Book Review: Caitlin Kittredge’s Night Life

Posted October 14, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

Book Review: Caitlin Kittredge’s Night Life

Night Life


Caitlin Kittredge

alternative history, urban fantasy that was published by St. Martin Paperbacks on March 4, 2008 and has 352 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Corsets & Clockwork, Street Magic, Demon Bound, Bone Gods, Huntress, The Iron Thorn, "The Curse of Four", The Nightmare Garden, The Wild Side: Urban Fantasy with an Erotic Edge, Devil's Business, Soul Trade, Mirrored Shard, Dark Days, Black and White, Games Creatures Play

First in the Nocturne City urban fantasy series about two cousins: one a blood witch and the other a bitten werewolf/cop set in an alternate Earth.

My Take

I really wanted to like this since I love her Black London series so much. I gave it a “2” instead of a “1” because Kittredge does have an interesting concept. Just wish her editor had worked with her more.

Kittredge was so busy dropping hints that very little actually was clear. Not much tension built up for the demon, the “ancient evil”. It was kind of weird that all the victims had Slavic last names; I kept waiting for a connection.

WTF. Kittredge has Luna doing all kinds of stupid things both on and off the job. It’s like she’s watched too many cop shows and wants Luna to be this hard ass, but hasn’t a clue how to make her one. She just comes across as an idiot. A childish, immature fool. She keeps telling one of the suspects [whom she is convinced is not…a suspect, that is] everything about the case. I mean, c’mon, the guy is an Alpha leader, and he has told her from the get-go that he is obligated to seek revenge and then she’s all surprised when he wants to follow through on “what he has already told her”! But, hey, she figures that he’s “going to figure it out eventually”. Oh, well, that’s all right then. She’s constantly reminding him that she’s a cop; then she calls him up for backup, for a gun, for a ride to the crime scene… Luna jumps into situations without thought or investigation. Is it any surprise how easy it is to set her up for murders??? I just wanted to grab a gun and shoot her myself. Put her out of everyone’s misery.

Yup, Luna is a tad concerned about using her department-issue cellphone as part of a spell. Well, hey, it’s got a photograph on it of a sigil, and they need the photograph. The fact that Luna has state-of-the-art computer equipment on which she could simply print the image off is…um…well, that would require thinking.

Luna’s actions when she wants her hated grandmother, Rhoda, to call the mark are just childish and stupid…are you picking up on the theme, yet?

Okay, in the scene where Dmitri and Luna are searching the DA’s house and they enter Stephen’s bedroom, I do not understand why having the room decorated in his school colors, the portrait of him in his lacrosse uniform, or mostly trophies in the bookcase instead of books makes the kid screwed up. Wouldn’t it have been considered more of a sign of “oddity” if the kid had had books instead of the trophies?? Then there’s the attic where Stephen is changing, and Luna just has to stick around for it. Please, God, let Stephen bite her to death!! The penultimate scene is symptomatic of the rest — her stupid, unthinking approach. I think Kittredge was tired of the story by this point and just wanted it over with.

Then there’s this whole romance with Dmitri. I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be a trashy, violent “courtship” or if Kittredge just doesn’t know how to find that balance between a truly awkward romance and the usual “oh, I don’t want to be attracted” one.

Awkward, irritating, and I think I’ll skip the rest of the series.

The Story

Girls are being horribly murdered, and Luna can’t tell anyone that it’s a werewolf. She must work the case with hostile cops, hostile suspects, and hostile witnesses all around her [yeah, I know why everyone is hostile towards Luna; even her cousin is hostile! I certainly can’t find the attraction Dmitri sees].

As the case evolves, a DA’s son becomes involved. Witchcraft beyond the expected marks her. Somehow Luna must balance pack law with unknown magics and an ancient criminal case that threatens to unleash a daemon that will destroy the world.

The Characters

Detective Luna Wilder is the cop-slash-werewolf…is this name a “cliché” or what??? with a mouth that just can’t stop and a brain that just won’t think. And, no. Only her lieutenant, Troy McAllister, knows that Luna has some really hairy issues once a month.

Sunflower “Sunny” is Luna’s cousin and roommate. As a blood-witch, she’s trying to help Luna figure out a way to avoid the change at the full moon. I suspect she’s almost as fed up with Luna’s mouth and brain as I am.

The assholes all include Wilbur Roenburg, Luna’s captain and one of the cops not in favor of a woman on the force; Regan Lockhart, an assistant to the District Attorney, Alistair Duncan whose son, Stephen Duncan, is one of the suspects; and, Detective David Bryson is a sexual harassment lawsuit walking around.

Dmitri Sandovsky is an Alpha with his own Pack in Ghosttown. Luna thinks he’s a sexy hunk, irresistible enough to ignore a wide range of departmental regulations.

The Cover

Well, except for the eyes on the cover model [whom I assume is Luna], the cover is generic enough with its very-elaborate, fuchsia pentagram projected onto the dark behind the tank top-clad woman wearing the pentagram necklace.