Author: Carrie Vaughn
Series: Kitty Northville #4
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Werewolf Kitty Norville has found success as a popular late night radio DJ and perhaps even more important, she's hooked up with a compassionate boyfriend. However, just as she's relishing the calm in her life, a call about a family medical emergency drags her back to Denver and into the throes of a violent supernatural upheaval. With feuding vampires and abusive werewolves clawing at her door, she can only long for the tranquility of her lover's arms and her midnight show
I've been reading through the Kitty series and I have to say that I like each one better and better. Throughout the last few books, Kitty has slowly been gaining both respect and members of her pack. This pack might be a bit rag-tag, and made up of quite a few different breeds and species of "people" but it seems to be close-knit and bonded together through loyalty and friendship. It took a long time for me to become attached to them, but now that the attachment's formed, I feel extremely emotionally tied to them. Odd..it's kind of like a real-life friendship. Some people you bond with instantly and then it fizzles out after a few months. Other times you might not like someone right off the bat, but then you grow on each other until you're inseparable and you wonder how you ever lived without them. Well...that seems to be the case for me with Kitty, Ben and Cormac.
This book had a lot more of the things that I love in my urban fantasy novels: Vampire and Werewolf politics. Some people seem to hate the politics, but to me, that is what makes these paranormal worlds so fascinating. I love the mixture of real with surreal, logical and everyday with the extraordinary. Simple things like a vampire demanding etiquette that is 3 centuries out of date or werewolves keeping to pack rituals found in the wild are really what make these books so cool for me, and I loved that we got to see a lot more of those types of things in this book. Don't get me wrong, I think that the focus on the characters was really needed in the last book. I had been feeling kind of out of sorts with them and the big push for characterization really helped, but now I'm ready for the plotting and the lies and scandal that goes with the supernatural society. The plot was a lot more interesting and adventurous than the last few books. There is internal power struggles in both the vampire and werewolf communities in Denver, and the outcomes of these battles will completely change the face of Denver's supernaturals forever.
The characters were far from forgotten in the face of all this plot development. I have always liked that Kitty maintains relationships with her family. In a lot of Urban Fantasy, the family is dropped in favor of dealing with love interests and the complications of changing into a paranormal while the family doesn't. I like that Kitty cares for her family. She was normal for 20 years and had a normal familial relationship during that time. I like that it doesn't change just because she's been bitten. You can tell she loves them because she tries to keep them safe in the best way she can, which is usually to leave them the hell alone. But when a family crisis comes up, she does what a normal daughter does and rushes to her family's side. I really like the dynamics between all of the characters. The family is cautious about Kitty being a werewolf, but they don't really care. She's still part of their family and they fight/love/joke just like they used to do before she was turned. Kitty's sister is hilarious! And the ending of the book! I was seriously laughing out loud at the things that happened (while simultaneously *squeeeing* with happiness).
The one complaint that I have is that the fight scenes and battles aren't very violent. I know, I know, that sounds really bad. But...werewolves are...violent...they are bloody, and they fight. The fight scenes in this book are pretty graphic, but it's like Carrie was shying away from dwelling on the blood and guts. This is the final showdown between Carl and Meg and Kitty and her new rag-tag pack. The lack of attention to detail makes it seem like she's glossing over the more deadly and cruel aspects of being a shifter, and I don't like that. Instead of experiencing the murders or even the scene of the crimes, we are just told second hand about them. I would have enjoyed a much bloodier transition. Blame it on being my brother's shadow when I was little, but I feel like things are always better with a little blood and carnage. lol.Also, the relatively peaceful resolution of the vampire issues was disappointing. There was a lot more talking than I expected and a lot less hot-sexy-vampire-beat-down.
Speaking of blood and carnage, Ben seems to be holding his own as a werewolf and I am really happy. I thought we were going to lose him for a while there and I am thrilled that he seems to be holding his own and developing as a fighter and killer even faster than Kitty did. I was a little leery about Kitty and Ben getting together in the last book. It seemed to come from left field and throw all of the previous romantic thoughts with Cormac out the window. I'm still not sure...I loved Cormac so much!...but at the same time...Ben just works. I felt like this book really lets Ben shine (this might be because Cormac is off-stage so much...what with him being in prison and all...) Ben and Kitty's relationship really gels in this book and it makes me so happy because she seems like such a nice girl ya know? With that ending I have very high hopes for this couple in the future