Book Review: Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty’s Big Trouble

Posted January 22, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty’s Big Trouble

Kitty's Big Trouble


Carrie Vaughn

It is part of the Kitty Norville #9 series and is a urban fantasy that was published by Gollancz on July 14, 2011 and has 307 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Dark and Stormy Knights, Kitty Goes to Washington, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, "Kitty Meets the Band", Hex Appeal, Kitty and the Silver Bullet, Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand, Kitty Raises Hell, Kitty's House of Horrors, Kitty Goes to War, Kitty's Greatest Hits, Kitty Steals the Show, Kitty Rocks the House, Kitty in the Underworld

Ninth in the Kitty Norville urban fantasy series about a radio show host who turns into a werewolf. While Kitty is based in Denver, this story takes place in San Francisco.

My Take

Well we gets into the woo-woo here. And really dorky as well. This one is off in a new direction, gaining new life, I guess. Setting Kitty up for the next stage in her leadership role.

It was a fun and imaginative tour of San Francisco’s Chinatown and the touristy parts of the City. Took me right back to all the lovely aromas and I am so panting for some duck with rice right now. A bowl of congee…sigh… Unfortunately, this was the best part. We do gain a bit of information about Anastasia’s back history. And some possible new allies against Roman. We also get a bit more of Rick’s history, which helps explain more about his particular attitude.

We get some background on an early-in-the-century “coup” in San Francisco in which Anastasia was involved along with how pervasive Roman’s influence is…eek!

The Story

A very useful obsession tips Kitty off to an aid to Roman’s power. A good thing when she, Ben, and Cormac end up in San Francisco helping Anastasia track down a powerful artifact before Roman can get his hands on it.

It’s a treasure hunt through magical tunnels, encounters with gods and goddesses, and unexpected traps all while being chased by local wolves more interested in their deaths.

And Kitty learns that werewolves have led in the past.

The Characters

Kitty Norville is the alpha for the Denver pack. She’s also the radio talk show host for Kitty and the Midnight Hour on KNOB radio. always looking for the next hook for her show. Ben O’Farrell is her werewolf mate and husband as well as a lawyer. Cormac Bennett is Ben’s cousin and just got out of prison, although he’s still on parole. One of the terms of his parole is no weapons. So his werewolf bounty hunter days are still on hold. However, he has found a way to compensate. Amelia Parker is a Victorian-era woman who was hanged a hundred years ago and she’s a witch. Now Cormac shares his body with her, and they seem to have come to a unique compromise.

Anastasia, a.k.a., Li Hua, is an independent vampire seeking to prevent Roman taking over. Grace Chen carries an obligation, one of Family to guard the artifact and bring aid to Anastasia when she requires it. From operating a video shop in Chinatown to fulfilling this duty that she never believed…it’s a stretch for Grace.

Sun Wukong is the Monkey King, a Buddhist hero; he seems as frivolous as his title. Xiwangmu is the Queen Mother of the West, a Taoist goddess. Hundun is the god of chaos, a part of a Confucian parable.

Rick is the current Master of Denver and makes a cameo appearance. Dr. Shumacher from the Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology gets shut down for her nosiness.

The San Francisco vampire Family
Henry and Joe are Jazz Age hipster-type vampires serving Boss. Yup, that was the best Vaughn could do.

Roman, a.k.a., Dux Bellorum, a.k.a., Gaius Albinus, is a seriously bad vampire from earlier than Roman days. Seems he had a lot to do with Anastasia back in the day.

Tom Hanson had enlisted in the Confederate Army and does he ever have a tale to tell.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a range of yellows from lightest to darkest as Kitty stands in dismay, one knee bent, a huge hole in her muscle shirt, and her golden hair braided high on her head, the tail of it flipped in front of her shoulder. Ben — as wolf — appears to be laughing.

The title doesn’t begin to reflect Kitty’s Big Trouble.