[Review] KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR by Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn

Cover Copy: Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station – and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it’s Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew?

My Thoughts: Kitty Norville takes a midnight shift as a radio show DJ and ends up getting calls from people claiming vampires and werewolves really exist. Kitty would know. She’s a werewolf, but that’s a part of here that’s kept secret from humans, just as all vampires and werewolves have always done. Until Kitty’s radio show. On air, she’s supportive of the supernaturals’ existence, though she doesn’t admit to being one herself. The next thing she knows she’s got real vampires and werewolves calling her for advice.

But someone is not happy about this. Could be someone in her pack. Could be one of the vampires. Whoever it is, they send a hitman after Kitty, and he has experience terminating werewolves and vampires. Kitty is forced to give up either the radio show or her life.

I love the premise of KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. I love that Kitty has a talk radio show for supernaturals. I even like that her job creates conflict for Kitty with other supernaturals. But something about Kitty’s personality bothers me. She gets power hungry. She turns into a glory hound. Her place in the pack is at the bottom, so she knows she shouldn’t be making these power plays, but she does them anyway. At times she makes some very unwise decisions. I suppose this could be character growth, but it’s not working for me, because it requires me to believe that someone presented as intelligent, university educated, would make stupid decisions. I understand she wants to keep the radio show, but at all costs? Against her Alpha? Even though someone is trying to kill her? Also, I could understand Kitty’s power challenges and defiance if we were presented an alpha character instead of the weak, bottom-dweller that Kitty is.

I could see Kitty backing away from the show and being encouraged to come back by her human co-workers. Maybe someone could bring her messages to her home. Maybe she could do the show by phone from a remote location. Maybe they could disguise her voice. But to openly continue to defy her Alpha just didn’t ring true for me– not for a wolf and not for a human.

Maybe I would have felt differently about this book if I’d read it closer to 2005 when it was published, but I don’t think so. I’m not liking it because of the character’s choices, and not because the worldbuilding isn’t fresh.

There’s not a lot of action in KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. There is some, as werewolves are known for fighting. But the emphasis on Vaughn’s novel seems to be more on social commentary. At times I felt like lycanthropy and vampirism were being presented as diseases akin to AIDS with a similar, fear-filled reaction from society. I also felt there was some commentaries on effective leadership and the functioning of the legal system.

If you’re looking for urban fantasy to give you some food for thought, KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR is the book for you.

Rating: B+
Series: Kitty Norville, #1
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, 2005
Acquired: purchase

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