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BOOK REVIEW: Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn


Barely escaping Denver, Colorado with her life on the closing pages of Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Kitty Norville takes to the road. As Kitty Goes to Washington opens, Kitty is drifting aimlessly around the United States broadcasting her newly syndicated, late-night radio show from a different city each week. When she receives an unexpected call informing her she’s been subpoenaed by a Senate hearing into the Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology chaired by her Bible-thumping nemesis Senator Duke, Kitty heads for the murky political waters of Washington, DC.

Plunging into a city full of international paranaturals, Kitty finds herself surrounded by unfamiliar — and scary — politics and games that seem to be governed by bizarre rules. As she enters the city she is stopped and “offered” the hospitality of the city’s vampire mistress. Not sure why she needs a vampire’s protection, she is further puzzled by the actions of Dr. Paul Flemming. Just a few weeks ago he was eager to share information with her, now he keeps her at a disconcerting distance just when she needs the information he is hiding. And meeting a were-jaguar in a club for were-creatures only proves that Kitty must figure out the undercurrents in both the paranatural and political worlds if she wishes to escape with her freedom — and her life.

Carrie Vaughn has maintained her delightful tone in this second Kitty novel. Not quite a paranormal romance nor truly just a fantasy novel, Vaughn’s novels sit somewhere in between. Her writing strength is in creating an alternate reality that looks and sounds like modern day America, the only difference being Vampires, Were-Creatures and other creatures “of the night” actually do exist. Kitty deals with issues of identity, loneliness, and career ambitions as any other young professional woman does with the added difficulty of being without a pack and surviving as a lone werewolf.

Old friends reappear in this second adventure helping to quickly move the action into comfortable territory – Cormac the hit man, Ben the lawyer and Matt, Kitty’s faithful sound-man. Once again Carrie Vaughn has included a “playlist” in the acknowledgements and she has picked the perfect tunes to accompany Kitty’s new adventure; songs like Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them,” Shriekback’s “Nemesis” and Peter Gabriel’s “Games Without Frontier.” I was inspired to go hunting through my CD’s to put together the mix to listen to while sharing Kitty’s adventure.

Packaged with this second Kitty Norville adventure is the short story “Kitty meets the Band.” Carrie Vaughn has already signed a contract for books three and four; Kitty and the Wolf Moon’s Curse (Spring 2007) and Kitty and the Silver Bullet (Fall 2007) and this reader for one is eagerly awaiting both.

Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Publisher: Warner Books
ISBN10: 0446616427

Read an interview with Carrie Vaughn at The Motivated Writer.

Read this review as posted at Curled Up with a Good Book.
Read my review of Kitty and the Midnight Hour.


BOOK REVIEW: Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn


What do you get when you take a frustrated late-night DJ who’s also a closet werewolf? An engaging new heroine ironically named Kitty!

Carrie Vaughn has entered an already crowded market with the first of a new fantasy series based around her character Kitty Norville, a young urbanite who is also a werewolf. Vaughn’s novel competes winningly with the likes of Katie MacAllister and Kim Harrison.

Kitty and the Midnight Hour falls out on the excellent side of the “pack.” The plot premise intrigues: Kitty has barely settled into her role as the host of the hottest new call-in advice show for the “supernaturally disadvantaged,” when suddenly the Powers That Be (of the supernatural world) order a hit on her–while she’s on the air!

While people try to figure out if she really is “supernatural,” Kitty wants to figure out who wants her dead, avoid being taken out by the assassin–and get her show syndicated. Add a full exploration of the social dynamics of the werewolf pack, and you have a delightfully well-written novel.

One of the Vaughn’s key strengths is how very real her novel is. Some of the better-known paranormal novels are so far divorced from reality that it definitely is a work of fantasy. Having been a midnight-shift DJ, I can certainly recognize many of the characters who call in.

Kitty could easily be your friend or the late night DJ you listen to on the radio. Her struggles ring true, as does her quest to figure out her place in the world and sort out the tangled mess of personal relationships and power dynamics around her. It all adds up to a character readers can connect to.

