Series: Kitty Norville #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Grand Central Publishing on 1 November 2005
Kitty Norville is not your average werewolf by a long shot. She was attacked at park and forcibly turned which still haunts her. She occupies the lowest rung in the pack and when confronted by anything scary, her first reaction is to curl up into a ball and hope it goes away. Pack politics are violent and abusive. Rationally Kitty knows this is wrong, but isn’t it her job to follow her alpha, Carl, at all costs? On one level she craves Carl’s abuse as he sometimes follows it up with sex and she really just wants someone to love her. She doesn’t know how to hunt or fight as Carl likes having her dependent on him. She can’t even go out to a club for a few hours without him getting angry. Clearly this is not a healthy relationship but part of it does seem to be tied up in were-biology. To change the situation, she has to change not only her attitude but fight her own supernatural programming.
Kitty’s one joy is her job as a D.J. and when she lets slip that she knows about the supernatural, the ratings spike. Soon vampires, werewolves and wannabe supes are ringing up asking for her advice. The local vampire Arturo and Carl both want her to quit the show – the former because his vampires are asking her questions which he thinks usurps his authority, and the latter because he doesn’t have any control over it. The show even attracts a werewolf and vampire assassin, Cormac, who outs Kitty on air. People start taking her expertise seriously and the more confidence she develops professionally, the more she finds it difficult to take what Carl and the others dish out. Kitty’s change from submissive werewolf to one with a bit more spine takes quite a while and even then it happens in spurts.
The first half of the book establishes the status quo for Kitty in the pack and how her popularity changes the dynamics. In the second half she starts learns of a sinister preacher who promises to cure vampires and lycanthropes and set them free. She starts to buck Carl’s authority and it has deadly results. My favourite sections would have to be those with the show’s callers as even though most are supernaturals, many of their problems are so terribly human. Kitty’s inner wolf thoughts are also a delight and they help explain the different facets of her character.
I realise this is a very character driven review but this is how the book played out for me. Carrie Vaughn had a lot of world building to do which will hopefully stabilise a little in book two. I didn’t like Kitty too much to start with but she grew on me. Give the series a shot and maybe she’ll grow on you too.
Others in the series: There are way too many to list now so click on the tag for Kitty Norville or the author Carrie Vaughn to see my other reviews. To see the full series, check out GoodReads.