Werecat: The Fugitive picks up right after the end of the previous book, Werecat: The Glaring. We find Jacks in Barbados trying to get into Benoit’s safety deposit box. He knows there is something there that The Glaring wants, and he knows he better get his hands on it before they do. Jacks has forged papers and the key to the box, but he is frustrated to find he can’t access anything until a 30-day waiting period. In the meantime, he has left his boyfriend Farzan behind in New York facing potential danger, and he has no money to pay to stay in Barbados for the next month. The police in New York are also still after him for the deaths of Benoit and Bernard. Not to mention that with members of The Glaring after him, there is no place that is really safe.
One night Jacks is wandering the island when he comes across a marina with a yacht filled with other werecats. Aside from Benoit, this is the first time he has been around others like himself who weren’t trying to kill him. Jacks is drawn to the other wercats, and Maarten, the yacht owner, offers to bring Jacks aboard to join in the debauchery of drugs and sex this group of werecats enjoy. Jacks in not interested until he finds himself hunted down by The Glaring and has no choice but to join Maarten to escape the attacks.
Jacks is determined to be faithful to Farzan and to keep in touch with him, but the pattern of lazy days and late nights begins to take its toll and, before long, Jacks has lost weeks of time. In the meantime, members of The Glaring have attacked humans all over New York and Farzan has been worried sick over the lack of communication. As it turns out, Maarten’s sister knows more about Benoit, and it soon becomes clear how critical the book is that Benoit has hidden away in the safety deposit box. It can give The Glaring power to destroy the humans, or give humans the ability to fight back. Either way, Jacks knows he must pull himself together and track the book down at the bank. But The Glaring isn’t willing to let it go without a fight, and getting the book safely may risk all of their lives.
This book is the third in the Werecat trilogy and I find this to be an exciting and really unique series. Right from the first book, Peters has created this fascinating world of werecats and we have followed along with Jacks as he is turned, and then must figure out how to navigate the world without his maker. I think once again Peters does a nice job here expanding upon the lore, giving us more information about The Glaring and what they are up to, and the politics of the cats. I liked how we see the comparison between Maarten and his friends, who are all about enjoying life and staying out of complications, versus The Glaring who are determined to fight against the humans. For all of Maarten’s pacifism, it is mostly fueled by apathy and self absorption, at least toward anything beyond his love for his sister. At first Jacks finds that way of life alluring, and lets himself get caught in the spell. But soon he realizes he needs more than that, he needs to fight and take action against the cats that are out to kill humans, rather than just sit back and ignore the problem.
Once again the focus of this story is really on the paranormal end, as well as the suspense angle as the werecats fight each other over Benoit’s book. The relationship with Jacks and Farzan takes mostly a back seat. We are told the men love each other, but we see almost none of them together in this book. The development of this relationship has been somewhat of a weak spot for the series, mostly because we are told how much these men care for each other, but they have very little time actually interacting in any of the books. So while their actions and behavior reflect their feelings for one another, we never get a chance to see their relationship develop in any real way. That said, I like these guys together and find them an interesting couple. Farzan gets dragged into this crazy world, and yet he still is willing to stick by Jacks and to help him in his quest, even at the risk to his own job and safety. I will note that there is a scene here that may fall into the cheating realm for some of you. It is clear that Farzan has given Jacks the opportunity to be with others while they are separated, but also that Jacks knows this is more about Farzan’s fear of losing him than anything else. So when he ultimately does get together with others, he does it with permission, but also a sense of awareness of how it would affect Farzan. That said, I think Jacks taking that step is part of what makes him finally realize he has been pulled too far from reality and that he needs to get away from this life on the boat. So it is an important part of the story and a necessary turning point for Jacks.
So I finished this book expecting it to be an end of the series, as the first three books are labeled as a trilogy. However, the story is clearly not resolved at the end of the book. There is virtually no closure on any front, in particular how Jacks is going to keep the book safe from The Glaring. We get some vague ideas of future plans, but they are risky at best, and we have no way of knowing how or if any of it will pay off. So I did find myself confused and ended up emailing the author to get clarification. So here is the deal. The first three books (The Rearing, The Glaring, and The Fugitive) are labeled as a trilogy and are sold as individual ebooks, or as a paperback set of all three (with the ebook set to come later this year) called Werecat: The Trilogy. But the overall story will be longer, probably 4 or 5 books total. So all that is to say, if you got into this like I did, expecting the story to be wrapped up at the end of the trilogy, that isn’t actually the case. I find it a bit frustrating, just because I like readers to know what they are getting into when they start a series, and I think it is kind of misleading naming. But either way, if you following along with this series, you are going to need to continue after this book if you want resolution to the conflicts.
All that said, I still find this a really entertaining series. I think Peters has written something really creative here, and I love the gritty world he has developed. The series has a lot of action and excitement that I really enjoy. I wish there was more emphasis on the romance end, or at least more time seeing these guys together if we were going to be accept them being in love so fast. And as I said, I found the ending disappointingly vague after expecting a resolution here. But overall this is an enjoyable series and I look forward to seeing where it goes next.