Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Goes to War (Kitty Norville, Book 8)
Title:  Kitty Goes to War
Author:  Carrie Vaughn
Publisher:  Tor Books
Publication Date:  June 2010
Format:  Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Age Group:  Adult
Series:  Kitty Norville (Book 8)

When three army werewolves go rogue near Denver, Colorado those in charge call on Kitty Norville, alpha of the local werewolf pack, for help.  Can the men be captured and if so, then what will happen to them?  Can they learn to control their wolves with Kitty's help?  In her other role as radio show host, Kitty is being sued for libel by the CEO of Speedy Mart after speculating on her show about supernatural incidents relating to the chain of stores.

Although this is the eighth book in this series, it is actually the first Kitty Norville book that I have read.  Usually I would not begin a series anywhere but with the first book but I received this one from the Goodreads First Reads program and I wasn't going to read seven books to catch up.  Now that I've read this one though I will definitely be going back and reading the earlier books!  As a first time reader of the series, I realize that I was missing a lot of background stories.  However, I never felt a bit lost in the book which is what I worry about when reading things out of order.  Carrie Vaughn did an awesome job with providing just enough background information so that I could keep up but without providing so much that long time readers of the series would be bored.  I think this is an incredibly hard balance to strike and I was very impressed with how Vaughn handled it.

The story kept moving at a fast pace all the time.  Kitty always had some situation that she needed to get or keep under control.  I loved how both the main story lines kept the action going but also caused Kitty to  reflect a lot on who she is and if she was doing the right thing.  I loved that Kitty is an uncertain leader - she can put on the alpha attitude when necessary but she also shows compassion and is concerned about her friends.  She doubts herself but keeps moving forward anyway.

The story also has a personal connection for me.  I spent several years living in the Denver area so when Vaughn is describing the route that Kitty and friends take down to Colorado Springs or around the city to each Speedy Mart, I know exactly the area she is describing.  Vaughn has based her characters in a real city and backed that up with a lot of details.  I find that this gives paranormal books a great sense of realism and makes me wonder what really does go on without our knowledge?!

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