Willem’s life sucks. He lost his job. His boyfriend not only cheated on him, but kicked him out of their apartment and moved his new lover in. Now, Willem’s (relatively wealthy) father has died and left him nothing but the cat. Suffice to say, Willem’s not a happy camper. To top it all off, the cat starts to actually talk to him…in an almost snarky way, and then that cat has the nerve to ask Willem to go out and buy him a pair of nice boots!
Kasha (the cat) is magical. He’s actually a demon who is being punished because of his deeds. Deeds I didn’t think were so bad, but they were definitely against the rules. The curse can be lifted, which is why he’s trying to help Willem’s fortunes turn around.
Let me start of with how I loved the concept of Boots. I’ve never read the original story. My only knowledge of Puss in Boots comes from Shrek. I’m a huge fan of cats, having five of my own. However, I didn’t feel a true connection to Boots. It had its moments, but there weren’t enough to make me love this book.
Willem and Kasha, as characters, were ok. Of course, I had an affinity with Kasha. He IS a kitty, after all. I enjoyed his excitement over his new boots, and when he was in human form, he still had cat qualities. These actually led to my favorite Boots bits. The sex. Did you know that cats have penile spines? No? Well, let me tell you. There is a reason why cats scream during mating. Willem discovers this at a most inopportune time, and while I pitied the poor man, it was hilarious! Also, Kasha maintained his feline flexibility while he was in human form. That means, he was still able to…well…groom himself. Willem found that to be a huge turn on, and I laughed again.
Other than the amusing sexytimes, I couldn’t really find anything else I really enjoyed. The explanation of Kasha’s curse felt incomplete. Also, it ventured into some Japanese mythology, but there’s no real mention of Boots taking place in Japan. Keep in mind, this is all just personal opinion. I’ve read fairy tale retellings, and liked them. This one just felt rather choppy to me. It was almost as if Angel Martinez was trying to keep Boots rather short, even though this version was considered to be “extended.” Perhaps another fifty pages or so, clearing up some of the muddied legend, would have made me connect with it a little more.
I’m not going to tell you I hated Boots. The humor makes it redeemable. I just don’t think I could say I wholeheartedly recommend it. I’ll say, if you like fairy tales (or tails), you might get a kick out of it. It just wasn’t for me.
PS. Willem’s cheating ex doesn’t get through this unscathed. Totally worth it.