First off, I have no clue what Melina Morel is calling it, but I just finished the second novel, Prey, in her Institut Scientifique series. I have to say, I enjoyed this one…it definitely had my attention.
Vivian Roussel prefers to keep a low profile—she is, after all, a werecat, descendant of an ancient demigoddess, and highly regarded in Manhattan’s nightworld. But when she’s robbed of a priceless icon, she has only one recourse for protection.
Surveillance expert and werecat Pavel Federov never gets personal with his clients. But he’s drawn to Vivian. Pavel soon discovers that the thief has something far more dangerous in mind—for he’s marked Vivian as his next target.
Maybe it was Morel’s way of setting up her world in Devour, but quite honestly, I enjoyed Prey far more. Where Devour focused more on getting to know the Institut and how it operated (along with three different romances), Prey centers on one couple and really gives us a glimpse into the were culture. I found it interesting that each of the were clans were not necessarily obvious to other weres, even if they were of the same species (i.e. werecat vs werewolf). That’s another interesting theme within these novels. The idea of werewolves needing to be hunted down because they could be dangerous to society and yet werecats are left alone. I’m curious to find out the reason for this.
As for the romance, it was still a little neat, but it worked. I liked how we were focused on the one couple (Pavel and Vivian), and even though we were slid into the relationship, it worked. We saw the two from their first meeting and there wasn’t any grandiose about them getting together. It just happened and it worked. The only thing that did drive me a little batty with Vivian and Pavel is the constant reminder that they were from two different clans and Vivian was a descendant of a goddess and thus wasn’t worthy of any average cat. The goddess angle was a little overplayed and never really explained. The who and the why she was worshipped was, but why being a descendant should bare any consideration really wasn’t.
In Prey, there were two different plots that involved Vivian and they worked really well together. The main plot of finding the lost Russian treasure was good and I liked how both sides were working to get what they wanted (i.e. finish stealing the treasure vs returning it to the gov’t) and were unaware of the others actions. It made the storyline more enjoyable and less dry. As for the other plot line, I would have liked to seen that a little more developed. Don’t get me wrong, the whole political mess of Vivian’s clan was great to see, but we really weren’t given that much into it. The Leader shows up in the first third and then disappears until that last third of the novel. I would have liked to seen what the clan thought of the mess once it was brought to light after the resolution, but there is what there is. As for that resolution, that’s the only disappointing part of this plotline. It was too neat and more convenient than anything else.
Overall, I enjoyed Prey. The relationship of Viv and Pavel was good, but again, it was more of a gradual, off the scenes, chemistry and we’re not really given a lot of the details. We get the sly glances and the knowledge that these two are going to hook up, but it kind of just happens. I don’t really know if I can pinpoint the exact moment where they are together because they just seemed to be. It was good though. The plots were well meshed together and they were definitely interesting enough to keep my attention.