takes me out of the story it bugs me. And the drug use in the book did that. I’m fully cognizant that some kids do drugs, whatever, but it seemed forced in this book and the forcing is what bugged me.
Back to the story, Chloe eventually calls Brian out on his lack of physical contact with her which causes a rift between them. One that grows when Brian sees her and Alyec together and tells her to stay away from him. That goes over well. Chloe finally drops Brian entirely and somewhat chooses Alyec, which is a good thing. When the Assassin meets up with her again and Brian shows up throwing the same stars as the assassin it’s clear that he’s not on the level. Luckily Alyec shows up to keep the fight even. The Assassin dies and Brian explains he was there to try and help Chloe (both she and Alyec – who turns out to be a special cat person too – don’t completely buy it). He then stops them from running into an ambush and they make it away. The store ends shortly there after with Alyec telling Chloe he’d like her to meet a few other people. We can only presume that he means special cat people.
As sarcastic as I’ve been with this review you’d think I’d call it quits after part one, but I’m still interested in the mythology and the first part didn’t get into at all! Grrr, so yes I will continue with the second part (The Stolen) so that should be good. After that it’s almost like you have to finish with the third. Especially since they are such fast reads. Maybe that is why I don’t mind. It’s an easy book to read before bed. It doesn’t really contain extremely serious content or anything that will keep me up pondering deep questions. So for easy reading it’s fine.