Friday, September 4

Book Review: Fifth Life of the Cat Woman

Title: The Fifth Life of the Cat Woman

Author: Kathleen Dexter

Pages: 258

Summary: The CatWoman is on her fifth life. She has survived witch hunts, ignorance, and poverty. Now, she seeks refuge amidst the company of fifty cats on her own private oasis, a mirage. But when a stranger named Angelo enters her isolated world, Kat is force to face fear. Sweetly and subtly, Angelo courts and coaxes her back into the real world, convincing her to become a teacher of history. And Kat, all to ready to embrace this new struggle, galls hopefully in love with life, with teaching and with Angelo.

But when tragedy strikes and the prejudice that sparked the witch hunts of her past resurface what will become of the woman who is “too liked by cats?”

My Rating: 9.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: First of all, the summery on the back of the book, in no way does this book justice. Nor does it come close to what this story is really about. The reason why I picked up the book was because it talked about a “Cat lady” who has fifty (50) cats, and it amused me. But it turned out to be so much more than that.

First of all, there are a lot of magical elements to the book. Least of all a woman who is half cat, and is cursed/blessed with the gift of nine lives, but she isn’t the only one in the book who has the gift. Another gift she has is the ability to create beautiful mirages, which is her current safe haven, and currently has the company of fifty cats. One of the important parts of the book is the life lessons she is able to teacher her students, which makes the book have a lot of depth, something the summery, neglected to really tell, but something I think it should. Because Kat ends up teaching her students a lot of important lessons, and its more than just history, but lessons on life, friendship and how actions, friends and words can change it.

Second of all, while my only real problem of the book was the “romance” between Angelo and Kat, it wasn’t as the summery portrays. It was less obvious to the characters, but obvious to the reader, from the second they meet, the readers knows they’d end up together in the end. But it wasn’t Angelo “courting” her as the summery portrayed, it was more of a very valuable friendship, at least in my eyes, to begin with. My issue with it was the romance was the general formatic one, you find in a lot of books. So my only real issue with the book is the romance, and the summary.

The magical elements/fantasy twist in the book I stated above is about a woman who is half cat, and has nine lives, fascinated me and it is something I’ve never really read before in my adventures in fantasy. It is a more original story in the genre, although I’m sure there is more out there that are similar to this. But it was a fun read where I enjoyed stepping into Kat’s world, as she creeps out of her shell, and into the real world. The author has down a wonderful job at telling a story and giving only enough information of Kat’s past lives, to make the reader want more, and make the reader wonder if the other lives the CatWoman has will also have novels written about them. I’m torn whether or not I actually want books of her other lives, or if what I’ve learned in the book is enough, which to me, tells how well written the book is. On one side you really want to know and get a better glimpse at her other lives, on the other hand, you can use your imagination, and create the image your self.

Characterization was well done, especially for the cats. The cats too, live nine lives and communicate with Kat. They are able to talk to her in sorts, and give her guidance, wisdom, and demand tuna. Actually, for the most part, the cats provide a lot of humour in the book, because even though they help Kat through her hardships, they are still cats. Who don’t like to be disturbed when they sleep, like tuna and have a bit of an attitude problem. The author managed to capture the mind set of a cat perfectly, and if a cat could talk, it would probably look something similar to those cats in the book. The human characters were also well done, some a little eccentric and odd, but most of the characters you really cared for, and certain events near the end of the book shocked me. I actually couldn’t believe what happened to one character, that was a good twist, I’m not happy about it, but it was a good twist. It’s one of those ones you don’t expect, don’t want, and want to throw the book across the room in anger, but it is needed in the book. Either way, the characters were the types you are able to get invested in, and wish the best for. The writing style was also well done, some nice descriptions in it, and a good narrative when telling the story. The writing style definitely pulled me into the book, and the book was a hard one to put down.

Overall it was a wonderful book, with a unique story in the fantasy/magical realism genre, which I found in the bargain bin at my local Chapters, which has a lot of depth and a story I think a lot of readers would enjoy.

Would I recommend it to read: Yes, definitely. I was unsure how much I would like the book when I picked it up. It looked interesting and different from the summary on the back, but it was in the bargain bin, and I’ve found little reviews on the book. But it ended up being such a wonderful and fun book. It shows you that even the bargain books, the forgotten books, and the lesser known books are just as good and sometimes better, then the more popular books out there. And if you’re looking for a fantasy book, that’s different then what’s been out there in the past few years, this is one for you.

What to read next: I'm really stuck on this one. I can't think of a book to recommend. I'd say search around for book in the magical realism genre, if you enjoyed this book, and see what you can find.

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, A - Z Challenge, RYOB Challenge


  1. I love cats. This sounds like such fun. I'm going to have to look for it myself.

  2. I loved your thoughtful, detailed review. This book definitely sounds intriguing.

  3. This book sounds amazing! I really liked your review of it as well. You really flesh out all the reasons why this was such a stellar read for you and give a great summary. I am going to grab up a copy of this book very soon, and I think it will be a good book to share with my daughter, who loves all things cat. Excellent review, and thanks for spotlighting this book!

  4. The book was very different then what I've read, and hope you can all find it and read it too. Glad everyone enjoyed it.