RogerBW's Blog

Kitty In the Underworld, Carrie Vaughn 20 April 2020

2013 urban fantasy, twelfth in the series. Kitty Norville, the late-night DJ who has become the world's most famous werewolf, is kidnapped by fanatics.

This one's pretty rough going. When these stories have worked it's been through showing how Kitty makes changes to what have been stable social structures, through talking to people – perhaps an unexpected theme for an urban fantasy series, but it's one that can work.

But about a third of this book is about Kitty sitting imprisoned in a cave with nobody to talk to, and her inner monologue just isn't all that fascinating on its own. And another third is inane talk with crazy people.

That she manages to escape, and then goes back to join the unknown ritual being done by the crazy people just to find out what it is they know, is just the suspiciously brown icing on the not very nice cake. (And it's very out of character from her behaviour in the previous book, though I guess it needs to occur to make the plot happen…)

Maybe I was being prepared as a hideous sacrifice to some ancient, chthonic god. That had actually already happened to me once, in Las Vegas of all places, so it wasn't entirely outside the realm of reason.

That's just not all that much substantive happening here. I could see it working as a short story, but in this format it ends up being far too many words for the amount of plot. There are some bits of information feeding into the overall series narrative, but all the people who die are newly-introduced and most of the newly-introduced people die, which to me is a sure sign of a story that won't really have all that much lasting impact on the people we care about.

Eh, maybe I'm missing something, but this feels like marking time. It doesn't develop Kitty, the other regulars are almost absent, and in the end it has very little to say.

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Previous in series: Kitty Rocks the House | Series: Kitty Norville | Next in series: Low Midnight

  1. Posted by DP at 07:12am on 22 April 2020

    I enjoyed this series up until around book 10-11 and then burned out on it a bit after that.

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