Carrie Vaughn took the urban fantasy world by storm with her debut novel, Kitty and the Midnight Hour. The series, Kitty Norville, is now on its tenth installment, and Vaughn has become a force to be reckoned with in the urban fantasy world.
Kitty Norville, our titular celebrity werewolf radio host extraordinaire, is back at it again. This time, her travels take her to London for the first scientific conference on paranormal studies. But not everyone is glad she’s there, from religious zealots to master vampires who’d have preferred the world stayed ignorant of their existence. Along for the ride are Ben, Cormac, and Amelia, because for some reason the thought of Kitty going to London alone just doesn’t seem like a good idea.
It’s reunion time!
One of the fun parts of this book was all the familiar faces. Kitty stops off in DC for a layover to visit with DC’s master vampire, Alette. Once she gets to London, she’s picked up by Alette’s several-greats-grand-daughter, Emma, who’s doing the vampire version of an internship with the master of London. Joseph Tyler, the werewolf soldier from Kitty Goes to War, is back, as is Kitty’s old fling Lois. The subplot of the book also features Amelia, a ghost who’s not quite possessing Cormac, going home for the first time in over a hundred years. One of the wonderful things about Vaughn’s writing is that, while it’s fun to see all these characters again and get a chance to catch up on what they’ve been doing, they are there with a purpose and for a reason. They fit into the plot, even if you’re not sure how for most of the book.
Kitty being, well… Kitty
Vaughn’s one major flaw as a writer is that she’s gotten into a formula with Kitty. I wasn’t surprised by anything in this book; I got just what I was expecting. Now, that’s not in and of itself a bad thing. However, I do feel that in order to keep a long-running series going, the author does need to shake things up every once in awhile. In Kitty Steals the Show, Kitty goes on a trip, talks to people, pisses people off, and generally saves the day. Huzzah! Even when things got desperate, Kitty already had the tools on hand to pull off a miracle right on cue, so I wasn’t doing a lot of metaphorical nail biting. I wasn’t as invested in this book as I was in previous ones, even though I wanted to be.
Why you should read this book
Kitty Steals the Show is book ten in a series, so that alone should tell you that it’s not a good book to jump into without doing some prior reading. You’ll be lost, the scenes of visiting old friends will fall flat, and you’ll generally be disappointed. However, the Kitty Norville series is a fun one with lots of witty humor and fast-paced action, so it’s worth your time to read the whole series if urban fantasy is something you enjoy. For those who have read the previous Kitty Norville books, Kitty Steals the Show is an enjoyable installment, if not the best one in the series.