Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty’s back – and getting married to her pack mate and lawyer in Vegas… if they can avoid being kidnapped by the mob, being shot at by supernatural bounty-hunters, and being sacrificed to an ancient god by feline lycanthropes. What a honeymoon!

Kitty and the Dead Mans HandTitle:  Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand
Author:  Carrie Vaughn
SeriesKitty Norville Book 05
Publish Date:  February 1, 2009
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionHONEYMOON IN VEGAS?

Already the alpha pair of Denver’s werewolf pack, Kitty and Ben now plan to tie the knot human-style by eloping to Vegas. Kitty is looking forward to sipping fru-fru drinks by the pool and doing her popular radio show on live TV, but her hotel is stocked with werewolf-hating bounty hunters. Elsewhere on the Strip an old-school magician might be wielding the real thing; the vampire community is harboring a dark secret; and the irresistible star of a suspicious animal act is determined to seduce Kitty. Sin City has never been so wild, and this werewolf has never had to fight harder to save not only her wedding, but her very life.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

I like the change of settings in the books. Kitty likes adventure and she’s not big on planning. However, things never go truly right for the poor werewolf anyway. The hotel she’s staying at is hosting a convention full of gun-toting bounty hunters, the vampires are super not helpful, and there’s a few questionable characters that like turning things upside down for Kitty.

Ben’s helpful and not helpful in this book, full of support and love for Kitty, yet trying to get his wits about him. He’s not always physically “there” in this one either, leaving Kitty to try to pick up the pieces of what’s happened to Ben – especially since everyone assumes he abandoned her before the wedding.

badge4v4For this one, the characters and setting grabbed me more than the plot itself. Kitty is always getting into various troubles and that’s nothing new. Unfortunately, the mass layering of different issues got old for me in this book, so I was really rooting for characters like Dom (the master vamp), Grant (the magician) and the Evan/Brenda duo. Well, not really rooting if you’ve read the book, but you know what I mean.

I like the mash up of personalities and the action each character brings. Overall, I give this book a fabulous four.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

After the very clear story arc in the first four books, I always struggle a little bit with Dead Man’s Hand (I think this is my third read). Not that the story isn’t good; it is. It’s just that I’m not sure where it’s supposed to be going. I also wonder if the first thing a new werewolf alpha would really do after a takeover is leave pack and territory.

However, this book does introduce one of my very favorite characters; Odysseus Grant. Grant is an old-style stage magician in Vegas, complete with top hat and tails and all the classic illusionist tricks like scarves and rings and rabbits in hats. But his real purpose in Vegas is a bit more interesting. Grant is a guardian, tracking old-style dark magic, like the cult of Tiamat and and old portal to a Lovecraftian realm. I would SO love some stories about Grant; he’s mysterious and enigmatic and oh-so interesting. There have to be some good stories there. Vaughn writes a lot of short stories; I’ll have to go scour her website to see if any of them have been about Grant.

I also like the observations Kitty makes about her relationship with Ben. She describes that love “snuck up” on them; it didn’t hit them like a massive explosion. Their wolves mated first, and then their human sides came later. I really like how Vaughn writes a realistic relationship for Kitty and Ben; they fight, they aren’t attached at the hip, Ben’s not an “alpha” male as we see in some books–he lets Kitty be herself and do her thing. They worry about each other, but they don’t limit each other. It’s a really refreshing take on relationships in popular culture.

badge4v4Overall, I like this book, but not quite as much as the first four. But that’s okay, ’cause there are a lot more books to come. 🙂

Our reviews in this series…

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might try Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series, Rachel Vincent’s Shifter series, or Eileen Wilk’s World of the Lupi series.

About Invested Ivana

I'm an adult learning professional, a book blogger at One Book Two, and lifetime reader. I like geeky things. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employers, my clients, the other reviewers on this site, or this site as a whole.

Posted on February 12, 2016, in All Reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

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