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Kitty Norville

Kitty Norville (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I ordered Kitty and the Midnight Hour at Conflux, picked it up at Continuum [1], and this short urban fantasy [2] is definitely worth a look.

I hesitate to describe Kitty and the Midnight Hour as light reading as it deals with some reasonably deep topics, and also some problematic ones. However the writing style is light enough that I raced through it [3]. Carrie Vaughn’s prose is smooth, easily followed, and refreshingly free of infodumps.

The lead character is Kitty Norville, a late night radio DJ, who finds herself running a radio talkshow about werewolves, vampires, and occasionally other things.

Oh, Kitty happens to be a werewolf herself.

This leads into the breaking the Masquerade and a variety of consequences for Kitty from doing so. Not to mention hints of wider consequences that will no doubt be addressed in later books.

I am a bit concerned by the “alpha wolf” structure of the werewolf packs; the way it is used is at least partially discredited as a biological theory and is also used for some problematic [4] gender roles.

On the other hand, attempting to overcome these gender roles is a source of significant character development over the course of the novel.

This is also a novel with sequel hooks built in; a number of plotlines set up in this book are left hanging. Then again, this is fair enough for a short first novel in a series that is establishing a world and can’t deal with everything within the limited space available.

Overall I enjoyed this, and will probably pick up the first sequel Kitty goes to Washington at some point.

[1] My book buying habits aren’t complex at all. Honest.

[2] It says something about modern fantasy/science fiction that I regard “less than 300 pages” as “short”.

[3] It is possible that I raced through it too quickly; I suspect that a more focussed read might reveal more.

[4] The gender roles are also potentially triggering to some readers.