Yes! Two reviews for Kitty Norville books in as many weeks! Being behind on this series, as soon as I finished Carrie Vaughn's Kitty's Big Trouble I immediately jumped into Kitty Steals the Show! I'm always saying how I love the fact that the author takes her characters and storylines along unexpected paths, which keeps this series fresh and entertaining. And this latest installment is no exception!
Here's the blurb:
Kitty has been tapped as the keynote speaker for the First International Conference on Paranatural Studies, taking place in London. The conference brings together scientists, activists, protestors, and supernatural beings from all over the world--and Kitty, Ben, and Cormac are right in the middle of it. Master vampires from dozens of cities have also gathered in London for a conference of their own. With the help of the Master of London, Kitty gets more of a glimpse into the Long Game--a power struggle among vampires that has been going on for centuries--than she ever has before. In her search for answers, Kitty has the help of some old allies, and meets some new ones, such as Caleb, the alpha werewolf of the British Isles. The conference has also attracted some old enemies, who've set their sights on her and her friends.
All the world's a stage, and Kitty's just stepped into the spotlight.
The premise for this one was quite promising. The conference would allow Kitty to come in contact with a lot of supernatural creatures, some of them centuries old. We are introduced to more players in the Long Game, and once again one gets the feeling that the endgame is approaching. It was kind of funny to have Kitty, usually so strong-willed and in control of herself, acting like a wide-eyed and gawking backpacker who's never been outside of the USA. Though it was at times stereotypical, Vaughn portrayed Kitty the way most North Americans act and feel when they set foot in England for the first time. An unexpected side-story further fleshed out the Cormac/Amelia storyline, which was an added bonus.
Once more, the novel is told in the first-person narrative of the inimitable werewolf talk radio host. With her paranormal knack for attracting trouble and the fact that she's not always be the sharpest tool in the shed, there is never a dull moment in a Kitty Norville book! A few familiar faces like Emma, Tyler, Dr. Shumacher, and Luis make appearances, and it was nice to see them again and how they've changed. Having a number of European Master vampires present in London added depth to the story arc. The supporting cast is larger in Kitty Steals the Show than in most of the other volumes, and they play a key role in most events taking place. Ned, the Master vampire of London, and Caleb, the Alpha of the British Isles, are particularly important.
As I mentioned in my review for its predecessor, Kitty Steals the Show is another transition book. One that links past plotlines and weaves them into the tapestry of threads that will lead us to the finale over the course of the next few installments. More revelations are made about Roman and his Long Game. New players are introduced and Kitty makes yet more enemies and a few more friends. As is habitually her wont, Kitty stirs up a lot of troubles during her stay in the British capital, something that a number of ancient vampires are not pleased with. Some have named her Regina Lopurum, the queen of werewolves, and would like to see her removed from the game board. So as you can see, Kitty managed to make quite an impression on the other side of the pond.
This one may not be a fast-paced affair, for Vaughn needed to lay a lot of groundwork for what's coming. And yet, Kitty Steals the Show remains a real page-turner. In my last review, I claimed that Kitty's Big Trouble marked the beginning of Kitty's involvement in a more complex and ambitious story arc, one of which we had only been granted a few glimpses thus far. Well, this 11th installment builds on that, bringing the series to another, even more multilayered, level.
If you haven't given Carrie Vaughn's signature series yet, you should do so ASAP!