Friday, March 12, 2010

Book Series Review: Kitty the Werewolf

I just had a nice trip to Maryland during my birthday weekend during which I managed to find my wedding dress. I also go two more Legion archives from Jim which is awesome :) I always read a lot when stuck on a plane for hours so I read the newest addition to the Kitty and the Midnight Hour series - Kitty's House of Horrors. These books are all written by Carrie Vaughn. I thought I'd step back and take a look at this series as a whole. I've managed to reread all but two of the books in order to take a closer look at the growth and development of these stories.

First of all these books are light and fun reading - exactly what I like to use to distract myself during plane trips. I read so much "deep thinking" literature as well as anthropology journals that these fantasy type books are a nice break every once in awhile. Of course I also read them insanely fast and so I like when these books are in series as it guarantees I stay occupied longer. While I enjoy the Kitty books (much in the same way I enjoy Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom books) I recommend these as light reading - they are not literary masterworks nor are they something everyone will enjoy. Essentially the Kitty books fall into the genre made popular by Laurell K Hamilton - a leading female character involved in a supernatural world that has at one point or another been hidden from the mortal world. In fact with both the Anita Blake and Mercy Thompson stories breaking into the comic book world I wouldn't be surprised to see Kitty Norville next. I'd say the Kitty books could follow the TruBlood route but I don't think there's enough sex in these books for HBO. Not that TruBlood is much like the Sookie Stackhouse books, but that's how it goes with TV I suppose. Right, I'll rant about HBO some other time.

The first book in Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series is Kitty and the Midnight Hour. This book introduces Kitty as well as much of the werewolf culture Kitty has been pulled into. I'm always entertained by what authors choose to make use of from previous explorations of werewolves, vampires, etc. Everyone make a few changes to what was done before. In the Kitty books werewolves can change shape even without the full moon (although they have to change on a full moon night) and Kitty is a member of a werewolf pack. Much of the "wolf" bleeds over into the human persona and Kitty herself views lycanthopy as a disease passed on by a werewolf bite.

The Kitty books stand out from a lot of books in the same genre because of the rapid changes Carrie Vaughn allows for both her main character and the state of the world. Every book in the sries makes some sort of jump in the general state of things. Book one, Kitty becomes a rogue wolf after failing to defeat her alpha. Book two, the supernatural community comes out into the mortal world partially as a result of Kitty being forced to shapeshift on television. The next book Kitty has to help a freind after he's attacked by a werewolf.... eventaully Kitty defeats her original alpha, has her own pack, gets married... these books really move the main character forward and that's a refreshing change from many of the series I read (novels or comics).

Bottom line the Kitty books are entertaining and make for good airplane reading. Also, if you have friends into the Anita Blake genre but who dislike reading "sex" books (since that's what the Anita Blake books sadly became) Carrie Vaughn is a good alternative. Kitty is a strong and easy to relate to character and the books are easy to read and enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment