There are so many series/authors I missed while I was ‘not reading’ after I finished school. I can never thank Amy enough for getting me back into reading 3 years ago. That being said, I’m playing catch up and finding great paranormal authors that have been out long before the “Twilight” craze.
Carrie Vaughn is one of those authors I had on my “To Be Read” list. I finally got the chance to start her Kitty Norville series. As you know I’m a fan of the shifters/weres, while I love all the fae, vamps, witches, etc, shifters remain my favorite. I’m going to combine the reviews for the books as one for the series. I read the 9 books (plus short stories) in about a week so the line between what happens in each is a little blurry for me.
Starting out with Kitty and the Midnight Hour we meet our radio talk show host. Kitty Norville is the ost of the late night talk show and dives into the paranormal talking to callers about their wacky experiences. Guess what….KITTY is a werewolf. Yep, that’s right, her name is Kitty and she’s a dog one night a month, and thus you can see Vaughn sets up a humorous line that keeps you smiling throughout the series. Of course, the radio public starts out having no idea she is a wolf. It’s all taken with a grain to the ‘norms’ of the world as she talks freely about the world of Others and only she has to deal with the angry vamps and weres. As Vaughn sets up the characters, book 1 started out just a little slow, but definitely takes off about midway through. Kitty is in a dysfunctional pack. Vaughn manages to give us a female character that isn’t very tough at all and has been a dependent wolf, but you just instantly like her. Tricky Vaughn pulls Kitty into fighting for her place and building her up to be our heroine. And then, some one puts a hit out on her which comes to light right on her show and the world learns she’s a wolf. Of course, just like you will be, America (and her would be assassin) adores their talk show host and they only want more of her.
Vaughn resolves the hit against Kitty and Book 1 ends with a very violent, emotional end. Kitty is a lone wolf roaming America doing her show once a week at various sister radio stations. As book 2 starts, she’s formed an interesting bond with her former assassin and his cousin, her now lawyer. Vaughn keeps the books packed with humor and action. So far, there is just a little heat tossed in. I will say, I truly love a series where the main character is the main character in all the books, you get to know them and watch their character evolve. (The Hollows, Anita Blake, Merry Gentry, Kate Daniels, World of the Lupi, just to name a few) Vaughn definitely does that here, you are watching Kitty go from a terrified wolf to a loner. Kitty ends up in Washington, and just as her wolf secret was outed before publicly, she is yet in another horrible situation. There is always a main mystery/plot and a few subplots to keep you going in Vaughn’s books. Don’t forget, a little humor and a little heat, which we start seeing much more from Kitty here in book 2 and the remaining books.
I won’t take you through a summary of the other 7 books currently out (book 10 due out July 2012) but these first 2 truly set up Kitty’s character with the crucial events surrounding her wolf. Vaughn further develops Kitty into an Alpha, she ends up treating a turned wolf (and close friend), falling in love, getting married, and all while defending her place in the world. Vaughn doesn’t give you the expected in those scenarios either. Vaughn also doesn’t let everything just ‘work out’, just as in reality, there are things Kitty can’t control and she’s not above the law, you also get aggravated when she doesn’t think some things through. Kitty works with vamps, meets odd packs, has a couple more attempts on her life, and works hard to not lose herself. As I said, action is not lacking in these books, there a win all around.
I give the series 4 slices – Start book 1 and I think you will be pleased and looking for more of this little wolf they call Kitty.