Three figures, shadowy against the light. That’s all I remember from my past life, as I am dragged, dripping and half-drowned, from the flood. My saviour, a strange, pink-haired girl, is little help. She can barely care for herself, let alone the boy she loves. And although she has sworn to avenge the murder of her mentor, she must first escape the clutches of drug dealers, murderers and thieves. I would repay her kindness if I could. But we are alone in this blighted city – and I am a cat.
The past is an enigma to Blackie, the voice of Clea Simon’s dark new mystery. Combining elements of feline fantasy and cozy whodunit, The Ninth Life introduces this unusual hero and his companion, Care: two small creatures in a nightmarish urban landscape, fighting for their lives, and for the lives and memories of those they love.
It's been my experience to date than when you have a book narrated by a cat, it is either a children's book...or some kind of sci-fi/fantasy set up. The Ninth Life defies simple genre classification. Clea Simon's book is a gritty tale of the street, and what it can do to those without a lot of their own power. It just happens to be told from the point of view of a cat.
Now, my adult 'logical' mind wants to say that 'a book from a cat's point of view' ... eh ... how good can it be? Pretty dang good resounds as the answer! You can say a cat is a character in the same tone and having the same meaning as you can say a young girl is a character. There is no 'animal as opposed to human'.
I did enjoy watching how Blackie and Care interacted. If there wasn't that pesky language barrier, they would be in good communication with each other. They are both characters that people who (at least think they) have power tend to ignore because, hey - what can a girl of the streets or a cat do? Stupid, stupid people who think they have power.
I found it hard to turn off my human-centric tendencies about having a non-human main character for the first couple of chapters. But I am a care-giver and will provide assistance to undercats of all species. By the time this 'movie' was over, I wanted to reserve a seat for the sequel and maybe buy a 'Team Blackie & Care' t-shirt in the lobby!
My sister and brother animal fans will definitely like this series. We know that our furry family members do communicate with us, albeit in a different language - except for maybe the parrots and their ilk.
MEET THE AUTHOR (AND HER CAT)
Clea Simon is the author of 19 cozies in the Theda Krakow, Dulcie Schwartz, and Pru Marlowe pet noir series. The latter two are ongoing and include her most recent books, Code Grey (Severn House) and When Bunnies Go Bad (Poisoned Pen Press). The Ninth Life, the first book in her Blackie & Care mysteries, a darker series, will be published by Severn House on March 1. A former journalist and nonfiction author, she lives in Somerville, Mass., with her husband, the writer Jon Garelick, and their cat Musetta.
Click on the banner to go to the tour page, where you will find more reviews, as well as interviews with the author and guest posts. You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours!
(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my unbiased review. Post contains affiliate links.)