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. . . .
Carrie Vaughn is the author more than twenty novels and over a hundred short stories. She's best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. In 2018, she won the Philip K. Dick Award for Bannerless, a post-apocalyptic murder mystery. She's published over 20 novels and 100 short stories, two of which have been finalists for the Hugo Award. She's a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. R. Martin and a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop.
An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado, where she collects hobbies.
Really a 2.5 or a 2.9. It's not quite a three, but it isn't really a two. I liked it much better than Discord's Apple, but not as well as the other Kitty books.
Here's what I like about the Kitty series, including this one. I like the fact that Kitty doesn't get power creeps, unless it is knowledge. The only power she gains is mental and emotional; she is simply a werewolf. I like that. I like the fact that Kitty is married. I like the fact that Kitty questions everything. The books make me laugh. I like how Vaughn challenges the vampire/werewolf hierachy that dominates every other Urban Fantasy book. I could live, however, without the vampire politics that seem to appear in each and every series. Really if vampires were that bad, wouldn't everyone else just simply stake them?
So why two stars, you ask? Why this confused rating?
Part of it concerns the plot of this novel. It is very loose, and I never felt that any of the characters were danger, even minor characters. Vaughn is usually good at that, check out Kitty's House of Horrors, for instance. Part of it was the inclusion of certain characters (I'm trying not to use spoilers here). Kitty doesn't power creep, but she is becoming a little too special sometimes. I did like very much, however, Grace's parting shots.
But my main problem is Ben. Now I know some fans of this series really want the Ben/Kitty/Cormac triangle. I don't. I like the fact that Kitty is married. The only author who does that is Kelley Armstrong. I just wish Ben was a bit more of a character. In some ways, he feels like a male version of that interchangable movie chick who is just there to look good running in slo-mo and as a romantic (lust really) lead. This is a shame because Ben didn't start out like that. In many ways, Vaughn is defining him solely in terms of Kitty. While this in some way makes sense, Kitty is the one who eased his transformation into werewolf, I wish they were more equals, at least in how the characters are drawn. Vaughn herself seems somewhat aware of this, and hopefully it will work itself out by the next book, which I will buy and read.
Kitty the Werewolf goes to Big Trouble in Chinatown. Literally. I can almost see Kurt Russell hopping in and the dude with the lightning bolts. Only this time we've got Naruto joining in the fun. Or at least, we've got a nine-tailed demon fox.
The thing is, the novel is okay. It's meant to be lighthearted fun and a little treasure hunting adventure and a little new discovery with Cormac and a little encounter with Roman.
Fun? Sure. But it's no more than adventure time with our favorite radio announcer. With wild west vampires, hero worship with Civil War werewolf leaders, magical pearls, and campy fun.
Is this what the Kitty Norville series has become? Sure, it's fun to have all these idea points, but where's the personal involvement? Everyone in the cast is pretty much set in stone.
I suppose that's fine if you want an ongoing series that doesn't change all that much, but ... it is what it is. Just okay.
It's road trip time for Kitty Norville. Remember the vampire Anastasia from Kitty's House of Horrors? She's back and she's asking Kitty to come to San Francisco to retrieve an object of great power. Evil and super-old vampire Roman is after it too, so Kitty hits the road with Ben and Cormac, headed to the west coast.
The object, which Anastasia calls "the pearl" is hidden in the underground tunnels of Chinatown. And as our group of heroes goes searching for it, they get wrapped up in some ancient Chinese mythology. Kitty realizes, once again, how much she still doesn't know about the supernatural world. But even in the face of gods, she holds on to her fighting spirit and struggles to do the right thing, while protecting the two people she cares most about.
I suppose it sounds good at face value, but I felt unengaged for most of the book. Yes, there was a little danger, but I guess the key word here is little. There was virtually no tension for me to latch on to. I mean, the series has completely lost anything resembling a romantic or sexual tension. Ben is a nice guy; he loves Kitty; she loves him; blah, blah, blah. Cormac is there as some bizarre, possessed, third-wheel/bodyguard. Any excitement about any of them is long gone, as Vaughn has clearly made the Kitty/Ben pairing permanent and unshakeable.
