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Ninja Books

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            Kitty and the Midnight Hour
            Carrie Vaughn
            fiction, fantasy, mystery, supernatural
            review posted: 7/14/06

            Some of you may remember the early, wonderful days of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. Back when the series was more interested in exploring a world similar to our own, but tangled up with vampires, werewolves and zombies. Back when Anita hunted vampires instead of sleeping with them. Those were the days when plot of characterization were king. Those were the days when I preordered the books, and showed up at the bookstore to get my copy before the place was open. Those days are over. That’s the bad news.

            Kitty and the Midnight Hour? That’s the good news. Readers of Hamilton will recognize many of the things that made the early Anita Blake series books great. The personal struggle of one werewolf (Kitty) to come to terms with her unwilling integration into the pack, the dark humor, the challenge to come to terms with the fact that the monsters are real, and maybe not such monsters after all; all of these are familiar earmarks, resurrected here with great success. Despite the parallels with other books in the same genre, Kitty in the Midnight hour manages to remain fresh and original. Kitty’s voice is unique, and the story is told from her perspective.

            Kitty is a radio DJ. Working the late, late shift has become a must, because Kitty, due to a twist of fate, is a werewolf. The world Vaughn has created is much like our own, but beneath the surface lurks something dark. The supernatural world is in hiding. Vampires, werewolves and…well, who knows what else, lurk in the shadows. Moving in our world; yet not of it, they keep the secret from their family and friends, their bosses and landlords. The secret world is a little too close to the surface, and eventually, it begins to break through. As the story unfolds, Kitty’s life begins to unravel. When a late night call on her radio show changes the focus classic rock to advice for members of the supernatural community, Kitty’s life erupts into a tangle of pack politics, sudden fame, and a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a bounty hunter.

            I swear, that pun was entirely accidental.

            Kitty and the Midnight Hour is not perfect. Currently only available in Mass Market paperback, there were copyediting errors that distracted me from the story itself. There were some loose ends that I would have liked to have seen tied up. The relationships between the characters were my favorite part, and yet I felt they could have been fleshed out more. Keeping in mind, however, that this is the first novel available from this author, Kitty in the Midnight Hour is an incredibly strong start. For fans of mystery, fantasy and supernatural stories, this is a natural choice.