“Kitty Raises Hell – Kitty Norville #6” by Carrie Vaughn – better than the last one but…

I was disappkitty raises hellointed by the last book in this series “Kitty And The Dead Man’s Hand”, mainly because Kitty seemed to have had a personality transplant and have become someone I didn’t much like.

I was hoping “Kitty Raises Hell”  would be better. It was, but not by much.

The plot is mostly “Dead Man’s Hand – Part 2”. The cult that Kitty attacked in Vegas has unleashed an ancient evil that is out to kill Kitty and her pack.

There are some good things in this book that give me hope for the rest of the series.

I liked the balance of focus between human and supernatural characters. I find that the Urban Fantasy books that treat humans as a lesser species or as weak little things needing the protection of the supernaturally gifted, a little difficult to swallow. Humans, although not entirely normal humans, are key to “Kitty Raises Hell”and they provided the characters I was most interested in.

The taciturn, mysterious and magically powerful Odysseus Grant returns, I hope not for the last time. It’s good to think that there are human players in this game who actually have a clue.

The Paradox PI “Ghost Hunter” crew brought the kind of fun into the story that I used to get from Kitty’s radio show. I liked Tina, the secret psychic in the Paradox PI team. I was glad that she turned out to be more than eye-candy. I usually find Kitty’s relationship with women more interesting than her relationships with men and Tina  is no exception.

The introduction of TJ’s brother provided a stronger emotional base for the story and reminded us of what Kitty has lost.

The return to the concept of “The Long Game” played by vampires and others was interesting, although I wouldn’t want to see the Kitty books descend into yet another series about vampire politics.

So why am I not jumping up and down and saying that my faith in the series has been restored?

It’s mainly because I’m still asking: “Where’s Kitty?”.  The Kitty in “Kitty Raises Hell” isn’t the who-the-hell-is-that stranger I met in “Kitty And The Dead Man’s Hand” but there are a number of things about her that are not very satisfying. Her relationship with her new husband, Ben seems tenuous. Neither she nor Carrie Vaughn seem to know what to do with Ben. The same can be said about Kitty’s relationship with her pack. We did see some Alpha behaviour in this book but Kitty doesn’t seem to be strongly connected to her pack and doesn’t call upon them to help her solve her problems.

Perhaps all I’m seeing is Kitty going through a transition but, if so, it’s not very well done.

I see Kitty as the character that should carry the series, yet in this book the ensemble cast was more interesting. Perhaps she’s going the way of Buffy and becoming eclipsed by the cast around her.

Anyway, I’ve already bought the seventh book in the series “Kitty’s House Of Horror”. I’ll read that one and then decide if this series is still for me.

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