I am not much of a cat fan but know that cats have always been associated with magic/mysticism, having been assigned as witches familiars and even worshipped as far back as Ancient Egyptian times. Knowing people who love cats, I am aware how clever they are believed to be but also how arrogant, lazy and selfish too. The Grinti's obviously know their cats, therefore, as they have been able to imbue them with all of these cat characteristics for which they are famous.
The story begins, however, not with cats but in a world which has found itself partially overrun by magical forests, wherein live magical creatures. Some of these creatures now live in segregated 'trailer parks' on the edge of town and are called 'Crags'. It is to a `Crag' neighbourhood such as this that Emma and her parents are forced to relocate, following months of searching for her missing sister Helena which has drained their finances. Nervous of the Crags living around them and bullied in school because of her new circumstances (including desertion by her best friend), Emma finds a new friend who will be instrumental in her new life and in helping her in her quest to make her family whole again.
The Grinti's have been successful in creating a newly imagined world, where magical creatures exist in a world alongside humans but don't mix because of fear and prejudice (sometimes rightly so, however, when you look at the dangers posed by hags for example). We learn alongside Emma and her family, what life is like in this new world and are helped along with the useful CragWiki chapter headings which give us more detail about the creatures in this new world.
Whilst this story deals with a family torn apart by the disappearance of the eldest child, there is humour too - especially stemming from interactions with and between the cats. The CragWiki information is also a humorous take on modern life and our reliance on online information sources. The story travels along at a quick pace and keeps you entertained, focusing your attention and carrying you along to the end. There are never any real lulls and you find yourself at the end before you know it. It feels like there may be room for a sequel here as Emma is left at the end not wanting to leave her new home or her new friends and there is also unresolved tension in the family. We will have to wait and see what the Grinti's have in mind for Emma and company. I, for one, wouldn't mind reading more about this family.