I love the Kitty Norville books but I HATE the covers. They are everything the books aren’t: clichéd, wannabe-glamorous, vapidly sexual and totally unoriginal. If I wasn’t reading the audiobook version, I’d have to add a “Don’t judge me by my cover” sticker to the front. Why do the publishers do this?
Underneath the cover is another good read in the Kitty Norville series about the werewolf host of “The Midnight Hour – the talk show that isn’t afraid of the dark or the people who live there.”
Except, in this novel, Kitty is taking a break from her show so she can write an autobiography, hence the “Kitty Takes A Holiday” title.
I like the way Carrie Vaughn adapts move titles for her books, it’s inclusive somehow, inviting the reader to a peer-to-peer relationship based on a common culture. Or that could be nonsense that I make up when my over-used brain takes time off to write book reviews.
Don’t be mislead, this isn’t a jolly jaunt to the seaside. Kitty’s holiday starts off feeling like a self-imposed exile that isolates her from her fans and the energy and focus her show gives her.
Kitty is so bored by the countryside and so blocked in her writing that she ends up calling in to a newly established rival to “The Midnight Hour” and pretending to have a problem to discuss.
Then things get worse: curses, corpses, and a creature with glowing red eyes and very evil intentions.
“Kitty Takes A Holiday” is darker than it’s predecessors. Humour is only an accent colour here, the main palette of the book is much more sombre: power and what you or who you are prepared to sacrifice to get it; hate and fear and how they blind you, and twist you and lessen you; Irredeemable, insatiable, life-destroying evil and the strength needed to confront it and the power of belief to change not just what we see but who we become.
There is more violence and death and this book and the consequences for everyone involved are more severe. Kitty learns more about why Cormac hunts and kills werewolves and has to consider whether she can endorse the violence he brings with him everywhere. Kitty also starts to understand that her public status as a werewolf makes her a target for those who fear her power or abhor her unnatural status.
I think Carrie Vaughn took a risk by having Kitty so depressed, disempowered and unsure of herself for large parts of this book but it more than paid off in terms of making Kitty into a more rounded person who understands her own nature and is finally able to choose her path rather than just react to the actions of others.