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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (334 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Kitty Norville, Alpha werewolf and host of The Midnight Hour, a radio call-in show, is contacted by a friend at the NIH's Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology. Three Army soldiers recently returned from the war in Afghanistan are being held at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs. They're killer werewolves—and post traumatic stress has left them unable to control their shape-shifting and unable to interact with people. Kitty agrees to see them, hoping to help by bringing them into her pack.

Meanwhile, Kitty gets sued for libel by CEO Harold Franklin after featuring Speedy Mart--his nationwide chain of 24-hour convenience stores with a reputation for attracting supernatural unpleasantness--on her show.

Very bad weather is on the horizon.

What does Kitty, a colossal snowstorm and a few spastic werewolves have in common? Trouble with a capital T.

I adore Kitty Norville and watching her character grow through this series has been fascinating. She’s a radio D.J. who got bit and turned into a werewolf. She’s had to stand up for herself and has done some pretty amazing things considering she was once a simple woman working her dream job. Now, she’s standing up for others even when she has no valid reason for doing so. In Kitty Goes to War, I got to see her grow some more. This time she reaches out beyond her own pack and family. It’s a huge leap because now she is playing in the big leagues and there is a lot at stake. Then again, it boils down to the basics – survival.

Kitty’s story is told in first person POV. Her internal dialogue allows a reader to understand her fears, concerns and determination to do what they say can’t be done. I liked the fact that she doesn’t let her anxiety and apprehension stop her from trying. She’s not some super ninja chick with martial arts and voodoo abilities. She’s like a woman I would probably work with who becomes a stronger more confident person through the challenges that life has thrown her way. She has compassion and heart and her only flaw is her optimism in the face of naysayers. Well, she doesn’t see it as a flaw while others sometimes do, but she proves time and time again that they don’t know everything, and I love it.

The romance between Kitty and Ben is still going strong and still maturing. It’s not just about a man and woman coming together and learning how to live with each other, it’s also about a man who recently has been turned werewolf and is adjusting to that at the same time. Quite a juggling act yet Ms. Vaughn does it with panache and a sweet style. I think they complement each other and I feel all warm and fuzzy every time I get a glimpse of their connection. I have wanted Kitty to feel happy for a long time and this book lets me see that it’s happening. She’s come so far and she deserves a man like Ben.

The external conflict is four fold. There’s a lot of running around, and the pace is intense and frenetic. The writing was tight and energetic and captured the drama, the enormity of the danger and the emotions it engendered. Cormac is back and I’m so happy because I missed him. But he’s got a new wrinkle in his personality and when it was finally revealed I was amazed. Astounded even because it’s so wild and I got the greatest kick out of thinking how it can complicate Cormac’s life. But nothing seems to faze the man and that makes me giggle. I think he’s in for an interesting ride. I’m glad he’s still part of the trio with Kitty and his cousin, Ben. They make a great team.

I was chatting and gushing with another fan of Ms. Vaughn’s and we both agree that we want to see more of Tyler. His character impressed us and we believe he could be a great asset to the series. As for me, I liked him as a person and I am very interested in what might be in his future. I hope the author doesn’t let this kind of character fade; I think he can contribute to the action in the series. The way she wrote Tyler made me care about what happened to him and certainly throughout Kitty Goes to War, I was cheering for him. Of course that means the author did a stellar job of writing for that to happen.

Once again, Ms Vaughn has a hit on her hands with a book that kept me on the edge of my seat. The enormity of what Kitty was up against didn’t bog her down, her natural tendency to care for others once again proved she has a good judge of character; and her romance with Ben reminds me of an aging fine wine – the older it gets, the better it is. The author has created a series that is so rich and fascinating within a world that is unique and dangerous, there is no question the Kitty series is an auto-buy for me. I’ve yet to read a book that hasn’t delivered an absorbing plot, tight and excellent writing and editing, and characters that keep me coming back again and again. I’m not sure if this could be a perfect stand-alone book because of Cormac. A new reader wouldn’t know just how fun this new twist in his character really is unless they’d read the series. I personally recommend reading this book for all paranormal werewolf romance fans. It’s an awesome series and this book is no exception.

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