Dana reviews Jacked Cat Jive (The Kai Gracen Series, Book 3) by Rhys Ford (Published by DSP Publications, March 5, 2019, 236 pages. Released on audiobook June 17 2019. Narrated by Greg Tremblay. Run time 8 hrs 19 mins)
To read the review for Black Dog Blues (The Kai Gracen Series, Book 1) click here.
To read the review for Mad Lizard Mambo (The Kai Gracen Series, Book 2) click here.
The Kai Gracen Series: Book Three
Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck sidhe lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the sidhe lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.
When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.
Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.
I reviewed the first two books of the series when they first came out but for some reason I didn’t review Jacked Cat Jive. When I saw that the fourth book is coming out soon, I decided to listen to Jacked Cat Jive and review it before the next book. And hopefully, I will be able to review that one in the near future.
So it has been a while since I was immersed in the world of Kai Gracen. For a quick recap, the setting of the story is a future America where there was a rift between the world of the fae (sidhe and unsidhe) and the human world. There are mix of cultures in this California city as well as a mix of creatures inhabiting it. Dragons live on the outskirts of town and black dogs that are more fae made than natural. Some resources are hard to come by and the areas outside the larger cities have a sort of Mad Max feel, if the Emerald City popped up in the middle of the barren land. Or at least this is how I picture it. Kai Gracen himself is a mix of many things, unsidhe, sidhe, and dragon at the very least.
Because of the way he was created and raised, and the roughness of the new world, Kai is somewhat hardened, or at least he acts like it. The world is harsh and the story is gritty. Still, Kai has attracted the interest of Ryder, a sidhe lord. Over the series Kai has eased his animosity with the lord, and in this book he actually displays a trust he rarely gives anyone else. In this book, in general, I have seen a softer side of Kai than the previous two books, but a lot is happening to the people he has grown to let into his life. A former lover and friend dies, and the man who saved him from his fathers bad intentions and raised him will die soon. It opens Kai to realizing how much he has come to care for others when he still thought of himself as closed off.
The addition of Ryder’s cousin Kerrick does make the story more interesting because Kerrick is hardly a good guy like his cousin. He operates at their grandmother’s behest and she is pretty evil for a light fae. He isn’t going anywhere by the end of this story and I am sure he will try his hardest to create problems for Ryder and Kai and for the peaceful plans that Ryder has for the city. I am very interested in what happens next for the two. Kai will be facing more hurts and maybe his guard will slip some more and let this slow burn romance kindle a little brighter? One can hope because Ryder really is a upstanding and sweet character. And I definitely want to see Kerrick get his just dues.
If you haven’t read any books in the series yet, I recommend reading them in order and I recommend listening to them on audio. Greg Tremblay is an amazing narrator who shouldn’t be missed.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and is a two-time LAMBDA finalist with her Murder and Mayhem novels. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Harley, an insane grey tuxedo cat as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.
Her narrators include:
Hailing from the chilly hills of upstate New York, award-winning narrator Greg Tremblay lends his voice to Rhys Ford’s “Kai Gracen” and “Cole McGinnis” series, “Murder and Mayhem” and a number of stand alone works. She is also narrated by Tristan James, a fabulous talent who voices her “Sinners”, “Hellsinger” and “415 Ink” series, and Derrick McClain, a rising, vibrant narrator who voices her “Wayward Wolves” series. In addition, Spencer Goss provides a rich narration for Fish Stick Fridays, the first novel in her Half Moon Bay series.