26 December 2011

Review: Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

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.

Published by Hachette Book Group / Grand Central Publishing, 2005
ISBN-13: 9780446616416
Source: Audio: bought; print: giveaway win (see review policy)
Rating: C+

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Daryl Edelstein 12/26/11, 11:42 AM  

Sounds like a promising series tho I wonder if the market isnt being over saturated by this sort of series ...

Julie P. 12/26/11, 12:23 PM  

I like these books. Who would have thought? They are just fun and pure escapism.

Amy 12/26/11, 1:26 PM  

aw, I really like these books though I'm a few behind in the series now.

bermudaonion 12/26/11, 3:39 PM  

These are outside of my comfort zone, but since you and Julie like them, I may have to give them a try.

Zibilee 12/26/11, 7:25 PM  

One thing that kind of turns me off from reading books in a series is that usually the first book spends so much time worldbuilding and introducing characters that there is sometimes a lack of plot. It sounds like this book had a little bit of that going on, though I don't think it would deter me from reading this series. I am really a newbie when it comes to Urban Fantasy, and would love to find a series that really engages me and opens up my mind to the genre. I might have to try this one out. Great review today!

Robin McCormack 12/26/11, 9:17 PM  

I love series and come across this a few times and forgot about it. Just checked out her website. Downloaded it to my nook. Thanks for a great write up and reminder.

guest post blog 12/28/11, 9:28 AM  

I like these books a lot.

Meghan 12/28/11, 10:31 AM  

Like lots of other commenters, I really enjoy these books, although I'm quite behind in the series now. I am a little bit overwhelmed with all the urban fantasy series out right now - it's difficult keeping up!

Joy Weese Moll 12/28/11, 5:40 PM  

I enjoy these, mostly because I like Kitty's sense of humor in the strange situations she finds herself.

Kris Meyer 12/29/11, 2:54 PM  

I hadn't heard of this one but you know how I love urban fantasy books. Yet another one I'm adding to the wish list.

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