Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn

Title: Kitty Takes a Holiday
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Series: Kitty Northville #3
Pages: 336
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Library

Goodreads Description:
While hidden away in a cabin in the wilds of southern Colorado, Northville is finding it difficult to write her memoirs -- especially when someone keeps painting bloody crosses on her door and leaving mutilated animal sacrifices hanging in the surrounding trees. But her autobiography takes a backseat when werewolf bounty hunter Cormac shows up on Northville's doorstep with a bloodied Ben O'Farrell in tow. While assisting Bennett on a case in New Mexico involving a rogue werewolf, Ben was brutally attacked and, in less than four days, will experience his first Change. As Ben struggles to come to grips with his new affliction, Northville and Cormac talk to locals in an attempt to uncover who is using arcane blood magic to intimidate Northville into leaving. But when the full moon inevitably rises and Northville and Ben Change, the radio personality finds the unexpected: companionship, love, acceptance -- and the beginnings of her own pack.

My Review:
I am loving where this series is going. I was pretty doubtful if I would continue on with Kitty and the gang at the end of the last book. There were just a few things that rubbed me the wrong way, and I felt like I barely knew even the main character after the first two books, let alone any of the side characters. Something about the descriptions and even the characters actions left them feeling two dimensional...and not just flat...but almost see through. Think of it like art. In the first two books, you only get sketches, vague outlines of who these characters are meant to be. Even Kitty was only slightly more defined than the minor characters, which left me feeling rather indifferent to where her story went. I almost didn't care whether or not she lived or died. This book served as the color and depth that I needed for me to enjoy the series. I now feel pretty firmly attached to all three of the "main-ish" characters. I say main-ish because you never really know if Cormac and Ben are main characters or side characters...except Ben will probably have more of a role in books to come.

As you can read from the description, Ben is attacked by a werewolf and in now about to turn for the first time. I feel like the title of this book is a tad misleading, because Kitty in no way is on a vacation. She might be away from the radio station thing for a while, but her werewolf issues are coming hard and fast now that she's found herself a little cabin in the woods away from the rest of civilization. I think that there is almost more violence and darkness in this book than the other two...I think that's why I enjoyed it more...evil brings out the best in me :P lol not really...but it certainly brought out the best in Kitty. There was so much angst, so many woes for Ben, Kitty, and Cormac that it was like a room full of love-struck teenagers who don't know how to flirt with each other. You can see that each character is trying to keep themselves protected from being hurt by the others, but you just want to shake them and be like...stop that you should be in love...not in this awkward lusty-like phase...

I like that despite the fact that Kitty is a werewolf, she is a normal person. Just getting bitten by a werewolf doesn't necessarily mean that you have to turn into this bad ass, leather wearing, swearing, biker type chick. Kitty is not that girl, and she doesn't allow her...furry little affect her personality. Sometimes I wish she would maybe grow a little bit more of a backbone...but she acts like a normal person when confronted with scary situations. She runs her ass off :)...Can't fault a girl for that. Despite her proclivity for running from danger, she will bravely stand up for her friends and her beliefs which is don't want a waffley character who changes her mind every five seconds. The problems that happen are complicated, but Kitty reasons them out in an interesting way with a great amount of smarts...which makes her come off as a much more likable character than the last few books.

One thing that I thought was extra interesting was the addition of some rare supernaturals that are native to the Native American/Mexican culture where this book takes place. A lot of times I get bogged down by the whole vamp/were/fairy popularity thing. It is always a treat when something comes up that isn't in a lot of literature. In this book, there was an idea of a you're probably thinking that this is just a typical were-wolf right? WRONG!! Super wrong in fact...but I won't go into too much detail because I don't want to ruin the book/ending. Let me just say that skin-walkers are pure evil...the extent of what they have to go through to become skin walkers can be nothing but evil so they make pretty spooky characters. Also, the family that produces the skin walkers are fascinating as well...Native Americans left with nothing sworn to get revenge on the people who ruined their lives...very cool. I really enjoyed the depth of these characters and creatures, and you can really see that Carrie Vaughn has done her research on the subject.
I give this book 4 out of 5 Keys! I had a much better time reading this one than the previous two. Either I am just getting more attached to the characters, or Carrie Vaughn has gotten more adept at making characters likable and fun. Kitty Takes a Holiday is really fast paced. It has a darker, more interesting plot than the last books and has lots of mystery, adventure, action, and romance. It's pretty much a literary cocktail of awesomeness that any bookish paranormal fan will like. There are a ton of paranormal twists and turn that keep you reading longer than you wanted to (seriously...I accidentally read through a meeting...bad Andra...bad) Definitely push yourself through the first two, because this series is getting good and I can't wait to find out what comes next.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, so good to read this review! I was actually pretty into the first book, but I think that had more to do with her unique occupation and fantastic witty snark! I loved that aspect of her personality. I'm definitely with you though that I was unattached to the actual characters.

    I did make it to this book. I enjoyed the premise of it and Cormac's vulnerability in having to ask her for help. I always liked the lusty, but loathe you dynamic between them so it was fun to see them thrown into that situation.

    I was disappointed in how somethings turned out (just no pleasing me, I guess). I tried to read book 4, but honestly, I just didn't care enough to get into it. Hope the series continues to improve for you! Will be looking forward to reviews of future Kitty books!