You may or may not remember, but I was pleasantly surprised when I read Carrie Vaughn's Kitty and the Midnight Hour last fall. Althoug habitually not a big fan of the horror/dark urban fantasy sub-genres, I found that book extremely entertaining.
Hence, it was with evident eagerness that I sat down to read its sequel, Kitty Goes to Washington. Could the author succeed in capturing my imagination the second time around? The answer is a resounding yes, and then some! The fact that I went through this novel in less than 3 days is a clear indication of my appreciation.
This sequel begins right where its predecessor ended. Kitty Norville, late-night radio host and werewolf, has been forced to leave town following the events recounted in Kitty and the Midnight Hour. Taking her show on the road, the Midnight Hour now airs in a different city every week. The ratings are through the roof and all is well until Kitty is summoned to Washington, D. C., to testify at a Senate hearing pertaining to the paranormal. Considered by many as an "authority" regarding lycantrophes and vampires , her presence is requested at hearings regarding the Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology. But Kitty will soon realize that things in D. C. are not what they seem.
As she did in the first book, Vaughn brilliantly weaves vampires and werewolves and other creatures into our every day life. It never feels as though the author is pushing the envelope. Everything appears to fit seamlessly, which, to some degree, is quite a feat in and of itself.
Carrie Vaughn showed a talent for good characterizations in Kitty and the Midnight Hour. In this sequel she raises the bar even higher. She continues to build on Kitty's character, especially in regards to the emotional toll she has been forced to endure following what occurred in the first book. Definite character growth gives Kitty even more depth, which makes it easy for readers to relate to her. Incidentally, her uncanny ability to find trouble everywhere makes her even more endearing! Where its predecessor had few characters, Kitty Goes to Washington introduces us to a cast of disparate and interesting men and women. One only has to think about Dr. Paul Flemming, Alette, Senator Duke, just to name a few.
The pace is again crisp, making this novel a page-turning adventure. The narrative flows incredibly well. Told in the first person, once more it's Kitty's POV throughout. At times dark and at times funny, Carrie Vaughn's wit and sense of humor create an enjoyable balance between the lighter and more intense moments. This second novel allows the author to flesh out her storylines a little more, demonstrating in the process that she has more than a few surprises up her sleeve. What might appear at face value as a rather simple story seems to hide a lot more depth than we are led to believe. In addition, some touching scenes give another dimension to this tale.
A wonderfully entertaining read. Hopefully, reviews like this will pique your curiosity, and more and more people will give Kitty a shot. If you're looking for an exciting read, look no further! And those clamoring for strong female characters should give these books a try. I'm persuaded that the narrative will suck you into Kitty's universe.
There is a new Kitty novel in the works, scheduled for spring 2007. And I can't wait to discover what happens next!
The final verdict: 8/10
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