Reviews by Shellie for books 1 through 5 of Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville Series - in audio.
I am catching up on this great 10 book series (so far) which features the strong female character – werewolf Kitty Norville. With the latest book number 10 from the series - Kitty Steals the Show (July 2012 Tor books shown to the left) just released about a month ago I figured it was a perfect excuse to start at the beginning.
Happily, I’ve devoured the first five books and am working on the sixth now. My continued interest tells me (and you) something about this paranormal/urban fantasy with its light romance and social commentary. It’s definitely relaxing, darkly fun, and thoughtful stuff!
Included here is a complete review for the first in the series and very short summaries for the other four books which can be read as stand alones, but I recommend them in order to get the full development and understanding of the characters – especially Kitty.
Kitty and The Midnight Hour (#1 Kitty Norville Series) ~ by Carrie Vaughn (in audio)
Book number one, of this fun and dark series where Denver DJ turned werewolf, Kitty Norville, accidentally starts a radio talk show – called “The Midnight Hour”. It surprisingly blows the radio station ratings sky high pulling in special callers (werewolves, vampires, and more) looking for advice in a world where they have been thought not to exist.
About: Kitty is a nighttime DJ who has been unwittingly turned werewolf. Definitely not a choice, she deals with it with the help of her best friend TJ (also a werewolf) and their local pack. Being part of the pack has helped her adjust, but there is a hierarchy within the group that is not entirely comfortable, balanced or healthy.
When her paranormal radio talk/advice show “The Midnight Hour” becomes a hit, it disrupts the pack’s status quo and the paranormal entities in power are annoyed and angry. With factions attempting to stop her new found success and independence, Kitty maneuvers through the drama as peacefully as possible. But there are some pack members (and others – including vampires) who may even want her dead.
Thoughts for the entire first 5 books in the series:
*I recommend reading the series in order and definitely reading the first book before the rest, which gives the reader an important basis for the entire series.*
I listened to this book in audio which was read by Marguerite Gavin. I liked the voice of the reader and felt it fit for the Kitty character. She does a fine job with differentiating all the characters, changing the tone for men and women, creating believable differences, and handling accents from different countries and locales in the US.
With its realistic modern day setting, this is urban fantasy with some paranormal romance thrown into the mix. It’s fantastical in nature but the story is relevant. I found it fun (darkly so) and thoughtful, without being too fluffy. It includes insight into human nature while questioning social and moral issues, making it feel like there are lessons to ponder while enjoying the drama, dry humor, and light, tasteful romance. I think my favorite part of the series is the character Kitty herself; she is strong and independent, yet vulnerable and reflective. I can see why there are 10 books in the series, one story collection, miscellaneous short stories, and apparently more in the works. 4 stars!
Special note: The series includes light and tasteful sex scenes, strong language, as well as horror elements. A “heads up” for those readers that may be sensitive to them.
Kitty Goes to Washington (#2)
In this second book of the series Kitty is on the run, doing her late night talk show at random places around the US. Things become sticky when she is called in to testify at a Senate hearing as an expert witness in Washington DC, where a number of those running the hearing possess motives which are all but pure.
Unabridged - 8 hours, 54 minutes; Jul 23, 2009
Kitty Takes a Holiday (#3)
In this third book of the series, Kitty is recovering from the drama of having her face and body changed into a werewolf being plastered all over national TV; she is no longer an incognito radio show host. So she has decided to take some time to hide, reflect, relax and write her memoir. But things don’t work out as she planned when one of her friends turns up at her cabin door, bitten and infected by the werewolf virus.
Kitty and the Silver Bullet (# 4)
Although banned from returning to Denver, Kitty has little choice but to come home since her mother is ill. Unfortunately the local pack’s leaders are not taking kindly to her arrival back into the area - which creates a big messy conflict.
Unabridged - 9 hours, 1 minute; Nov 30, 2009
Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand (# 5)
Kitty with her alpha-mate Ben head to Vegas to elope. It’s an attempt to make their lives simpler, but instead things become even more complex and dramatic. They encounter a preforming were-tiger pack that has intriguing associations to an evil ancient goddess and also some nefarious goals.
Unabridged - 7 hours, 41 minutes; Jan 4, 2010
Carrie Vaughn is a prolific writer, having written approximately 16 books, loads of short stories, and some very cute homemade comics (definitely worth linking to her website for a giggle.) Website: http://www.carrievaughn.com/
The audio books listened to in this first 5 books of the series are read by Marguerite Gavin and published by Tantor Media. All have been borrowed from our local library, which in no way influenced my reviews or thoughts about them (except that it reinforces my love for libraries.)
I am definitely looking forward to rest of the series!