First of all, I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of the horror/dark urban fantasy sub-genres. I don't hink I've read books containing werewolves and vampires (Pratchett notwithstanding) since the old TSR Ravenloft books.
I didn't know what to expect when I elected to read this book. Because of its cover, I had preconceived misconceptions. But I'm currently reading Bakker's The Thousandfold Thought (taking notes, etc), which means that I couldn't bring it at work. Needing something to read during my lunch breaks, and since Time Warner sent me a review copy of the novel, I went for it. I wanted something "light," something that wouldn't take me weeks to finish. To all ends and purposes, Carrie Vaughn's Kitty and the Midnight Hour appeared to be just what the doctor ordered. Plus, the book was released earlier this month, so what the heck?
To tell the truth, I wasn't expecting much more than something to kill time. Well, I'm happy to report that I've enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected. Kitty and the Midnight Hour is a very entertaining novel!
The narrative flows extremely well. The dialogues are pretty good. The pace is crisp, keeping you turning those pages. The premise, which on the blurb seemed a little lame, turns out to be original and a lot of fun.
The characterizations are well-done, with Kitty coming out as a strong, three-dimensional characters. In fact, it's Kitty's character which really draws you into this story.
Although a "dark" tale, Vaughn's witty sense of humor shines through Kitty's character, bringing a certain balance between the lighter and the darker sides of this horror story.
And there is much more depth to this story than I first anticipated. Vaughn uses the fact that Kitty hosts a radio show offering late-night advice to men and women who are supernaturally disadvantaged to reveal a ton of information on werewolves and vampires. Hence, we learn much concerning werewolves' packs and how they function. The same can be said pertaining to vampires' families.
So what exactly is this book about, you ask? Well, I'm not about to include spoilers in this book review. Let's just say that Kitty, a werewolf in the closet, finds herself in the middle of a power struggle within her pack. Moreover, the head of the city's vampire family appears to want her dead. She soon finds herself facing a bounty hunter, and her expertise is required to solve a number of strange and violent homicides. As Kitty's radio show's popularity continues to skyrocket, more and more people are drawn to Elijah Smith and his Church of the Pure Faith. They supposedly possess the secret to cure werewolves and vampires, and bring them back fully on the side of humanity. Meanwhile, the US government is also taking a growing interest in the paranormal.
As I said, a very entertaining book. I will certainly read Kitty's upcoming adventures!
The final verdict: 8/10