Kitty Norville is a DJ with the midnight slot for a Denver radio station--except when it's the full moon. On those nights, Kitty runs with her pack as a werewolf, but she keeps that part of herself hidden from her human friends. When her show inadvertently morphs into a call-in advice program for supernaturals, Kitty finds herself in trouble with not only her wolf pack but also the local vampire clan.
Because Carrie Vaughn's Kitty and the Midnight Hour is the first in a series, one of the purposes of the novel is to set up the background and premise of Kitty Norville's world. We learn how she became a werewolf and how she copes with her dual selves, and we're introduced to the people and beings who are central to her life. In Kitty's America, humans are aware of supernaturals, although not every one is a believer. It's not easy for Kitty to straddle both realms, especially because she can't predict how her friends and family would react if they knew she was a werewolf.
There are two principal interconnected plot lines: Kitty's personal growth and her involvement in helping the police track down a werewolf hunter. Of the two stories, Kitty's transformation from a timid pack follower to a strong independent individual is the more interesting. The murder mystery serves as a vehicle for Kitty's development rather than as a focal point of the novel. Kitty is smart and resourceful, although she doesn't always make wise choices.
Several story arcs are left unresolved. That's not to say Kitty and the Midnight Hour ends on a cliff-hanger or has an unsatisfying conclusion. Instead, not every issue in Kitty's world is neatly dealt with. I assume Vaughn will revisit these issues in future Kitty Norville books. Kitty and the Midnight Hour will appeal to urban fantasy fans looking for good characters and light entertainment.
The unabridged audio edition (Tantor Audio; 7 hr, 1 min) is read by Marguerite Gavin. Gavin does a great job building tension and augmenting the pacing of the novel. Her expressive narration makes you reluctant to turn off the mp3.
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