Kitty’s House of Horrors, by Carrie Vaughn
March 10, 2010
In the seventh Kitty Norville book, Kitty joins the cast of a reality show and travels to a remote lodge for the taping. The plan is for the shifters, vampires, and psychics gathered for the series to attempt to engage with the skeptic in their midst. This promises for some interesting on-air drama, but their concerns about the production go out the window once a body is discovered.
I have to say that I didn’t enjoy the last two Kitty books quite as much as previous entries in the series, mostly for story reasons but also because I’m just not a fan of Ben. This book was better in both respects. There are people that Kitty knows and trusts at the shoot, but she’s removed from those she’s closest to. She’s out in the middle of nowhere without Ben, any of his contacts, or their pack to back her up. This time she stands on her own more, which was nice to see again – especially considering that one of my major complaints about that Vegas book was how often Kitty seemed to get rescued. There’s a good amount of action, and things move along at a nice pace.
The story itself was a bit straightforward, but considering how bloated some urban fantasy plots can get that is not necessarily a bad thing. The mystery about who was responsible for events at the lodge was thin, and seemed partly like an excuse to stir up drama between two of the characters. But I’d have to say that my main criticism was the relative lack of detail about the show’s production. I love the way that the early Kitty books played around with the line between Kitty’s private life and her public infamy as the first open werewolf, and tossing her into a reality show seemed like a great way to re-energize that story. Unfortunately it didn’t get used as heavily as I’d have liked, and there were times that I felt a bit confused about the specifics of the taping.
But the important thing was that this Kitty feels a lot more like the one I liked reading about in the first four books. I was also very interested by the ideas (and the person) that stayed on her mind in the middle of the life-or-death situation…