Thursday, April 8, 2010

A review of Kitty and the Midnight Hour

Kitty and the Midnight Hour
by Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: Grand Central (who sent me my review copy).

In Carrie Vaughn’s first novel, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, we meet Kitty Norville, a DJ at a Denver, Colorado radio station, who while bored with her usual midnight shift of AOR fueled music, inadvertently launches a talk show—not just any talk show, mind you. No, this one fast becomes a kind of “vent hour” for Denver’s supernatural community—Vampires, witches, and, (like Kitty herself) other werewolves phone in every night to air their grievances and woes. And lo, Kitty’s show turns out to be such a rousing success, she’s given the go-ahead to continue the format—and syndicated nationwide. So night after night, she sits in her booth with her engineer, chatting about all the psychological problems one never thinks of when thinking of adjusting to the life led by the Supernatural set.
But the job and fame don’t come without a price: Kitty’s pack and their pushy leader Carl do not appreciate Kitty’s newfound fame, at all; more immediate than their complaints and taunts, someone wants Kitty off the air, permanently—alive if necessary; dead, preferably. And they are willing to pay a skilled assassin to have her nightly appearances eternally canceled. And if that weren’t enough trouble for our heroine, the police suddenly show up with a problem of their own: there’ve been a rash of animal attacks. But now that Kitty has outted herself, live on national radio, are they looking at her as the possible murderer? With everyone from the local faction of normal folk terrified by the supernatural half of society, and the local vampire godfather, and the tent revivalists who traipse into town, and even those inside Kitty’s pack, upset with her success (and some would argue, loud mouth) is she truly in danger? Or is she just being set up, and by whom? You’ll have to read to find out!

If there is one downside to the novel, I’d have to say, it ended a little differently than I expected, but that’s not a bad thing really. Read it and you’ll see what I mean. In the end, I found this to be very enjoyable. Is it because of the unique setting, and its refreshingly rural landscape? Maybe. Is it poor Kitty’s trials? Maybe. (And no, I won’t spoil it for you by telling you how all this ties up, but I will say, it doesn’t parallel much in today’s market standard kick butt-take names endings) but it . . . well, rocks, in my humble opinion. :)

In the current saturated market of one New York set Urban Fantasy vampire/vampire hunter/werewolf hunter title after another, the tiny little tome that is *Kitty and the Midnight Hour really stands out. If you have not tried it yet, well, I think you are in for a treat.
You can find it at Amazon, or scoot on over to Ms. Vaughn's site for some other independent locations where this book is sold.

Oh, and my grade for this one:

For more on Carrie Vaughn see her home page or her blog (that has some of the best movie reviews I've ever read! :)

(Yes, I originally published this at the Examiner, but the book's one of my favorites, so I had to repost it here for my readers. :))
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