“Kitty’s House Of Horrors – Kitty Norville #7” by Carrie Vaughn – a welcome return to form

Kitty'a House of Horrors“Kitty’s House Of Horrors” restored my interest in this series. This is a solid Urban Fantasy novel in its own right and it moves the series along in interesting directions.

Kitty’s participation in a Reality TV show, filmed in a remote mountain lodge, inhabited by various supernaturals who have gone public and a sceptic who believes they’re all faking it, provides an opportunity to bring some interesting people together. When things go wrong and people start to die, we move quickly from “Big Brother – the supernatural edition” to “Supernatural Hunger Games.”

I liked the plot in this book. It was more thought-through than having Kitty antagonise a bunch of powerful people in situations that she barely understand and then having to cope with the consequences. In “Kitty’s House Of Horror” there are plots within plots and Kitty has to think as well as act.

The Reality TV show brings together just about every supernatural and psychic that Kitty has befriended in the series and adds some new weres and some intriguing vampires. Many of these people are present because of Kitty although she seems not to understand  the impact that she has and the trust she’s created.

I was pleased to see the return of two of my favourite characters, Tina the psychic ghost hunter and the mysterious magician, Odysseus Grant, who is there for the third book in a row. I was also glad to see that Cormac will be returning  to us. He will add some grit to future books.

I was also pleased to see that Kitty’s sense of humour is back. She takes some fun swipes at the lack of reality in Reality TV and, when the situation starts to feel more like a classic horror movie, she reminds her friends that “The reason most people in horror movies get killed is because they haven’t watched enough horror movies.”

During the “Real Worldish” section of the book, Kitty positions herself as talk-show host in residence, bouncing off the people around her and pressing to get at their secrets  but  once the killings start, she automatically starts to take on the mantel of leader.

This is one of the darkest books in the series so far. The death toll is high and characters I like die.  Kitty is in the shadow of The Long Game  and is being pressured to take sides in a conflict where she doesn’t know the game or even all of the players.

For the third book in a row, both Ben, Kitty’s husband, and her Pack, are mostly absent from the story but this time with more justification. Still. I’d like to see more of both in future books.

“Kitty’s House Of Horror” is a fast-paced, witty, entertainment wrapped around a dark core that takes an uncomfortable look at violence produced by hating someone and classifying them as not human. It was a fun read and I’m back on board  for the rest of the series.

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