Wednesday, June 07, 2006

BOOK REVIEW: Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

What do you get when you take a frustrated late-night DJ who's also a closet werewolf? An engaging new heroine ironically named Kitty!

Carrie Vaughn has entered an already crowded market with the first of a new fantasy series based around her character Kitty Norville, a young urbanite who is also a werewolf. Vaughn's novel competes winningly with the likes of Katie MacAllister and Kim Harrison.

Kitty and the Midnight Hour falls out on the excellent side of the "pack." The plot premise intrigues: Kitty has barely settled into her role as the host of the hottest new call-in advice show for the "supernaturally disadvantaged," when suddenly the Powers That Be (of the supernatural world) order a hit on her--while she's on the air!

While people try to figure out if she really is "supernatural," Kitty wants to figure out who wants her dead, avoid being taken out by the assassin--and get her show syndicated. Add a full exploration of the social dynamics of the werewolf pack, and you have a delightfully well-written novel.

One of the Vaughn's key strengths is how very real her novel is. Some of the better-known paranormal novels are so far divorced from reality that it definitely is a work of fantasy. Having been a midnight-shift DJ, I can certainly recognize many of the characters who call in.

Kitty could easily be your friend or the late night DJ you listen to on the radio. Her struggles ring true, as does her quest to figure out her place in the world and sort out the tangled mess of personal relationships and power dynamics around her. It all adds up to a character readers can connect to.

The added bonus is the "soundtrack" Vaughn includes in her acknowledgements. A great collection of classic Goth with a twist. A superb addition to the genre, I eagerly await Kitty's future adventures--as well as more of the eclectic soundtracks.

A delightful story of self-realization as Kitty learns to accept her inner wolf, while discovering the true strength of the inner Kitty.

See the review at Armchair Interviews - Kitty and the Midnight Hour.


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