I've been a Carrie Vaughn fan ever since I read Kitty and the Midnight Hour a few years back. At the time, no one really knew the author and her endearing protagonist, Kitty Norville, the werewolf talk radio host. Fast forward a couple of years and Vaughn is now a New York Times bestselling author and Kitty is more popular than ever.
It's no secret that I'm not too keen on urban fantasy, but I have a sweet spot for Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden and Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville. Both series are written in first-person POVs, which is one of the main reasons why they're so interesting and entertaining. And yet, what made this collection of short fiction so appealing was the fact that Carrie Vaughn uses short stories to explore Kitty's world via different POVs. Hence, readers would finally get the opportunity to learn more about popular characters such as Cormac and Rick the vampire. Needless to say, I relished the chance to read more about Kitty's misadventures, but also experience various narrative voices as the author allows us to witness events through the eyes of those who habitually comprise the supporting cast of the novels.
Here's the blurb:
The first-ever story collection from the New York Times bestselling author, including two all-new works!
Kitty Norville, star of a New York Times bestselling series, is everybody’s favorite werewolf DJ and out-of-the-closet supernatural creature. Over the course of eight books she’s fought evil vampires, were-creatures, and some serious black magic. She’s done it all with a sharp wit and the help of a memorable cast of werewolf hunters, psychics, and if-notgood- then-neutral vampires by her side. Kitty’s Greatest Hits not only gives readers some of Kitty’s further adventures, it offers longtime fans a window into the origins of some of their favorite characters.
In “Conquistador de la Noche,” we learn the origin story of Denver’s Master vampire, Rick; with “Wild Ride,” we find out how Kitty’s friend T.J. became a werewolf; and in “Life is the Teacher,” we revisit Emma, the human-turned-unwilling-vampire who serves the aloof vampire Master of Washington, D.C.
This entertaining collection includes two brand-new works: “You’re On the Air,” about one of Kitty’s callers after he hangs up the phone; and the eagerly awaited “Long Time Waiting,” the novella that finally reveals just what happened to Cormac in prison, something every Kitty fan wants to know.
I made short work of Kitty's Greatest Hits. Carrie Vaughn's books are always fast-paced affairs, but that's not what makes this one a page-turner. It has more to do with the vast array of points of view, which allow Vaughn to flesh out both her world and its protagonists. Disparate in style and tone, I'd say that each and everyone one of the pieces of short fiction contained in this collection has something to offer.
You would think that being stuck at a Waffle House for Christmas would sort of prevent Kitty from getting into supernatural trouble, right? Wrong. In "Il Est Né", she demonstrates yet again how she has the uncanny ability to find trouble anywhere.
"A Princess of Spain" is a paranormal historical piece featuring Catherine of Aragon.
"Conquistador de la Noche" reveals Rick's past and how he became a vampire. As one of the most fascinating secondary characters in the series, it was a pleasure to discover how it all began for him.
"The Book of Daniel" is Vaughn's own twist on the Biblical tale of Daniel and Lion's Den.
An older Rick shows up in "The Temptation of Robin Green." The short story features a lab studying supernatural creatures. One of the best pieces in this collection.
"Looking After Family" fills in a lot of blanks regarding Ben and Cormac's past.
It's just another day on the job for Cormac in "God's Creatures."
Another origin story, this time T. J.'s, is "Wild Ride." We haven't seen much of T. J., but his impact on Kitty early on is undisputed. So it was nice to learn how he became what he became prior to meeting Kitty.
"Winnowing the Herd" is a funny piece about Kitty's inner monologue as she attends a KNOB staff party.
"Kitty and the Mosh Pit of the Damned" features a new intriguing character named Jax. It's all about selling your soul to the devil. All in the name of rock and roll, of course!
"Kitty's Zombie New Year." The title says it all!
In "Life is a Teacher" Carrie Vaughn explores how vampires approach sex and survival by following the first steps of newly-created vampire Emma.
Ever wondered what kind of life Kitty's callers actually lived? "You're on the Air" features a down-on-his-luck vampire working the night shift at Speedy Mart.
And the collection's pièce de résistance is "Long Time Waiting." The novella tells the tale of what happened to Cormac while he was doing time and how it changed him. With our favorite supernatural bounty hunter in the slammer for a number of novels, most Carrie Vaughn fans were wondering what he was doing and when he'd be returning. Turns out Cormac did a bit more than fashion license plates. . .
Simply put, Kitty's Greatest Hits is the perfect Kitty Norville companion book. A must for all Carrie Vaughn fans.