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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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kitty's Big Trouble (Kitty Norville, Book 9) by Carrie Vaughn


Kitty's Big Trouble gets a bit of a slow start, but once the action begins it's one of those can't-put-the-book-down-for-any-reason reads.

Here is the blurb:

Kitty Norville is back and in more trouble than ever. Her recent run-in with werewolves traumatized by the horrors of war has made her start wondering how long the US government might have been covertly using werewolves in combat. Have any famous names in our own history might have actually been supernatural? She's got suspicions about William Tecumseh Sherman. Then an interview with the right vampire puts her on the trail of Wyatt Earp, vampire hunter.

But her investigations lead her to a clue about enigmatic vampire Roman and the mysterious Long Game played by vampires through the millennia. That, plus a call for help from a powerful vampire ally in San Francisco, suddenly puts Kitty and her friends on the supernatural chessboard, pieces in dangerously active play. And Kitty Norville is never content to be a pawn. . . .

I adore The Monkey King, and I'm very familiar with most of his legends. I also speak a little Chinese, and I've spent a decent amount of time in China. So the legends Kitty is learning about in the story, I already know. And I loved the way Carrie Vaughn captured the essence of Monkey. His mischievousness, his love of the fight for the sake of the fight -- the dance of it, and yet his reticence at striking a fatal wound.

Oh, and Cormac is back. I love that he's got their back again. I can't wait to read his story, it's supposed to be in Kitty's Greatest Hits, due out in August.

Kitty and Ben are still a solid couple. I had concerns about how Cormac was going to adjust to them when he came back, but it's fine. I'm glad for that -- it's great to have the three of them together again, even if Cormac has changed a great deal.

I have no idea why anyone would sign off on this title, though. Kitty's Big Trouble makes no sense for the contents of the book. We've had Kitty goes to Washington... this could have been Kitty goes to San Fran Chinatown. Or Kitty goes Underground. Or Kitty makes even more friends and allies.  But Kitty's Big Trouble? Ack.

As for the writing elements:
  • The plot was great and did a lot to further various plot arcs running through the series.
  • Pacing had issues in the beginning but then went full blast once things get moving.
  • Prose and dialogue were fine.
  • Character development was great - especially what Ms. Vaughn did with the various legends she brought into the picture.
  • World building was also well done.

I wavered between a 9 and 10, and I'm settling on a 10. If I weren't so familiar with the legends I think the story would have been an 8 or possibly a 9, but being familiar with them really brought things to life for me. The series has been a 10 of 10 in the past and will remain there.
  • Book Rating: Kitty's Big Trouble: 10 of 10
  • Series Rating: 10 of 10
The books in this series are:

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)
8. Kitty Goes to War (2010)
9. Kitty's Big Trouble (2011)
-. Kitty's Greatest Hits (Aug 2011)
10. Kitty Steals the Show (2012)


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