My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’m a bit behind in some of the series I’m reading so I made a point over the recent holiday to pick up some of my favorites and get back on track. I started with Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series and Kitty Raises Hell.
In this book, Kitty joins up with the Paranormal PIs, a team of TV sleuths looking to apply science to ghostbusting; (think of them as Kitty’s version of the SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters). Kitty, of course, is originally looking to get some great guests on her weekly radio show about the paranormal but as it always works out with Kitty something in the paranormal “finds” her and these PIs might just be the extra help she needs to survive this next fight with the unknown. This book comes with all the microphones, cameras, and terminology you would expect when hunting for ghosts. The one theory the book expands upon is that even if someone found “proof” of a ghost it would be scientifically impossible to prove it as you cannot repeat the results of a ghost encounter. I have to say that I never thought of it like that before and I enjoyed reading Vaughn’s take on how ghost hunting could be done.
While most Kitty Norville books could be read stand-alone and be very enjoyable, I would highly recommend that readers take a look at the previous book, Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand, or you might find yourself missing some of the nuances of this storyline. The two books are tightly connected and without the foundation of the first, readers will only have the quickly filled in memories that Kitty provides to keep the storyline from having holes. While sufficient to read the book, you’ll miss all the truly good stuff.
Kitty Raises Hell provides a great story, however I’m not sure that it did a lot to further the overall series of Kitty Norville. Kitty’s status as the leader of the werewolf pack stays consistent, but doesn’t improve. While she has several encounters in this novel with the local Master Vampire, Rick, Kitty herself is left to wonder if they are truly partners in maintaining order in their city. Kitty’s relationship with her husband remains on solid ground, but doesn’t grow either. Kitty and Ben are going to argue and then have great sex; the pattern has been established in several of the series’ books by now. By this point in their relationship, readers expect that Kitty and Ben are attracted to each other. I yearn for there to be real trouble between the two so that their wolves and their human selves have to figure it out.
What this book does do, is establish that Cormac is still an active character in this series even though he is serving a jail sentence for manslaughter. Readers of the series should pay careful attention to Kitty’s visits to Cormac as Vaughn is a master at placing hints among these conversations. I know that I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series to see where all this is going.
Even if Kitty Raises Hell didn’t leave me panting on every page, it is still a good read. Vaughn returns to the basics of good storytelling. Science fiction and mystery readers alike will enjoy this book as it has something for everyone who listens for things that go bump in the night. Kitty might not grow as a character but she doesn’t act out of character either. Fans won’t be disappointed when looking for a solid story about Kitty, the werewolf.
- Vaughn, Carrie. Kitty Raises Hell, Grand Central Publishing, March 1, 2009, ISBN-13: 978-0446199544
- Carrie Vaughn official website (http://www.carrievaughn.com/)