Kitty’s Big Trouble by Carrie Vaughn
In San Francisco’s Little China, Kitty learns that there are more supernaturals in her world than she ever dreamed of.
Publisher’s Description: Kitty Norville is back and in more trouble than ever. Her recent run-in with werewolves traumatized by the horrors of war has made her start wondering how long the US government might have been covertly using werewolves in combat. Have any famous names in our own history might have actually been supernatural? She’s got suspicions about William Tecumseh Sherman. Then an interview with the right vampire puts her on the trail of Wyatt Earp, vampire hunter.
But her investigations lead her to a clue about enigmatic vampire Roman and the mysterious Long Game played by vampires through the millennia. That, plus a call for help from a powerful vampire ally in San Francisco, suddenly puts Kitty and her friends on the supernatural chessboard, pieces in dangerously active play. And Kitty Norville is never content to be a pawn. . . .
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Kat Mandu says…
The thing about Kitty Norville is that she never leads a dull life. Almost every book has a different setting. Washington, Kansas, Las Vegas, Montana, Denver… This one even has a main plot set up in San Francisco, where Kitty not only has to worry about vampire enemy Roman, but also the local pack. I love the introductions to new werewolf and vampire societies. Each is unique in their own way.
I also love the revelations about historical figures being of the supernatural kind. The author has hinted at several people before, John F. Kennedy being one big one, but now there are more and plenty others she’ll discover in the future.
The thing I didn’t like about this one much was Kitty herself. She’s spent the last four books trying to convince herself that she doesn’t want a dangerous kind of life and wants to be left alone, but now she’s throwing herself headfirst into said danger. Even the characters close to her kind of get annoyed by her curious habits, mostly because she puts them in positions where they have to watch their backs, and hers, constantly. Sure, that’s kind of a thing for wolves but where would the line end? I just think it’s weird that she’s lost all these people and yet she likes to create bad situations for herself.
I give it a shiny four.
Invested Ivana says…
I can’t say it enough; I’m so happy to be doing a re-read of the Kitty books, especially of the later books. It’s like NetFlixing a TV show all at once instead of watching an episode a week (or even less frequently!)—the experience is much richer when all the details of the previous stories are fresh in my mind. I know some people don’t care for rereading, and that’s okay. I’m learning that, for me, rereading is essential to my enjoyment.
Kitty’s Big Trouble (as in the movie Big Trouble in Little China), introduces Kitty to some of the Chinese supernaturals that have manifested in the New World. Kitty, Ben, and Cormac travel to San Francisco to help Anastasia, who we met in House of Horrors, retrieve a powerful Chinese artifact before Roman, the “big bad,” can get it.
I liked Anastasia when we met her in House of Horrors. Her rivalry with Odysseus Grant was a little annoying, but ultimately understandable. Her love for her companions, vampire Gemma and human Dorian, was admirable. In Big Trouble, we learn more about why Anastasia is so paranoid about Roman and his machinations, and the lengths to which she’ll go to fight him.
Roman isn’t just the unseen “boogie man” in this novel has he has been since Raises Hell. He is in San Francisco at the same time as our heroes, actively seeking the artifact for a nefarious purpose. Our heroes tangle with him a couple of times, and he delivers an ominous message at the end of the book that is meant to make them, and us as readers, understand that our heroes live for now ONLY because Roman doesn’t feel they’re significant enough to bother with. Of course, this is EXACTLY the kind of thing that ignites Kitty’s stubbornness, so you know it’s only going to make her fight harder.
I enjoyed the supporting characters in this book. Grace Chen, a psychic in San Francisco, helps our group because of a promise made to Anastasia by Grace’s ancestor; one Grace thought was more myth than reality. The San Francisco vampires were interesting as well. I’m not sure if any of them will return in a future story, but they serve to expand what we know of Kitty’s world. We also get a brief conversation with Allette, who we met in Washington, and get a new but tiny piece of information about Rick’s past. Amelia gets to shine a bit more as well, as Cormac casts spells to help the group find the artifact and fight Roman.
I think Marguarite Gavin does a great job of narrating Kitty’s stories. The vocal distinctions between characters isn’t always great, but her voice has a good radio quality that is perfect for Kitty. Gavin also narrates The Hollows series by Kim Harrison, which I enjoy as well. In Big Trouble, Gavin’s narration of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, reminds me of Jenks, which just made me smile. Since they are both “trickster” type characters, the similarity is completely appropriate.
Finally, though they didn’t get explored near enough in this installment, I think the questions about General Sherman being a werewolf and Wyatt Erp being a hunter are really cool! I think those are some great seeds for future stories. 🙂
Our reviews in this series…
- Kitty and the Midnight Hour
- Kitty Goes to Washington
- Kitty Takes a Holiday
- Kitty and the Silver Bullet
- Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand
- Kitty Raises Hell
- Kitty’s House of Horrors
- Kitty Goes to War
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