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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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Review: Kitty Raises Hell (Kitty Norville, Book 6) by Carrie Vaughn

To all of those authors who think you can't have a happily married heroine and keep things interesting - you need to read this book to see how it is done.

I admit, I was a bit disappointed that it took Cormac out of the running when Kitty officially married Ben in Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand. But she's happy, and they are there for each other, and they love each other. And they make a good Alpha pair too, apparently. And that added to the book, it didn't take away from it. They don't get along perfectly all of the time, but they are working towards making their marriage work, so when they fight they fight with the purpose of finding a way to make up. They aren't just tearing each other down, they are trying to resolve the reason they are fighting. And they don't get mad at each other over silly things. And they don't do silly things to provoke the other. They are two grown and rational adults trying to make a relationship work. How refreshing.

But, on to the plot of this book. Wow. I mean, really. Wow. But I'll start with the blurb:

Sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas.

Kitty and Ben flee The City That Never Sleeps, thinking they were finished with the dangers there, but the sadistic cult of lycanthropes and their vampire priestess have laid a curse on Kitty in revenge for her disrupting their rituals. Starting at the next full moon, danger and destruction the form of fire strikes Kitty and the pack of werewolves she's sworn to protect.

She enlists the help of a group of TV paranormal investigators - one of whom has real psychic abilities - to help her get to the bottom of the curse that's been laid on her. Rick, the Master vampire of Denver, believes a deeper plot lies behind the curse, and he and Kitty argue about whether or not to accept the help of a professional demon hunter - and vampire - named Roman, who arrives a little too conveniently in the nick of time.

Unable to rely on Rick, and unwilling to accept Roman's offer of help for a price, Kitty and her band of allies, including Vegas magician Odysseus Grant and Kitty's own radio audience, mount a trap for the supernatural being behind the curse, a destructive force summoned by the vengeful cult, a supernatural being that none of them ever thought to face.

Can I just say that the blurb does not begin to do justice to what happens? There is a lot going on in this book, but it works. It's a lot, but not too much. And Kitty makes some new friends, again. She's good at that. It seems just about everywhere she goes she meets people and forms a bond of friendship with them. I guess fighting off supernatural stuff together is a good way to form strong bonds, but still, Kitty seems to just draw friends to her.

Kitty Raises Hell has a lot of Kitty and Ben (obviously), a decent amount of Rick, a little bit of Sean (who is now the manager of New Moon), and two visits with Cormac. There isn't much of Kitty's family, just a few phone calls and a quick conversation with her sister. Oh, and one of the friends she met in the most recent book, Odysseus Grant, makes an appearance as well. (What would she do without all of these friends she's managed to collect?)

The plot is good, the subplots are good, the supernatural bad guy is one that I don't believe I've seen pop up in other urban fantasy books yet, the conversations are engaging, and there is a bit of humor here and there amongst the drama.

In the past I've given this a series rating of 8 of 10. I'm going to raise it to a 9. And I'm going to give this book the same rating:

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

There was an excerpt of book 7, Kitty's House of Horrors, included at the back of Kitty Raises Hell. It looks like in the next book Kitty is going to be in a house with a dozen or so other supernaturals... kind of like Big Brother, maybe? Remember Jeffrey Miles, the "talks to dead people" guy? It sounds like he's going to be there, and maybe someone she met in this book as well, so at least she'll have friends.

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)
7. Kitty's House of Horrors (2010)

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