Pack of Strays is the second novel in the Fangborn series and the sequel to Seven Kinds of Hell. Zoe Miller, our heroine, is an fledgling archaeologist and a newly revealed Fangborn, a secretive race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles that have dedicated themselves to protecting humanity and eradicating evil while trying to keep under the humans radar.
Seven Kinds of Hell revealed that Zoe, who is really a werewolf, was hidden away from the "FAMILY" by her own mother to keep her away from them, and so she spent her informative years believing that she was simply human. She kept her "BEAST" hidden under wraps for fear of being discovered by those who wish to harm her, and there are a WHOLE lot of enemies who want a piece of Zoe. Zoe is a different sort of Fangborn in that she has abilities nobody else has thanks to her opening Pandora's box and the jeweled bracelet that is permanently attached to her wrist that enhances and adds to her werewolf abilities.
In Pack of Strays, Zoe and Adam Nichols, who until recently worked for a secretive government agency known as TRG (the same group that captured Zoe and her friends and experimented on them), finds themselves searching for Fangborn artifacts while also trying to say one step ahead of a group of Fangborn haters known as the Order of Nicomedia. This trip takes Zoe from NYC, to Denmark & Turkey, back to Boston where the climatic last scene takes place between the Fangborn, the Order, and their minions known as the "FELLBORN". The story hints of a prophecy involving Zoe, but leaves open the door for an even darker, twisted, mystery.
Pack of Strays is filled with action, and suspense, and mysteries, and new characters like oracle Victoria (Vee) Brooks and vampire Toshiharu Yamazaki-Campbell. Both are very capable and important additions to the series, and have interesting abilities as well. The most prevalent villain of the story and one who just refuses to go away, is Jacob Buell. Jacob is just plain evil, and does things to Zoe and the Fangborn that will get your blood boiling.
For me, the unfortunate and loathsome 3 way triangle pops up its ugly head up & apparently decides that it needs to enter the foray at the most inopportune of moments. It leaves me wondering if Cameron is seriously trying to gather the ire of readers like me who just wants the heroine to make a choice and live with it already! I might not be as forgiving as other readers when it comes to a character betraying my heroine, and dismissing her like she never mattered in the first place.
Overall, I am mostly satisfied with the overall direction Pack of Strays took and love how Zoe is gaining more and more abilities as she collects Fangborn artifacts and understands her own strengths and determination. I appreciated that most of the characters from the first book, Danny, Gerry & Claudia Steuben, and Dmitri Parshin returned to Pack of Strays and joined the fight against the Order. I am definitely interesting in learning more about Dragon Quarrel who is presumably what Zoe has to look forward to if she continues on this current path. I am a bit frustrated by the way the story ended, but understands that it is the way of the world, and for writers to bribe readers into coming back for the next book in the series.
Author - Dana Cameron
Title - Pack of Strays (Fanborn # 2)
Published by 47North
Released: April 15, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Ebook 334 pages