Monday, October 09, 2006

Kitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

A werewolf named Kitty with her own radio talk show? Just the title alone was enough to know this would be a story full of humor. But to my delight, there was much more than just humor in it. Action, intrigue, horror, drama, mystery--even kinky armpit-sniffing.

Kitty Norville is a DJ who also happens to be a werewolf. Out of boredom, she begins taking calls from other members of the supernatural community and giving advice, thus creating "The Midnight Hour" when the ratings soar. Her fame, however, becomes a liability, and she finds herself facing a werewolf hunter, a vampire Family, and the alphas of her own Pack who all want her either dead or under their control--when they're not asking for favors. On top of all that, she finds herself with a few mysteries to solve: a traveling cult that claims to have a cure for Lycanthropy and Vampirism, a psychotic werewolf serial-killer, and the identity of the one who hired the hunter to assassinate her. The plots and subplots twist and turn in a Machiavellian dance that leaves you guessing.

Inside you find a realistic depiction of wolf-pack dynamics mixed with human social conditions, a coming-of-age story, and an understanding of what it's like to be feared and hated for what you are while finding the necessary courage to face your own fears.

The characters each have their interesting quirks. Kitty's two love interests create a powerful dynamic. You have the pack alpha, Carl: protective, yet abusive. Then there's the hunter, Cormac, who hunts werewolves for the sport and because the pay is good. Hired to kill Kitty, he falls in love with her instead, but for all the obvious reasons it's a strained relationship to say the least. Then you have T.J., Carl's second-in command, who watches over Kitty with genuine affection. Meg, the female alpha, is as manipulative as she is powerful and sexy. The Master of the local vampire Family, Arturo, and his second, Rick, have all the markings of classic elder vampires, right down to the sophistication and dry humor. Even the minor characters are more than just two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs.

My only complaint is the "Buffy as werewolf" feel to the novel. But other than that, it is an enjoyable read well-written with a good flow and pace. I'm already looking forward to reading the sequels.

Publisher: Warner Books
Price: $6.99
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN: 0-446-61641-9


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