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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville, Book 5) by Carrie Vaughn

Amazon normally gets books to me on the release date, but this time they got it to me on the day after the release. Which was annoying, since this is a book I've been anxiously waiting for, having re-read the other books in the last couple of weeks. So, of course, I read it in one sitting last night.

I had a feeling that since two books were being released so close (Kitty Raises Hell is due out February 24), that the two books were probably written as one story and then split into two books when it grew too long. Having read this book, I'm pretty sure I'm right about that. That being said, the ending to this book does pretty neatly wrap up the Las Vegas portion of the adventure. Sure, there are some unresolved issues, but this is a series so I guess that's kind of to be expected. And, best of all, we've only got one month until the next book, so I'm okay with it.

Before I go any further, here is the blurb for Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand:

Already the alpha pair of Denver's werewolf pack, Kitty and Ben now plan to tie the knot human-style by eloping to Vegas. Kitty is looking forward to sipping fru-fru drinks by the pool and doing her popular radio show on live TV, but her hotel is stocked with werewolf-hating bounty hunters. Elsewhere on the Strip an old-school magician might be wielding the real thing; the vampire community is harboring a dark secret; and the irresistible star of a suspicious animal act is determined to seduce Kitty. Sin City has never been so wild, and this werewolf has never had to fight harder to save not only her wedding, but her very life.

As the blurb says, Kitty meets a few more bounty hunters in this book. With Cormac temporarily out of the picture I guess the author had to bring in the possibility of being shot with a silver bullet from somewhere else. Besides, I'm pretty sure that Cormac wouldn't shoot Kitty now that he considers her a friend, not even if she went off the deep end.

The author did some more world building in this book, which will only make things more interesting in the long run. There were at least two new kinds of supernatural stuff introduced and it will be interesting to see where the author heads with it. I saw some similarities to Obsidian Butterfly (part of the Anita Blake series), though we won't know for sure how similar until the next book.

I'm still confused about the title of the book, where was the dead man's hand? Maybe I'm being dense and missed something? Anyone out there want to help explain it?

In the past I've given this series a rating of 7, and I've gone back and forth about whether or not to raise that. In the end, I'll raise the series rating to an 8 of 10 even though Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand gets a 7 of 10. I do recommend the series, it's a good series and a good read. The characters come alive, the plots are good, the descriptions are well done, and the various societies (vampire society, wolf society) are fully fleshed out and well explained.

Book Rating: 7 of 10
Series Rating: 8 of 10

After reading the blurb (and first chapter) of Kitty Raises Hell, I have high hopes that the next book could be a 9 or 10.

1. Kitty and the Midnight Hour (2005)
2. Kitty Goes to Washington (2006)
3. Kitty Takes a Holiday (2007)
4. Kitty and the Silver Bullet (2008)
5. Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (January 2009)
6. Kitty Raises Hell (February 2009)

1 comment:

  1. The Dead Man's Hand is a term used for a hand of cards. Legend has it that Wild Bill Hickok was murdered while holding two pair: aces and eights, both black suits. This is known as The Dead Man's Hand.

    I can't remember if The Dead Man's Hand ever comes up in the book. They may have just used it for the title.