Monday, July 25, 2011

Kitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville, Book 1)

Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (November 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0446616419
ISBN-13: 978-0446616416

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station - and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it's Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew?

Review:

The Midnight Hour was literally created overnight when Kitty was on the night shift at KNOB radio station and one straggler called with a question about the supernatural. Lo and behold, Kitty became the supernatural-advice guru and her "producer" asked her to continue with the episodes as "The Midnight Hour".

Characters: Since the book started off immediately with Kitty doing her thing at the radio station, I thought this added a quality to make her a lovable character. Her submissiveness was not overly exposed but just kind of put out there and accepted as a primal instinct would be. Normally, I like my heroines to be strong and superwoman-like but I reveled in how Vaugn painted Kitty because it suited her to be that type of person. Consequently, Kitty did also have the potential to move up in her pack.
As for the supporting characters, Carl and Meg stood out the most for me. Both made it their mission to protect their pack but as the climax crept closer, I got to see their flaws and true colors. Being the leaders of the local pack of werewolves, one would think it was practically mandatory to stick with the pack but that's the thing with people in power, they can do whatever the hell they want, and not give a flying hoot of what that would do to their underlings.
Another character that stood out for the opposite reasons entirely was Rick, because of his type of relationship with Kitty. He was sort of like a third party member but simultaneously was incorporated into Kitty's life through an off-hand friendship that I grew fond of. When was the last time there was just a companionable relationship between two characters in any genre these days? There always has to be some type of tension between all the characters that drives me nuts.
As for T.J. and Cormac, both were very nice figures in the book and rounded out Kitty's character well. They were polar opposites but both seemed to care about Kitty, though on different levels.

Plot: As time went on and The Midnight Hour was popularized, Kitty was faced with varying levels of complications that helped develop her character. Nothing before had made her as proud as her new radio show, something that she did for herself and was important to her. Obstacles soon arise that want to take her down--the vampires, her pack, an assassin--but none of this really stops her from getting her way. I enjoyed learning how the vampires and werewolves interact in the book, and how the underlings tend to do their business behind the leaders' backs.One thing that sort of had me troubled was the mentioning of the other supernatural beings--besides werewolves and vampires--that don't really show up physically in the book. I believe the book could have revolved around just those two main species without having dealt into the others, at least not in the first book of the series. Finally, I have to talk about how the ending scene where all of the fighting and attempts to kill Kitty come down to a final battle between the alphas and the underlings. I can't stop myself from saying that this scene really killed some of the excitement I had to read the rest of this series. I knew that whatever outcome that scene had was going to set how the rest of the Kitty Norville series would take off. That's why I was so disappointed when it just fell flat and felt somehow restrained from the awesome ending it could have been. Honestly, I wanted to scream at Kitty for not taking her revenge--for the killing-attempts and something else that happened to "finish" the fight. I don't know if that's a spoiler and frankly don't care because seriously readers must be warned of it. It affected me and the way I perceived the book so much so that I drastically changed my opinion of some of the choices Kitty made, and reflected on how the author would continue the series considering she only cleared up one of the main conflicts.
I believe this book was too short to get a real feel of what's to come, and it didn't really set a basis as to where the plot's going to take place, so I feel like saying "it's been shot to hell" for some reason...

Grade: C-

Source: Bought

LiLi