Book Review: Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Steals the Show

Posted March 29, 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 Steals the Show

Kitty Steals the Show


Carrie Vaughn

It is part of the Kitty Norville #10 series and is a urban fantasy in Paperback edition that was published by Gollancz on August 1, 2012 and has 342 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 Big Trouble, Kitty's Greatest Hits, Kitty Rocks the House, Kitty in the Underworld

Tenth in the Kitty Norville urban fantasy series about a werewolf radio show hostess in Denver. This adventure finds Kitty in London.

My Take

Well, Kitty’s happy. She’s finally encountered a vampire who spills the secrets of ages past.

The conference is meant to foster communication and the keynote speech Kitty makes is all about communication as well as war. A dangerous message with tremendous repercussions in events that occur after the conference.

While the conference makes for an excellent excuse for Kitty and company to play tourist, it also makes an excellent opportunity to sniff out those who are with Roman and those against as well as introducing Kitty and her “superpowers” to a wider audience.

What??? It’s true. Just as Ben says: talking is Kitty’s superpower, LOL.

I love this comment of Ned’s about Shakespeare and his plays. Why is it that critics and “know-it-alls” always think they have plumbed the truth of a famous person’s reasons for creating? I’ve encountered so many docents who tell observers/patrons that the artist was thinking/doing this when they created an artwork, and it just pisses me off. Partly because some of those artworks I was present for the “birth” and I know damn well that wasn’t what they were thinking at the time!

“…we weren’t trying to create fine art. We were trying to tell stories. …Well, and we loved the attention. For those who were successful at it, the theater was a very good way to make money.”

Sound familiar?

Okay, yeah, it’s gross, but…it is funny.

“Humans — -a renewable resource.”

“We recycle! We’re green!”

Of course, Kitty and Ben are “funny” right back at the vampire orgy with Kitty’s constant poking and their “high paw”. That comment about Roman’s coin, well that caught even more attention. Then there’s Marid’s comment about Kitty being a Regina Luporum. Hoo, boy. He even tells her how old he is!

I do have to agree with Marid about Kitty’s jumping to judgment. No, I don’t disagree with her about this day’s “party”, but she has no right to judge about the past. What was acceptable in the past is done. It was part of that culture then. It’s like publishers and censors today who are rewriting books of the past to reflect today’s prejudices and today’s language. It’s wrong. How are we to remember the good/bad of the past if we change it now to make ourselves feel better? We would be better to open up dialog and discuss how things were then, how they have changed today for the better, and what still needs to be improved. Sure, we’ll make mistakes, but as long as we continue to learn from those mistakes and work to improve how we treat others, that’s okay.

It’s an interesting encounter for Amelia with family. Does give her a chance to lay some ghosts to rest on both sides.

Using Kitty’s “superpower” to defang the vampires is useful, but it’s too easy and too quick. What? Kitty just shows up, speaks a few words and suddenly it’s a revolution? Nuh-uh, I don’t think so. I like the concept of Kitty, but Vaughn is slipping down a muddy slope here, taking a quick way out without working this properly.

The Story

It’s Kitty, Ben, and Cormac, oops, and Amelia Peabody, off to London for the First International Conference on Paranatural Studies — Kitty’s giving the keynote speech!

The Characters

Kitty Norville is a radio show host in Denver who was outed as a werewolf. Since then, she has explored the supernatural world with her audience and become notorious throughout the world for it. She is also the alpha for the Denver pack. Ben O’Farrell is her werewolf lawyer husband. Cormac Bennett is Ben’s cousin, a former werewolf bounty hunter, and on parole for saving Kitty’s life. Sergeant Joseph Tyler is the only surviving soldier from events in Kitty Goes to War, 8, and is now part of the Seattle wolf pack. Susan is his girlfriend. Ozzie is the producer of her show at KNOB; he springs for first class. Matt is her sound engineer.

Lady Amelia Peabody was wrongfully executed and is now a ghost whose witch abilities have allowed her to inhabit Cormac’s body; she wants to look up long lost (to her) relatives on this trip. Nicholas Parker is a solicitor and a great-greats-nephew of Amelia’s.

Alette is the vampire Mistress of Washington, D.C. (Kitty Goes to Washington, 2). Tom is her bodyguard/butler. Luis is a jaguar shifter and very touchy-feely when he meets up with Kitty. Esperanza is his environmentalist shifter sister who lives to plague illegal Brazilian loggers.

Edward Alleyn, a.k.a., “Ned is the vampire Master of London and an old friend of Alette’s” — he was a Shakespearean actor back in the day; Emma is Alette’s great-great-great+++ granddaughter who was turned in Kitty’s Greatest Hits: Life is the Teacher, 2.4, and is being mentored by Ned. Andy is the driver, a human servant.

Marid is a Babylonian vampire and intrigued by Kitty. The Master of Venice delivers warnings. Antony is the Master of Barcelona — the vamp of the poet’s shirt. Vidal of St. Petersburg and Nasser, the Master of Tripoli, are intrigued by Kitty’s speech.

Caleb is the alpha werewolf for the British Isles; Michael, Jill, and Warrick are some of his wolves. Daisy and Rose are Fae with a bad sense of fun.

Dr. Elizabeth Schumacher took over as the new head of the Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology after Dr. Paul Flemming fled after events in Kitty Goes to Washington. Some of Kitty’s guests for her London show range from Nell Riddy, the conference director, who redirected a childhood encounter with fairies into her scientific career path to Tracy Anderson and her hate group, Truth Against the Godless.

Gaius Albinus, Dux Bellorum, a.k.a., Roman, is the major bad guy. A vampire since his Roman general days, he’s been working the Long Game for centuries. Mercedes Cook is the first celebrity vampire — and she’s performing in London, “this week only”. What’re the odds? Jan is one of Roman’s; Talbot is one of his. Solomon is the Master of Istanbul. Petra is the Mistress of Krakow. Njal was a vampire leader who had the werewolves, Harald and his submissive mate, in chains like pets.

Back in Denver, Shaun is still managing the New Moon Café. Rick is the sympathetic Master of Denver.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a range of royal blues from light to dark creating a glorious night sky with deep shadows around the crouching Kitty and the wolfish Ben with Big Ben looming in the background.

The title, LOL, oh, yeah. Yeah, Kitty Steals the Show all right, but the stealing comes after the conference in all the fallout in peoples’ and supernatural reactions to her keynote speech. It should be interesting to read the next in the series, Kitty Rocks the House, 11.