The added bonus is the “soundtrack” Vaughn includes in her acknowledgements. A great collection of classic Goth with a twist. A superb addition to the genre, I eagerly await Kitty’s future adventures–as well as more of the eclectic soundtracks.

A delightful story of self-realization as Kitty learns to accept her inner wolf, while discovering the true strength of the inner Kitty.

See the review at Armchair Interviews – Kitty and the Midnight Hour.


BOOK REVIEW: Even Vampires Get the Blues by Katie MacAlister


The fourth entry in Katie MacAlister’s paranormal romance series featuring the Dark Ones is sure to satisfy her many fans and earn her some new ones. Full of her trademark sense of humour and kooky characters, Even Vampires Get the Blues is the story of Paen, a Moravian Dark One doomed to spend his life in search of the woman who can redeem his soul. There’s just one problem – Paen doesn’t believe in love.

Samantha Cosse, a half-elf recently kicked out of the Order of Diviners, has just opened her own private investigation agency with her cousin Clare, a lingerie model in denial about her status as a flower-eating faery. Sam and Paen’s paths cross when he hires her to track down the Jilin God, a lost statue that he needs in five days’ time or else his mother’s soul is forfeit to a demon.

Featuring many of the denizens of the Otherworld met in previous novels – Guardians, Diviners and Mages to name a few – MacAlister continues to flesh-out the fascinating world inhabited by her supernatural heros and heroines. In Even Vampires Get the Blues MacAlister provides more of the history and creation of Moravians through Paen’s hunt for the Simia Gestor Coda. The Coda is rumoured to contain the details about the origins of Dark Ones, including a way to unmake the curse binding them to their soulless state, without involving a Beloved.

The secondary romance of Clare and Finn, Paen’s brother, helps to offset the tension caused by the time-limited quest for the Jilin God. Their playful interaction helps lighten the tone to one in keeping with reader’s expectations of MacAlister’s works.

New York Times bestselling author Katie MacAlister writes historical, contemporary, paranormal, and young adult romances (as Katie Maxwell), paranormal thrillers, and historical mysteries. Fans unable to wait until May 2007 for the next Dark Ones romance will be able to get their fix in September 2006 in the paranormal anthology Just One Sip, featuring the short story “Bring Out Your Dead.”

See the review posted at Curled Up with a Good Book – Even Vampires Get the Blues.

Chick Lit & Romance Book Reviews – Master List


In an effort to reduce the long list of reviews in my sidebar, I decided to create an entry of each of the category of books I review. That way I can update this entry and link to just this entry in the sidebar.

This is a list of the chick lit and romance novels that I’ve reviewed to date.

Chick Lit

  • Swimming Upstream, Slowly – Melissa Clark
  • Some Like it Haute – Julie K.L. Dam
  • Toss the Bride – Jennifer Manske Fenske
  • The School for Husbands – Wendy Holden
  • Miss Understanding – Stephanie Lessing
  • Hooked – Jane May
  • Upside Down Inside Out – Monica McInerney
  • The List: a Love Story in 781 Chapters – Aneva Stout
  • Innocence – Kathleen Tessaro
  • Romance novels

  • The Taming of the Duke – Eloisa James
  • Teeth in a Pickle Jar – H.B. Milligan
  • The Kiss – Elda Minger
  • Paranormal Romances

  • The Scot, the Witch and the Wardrobe – Annette Blair
  • Luscious Craving – Cameron Dean
  • Passionate Thirst – Cameron Dean
  • Even Vampires Get the Blues – Katie MacAlister
  • Just One Sip – Katie MacAlister, Jennifer Ashley, and Minda Webber
  • Light My Fire – Katie MacAlister
  • He Loves Me, He Loves Me Hot – Stephanie Rowe
  • Must Love Dragons – Stephanie Rowe
  • Damsel Under Stress – Shanna Swendson
  • Kitty and the Midnight Hour – Carrie Vaughn
  • Kitty Goes to Washington – Carrie Vaughn
  • Kitty Takes a Holiday – Carrie Vaughn
  • 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover & Hex Appeal – Linda Wisdom
  • Newer Entries »

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