There is also no personal investment in the story arc. Kitty is doing Anastasia a favor. Yeah, it has greater implications, but the entire mission feels removed from Kitty's life. It's not like Vaughn will kill off Kitty, Cormac or Ben ... and if she would have killed off Anastastia, Henry, Grace or Sun, I can't say I would have cared. So that leaves me... well... uninvested.
It wasn't a bad book. I liked it, but I didn't love it. It just kind of felt like a bridge to intensify the conflict between Kitty and Roman. 3 1/2 stars.
More than any other series, the Kitty Norville books read like a television series. Each episode is action packed, often self contained, with a little romance and character growth thrown in for spice. KITTY’S BIG TROUBLE is no deviation from that recipe, and this particular book worked very well for me. While the action would be accessible to even a new reader, the relationship dynamics (my favorite part), would definitely go right over their head.
The adventure in BIG TROUBLE provides prime character observation time for Kitty, Ben, and Cormac. With the dynamic trio operating as a team (or should it be "quartet" now that Cormac is possessed? Man, I hate that plot development), I felt this was the best glimpse we’ve had of how this new “pack of three” functions. I feel guilty when I type that despite Kitty’s marriage, I'm still very much a "Team Cormac" kind of girl. Ben hasn't had much time to shine lately, as all of the werewolf related issues are outside his comfort zone. This is very evident in BIG TROUBLE, where Kitty intervenes several times to keep Ben in human form. Outside of adjusting to being a wolf, however, adventure looks good on Ben. There are subtle hints of the bad-ass monster hunter he once was. He handles a gun and coordinates with Cormac in a way that is pretty damn attractive, and I look forward to him developing that level of skill and competence in the "alpha" arena.
As evident by my Ben digression, despite BIG TROUBLE being nonstop action from start to finish, it’s the character dynamic that kept me thinking long after I’ve put the book down. Some of the recent Kitty Norville books tipped the balance too far towards action (I’m looking at you KITTY’S HOUSE OF HORRORS), but BIG TROUBLE was right on the money. The power struggles and supernatural politics do a great job of sucking me in, but it's the way Kitty and her loved ones change that keeps me coming back for more.
Kitty's big trouble by Carrie Vaughn Kitty Norville book 9
Kitty is back and apparently in big trouble. But let's be honest here she is always in trouble. However after reading clearly she defiantly finds even more trouble then normal.
With Kitty recent run in with the traumatized war heros that was turned into werewolf by the government. Now she is wondering have the government done this before? Have there been other supernatural people joined the military? She is deep diving into the books trying to find a clue. That was till she talked about it on her radio show. That was when a very old vampire give her a small clue. The clue however ends up taking Kitty, Ben, and Cormac to San Francisco.
The clue that is suppose to help with the search of supernatural people joining the military. However it may of led them into another clue into the long game.
While kitty and the gang is trying to flush out some on Roman's people. Kitty falls into a whole that takes her to a different world like. She is injured and scared when she meets Sun. Now Sun is helping Kitty figuring out the chess game that they are apparently playing. However Kitty does not like being a pawn.
Kitty Norville is one curious werewolf. When she gets wind of a rumour about Civil War icon, William T. Sherman’s possible wolfy side, she turns into a dog with a bone. Kitty becomes desperate to pick the brain of every vampire and find out which other historic legends had a supernatural helping hand.
But Kitty gets side-tracked in her mission when the vampire Anastasia calls asking for help. She’s in San Francisco and on the hunt for an artefact of extreme power – and she needs to find it before Roman does.
So Kitty, with her alpha mate Ben and their unofficial human pack member, Cormac, trot off to San Francisco to get caught up in the usual vampiric Long Game and put an end to Roman once and for all.
‘Kitty’s Big Trouble’ is the ninth book in Carrie Vaughn’s ‘Kitty Norville’ urban fantasy series.
I have been a big fan of Vaughn’s ‘Kitty Norville’ series for a long time now. Her books are the quintessential urban fantasy – based around a werewolf radio host who uses her own struggles with lycanthropy and the supernatural community to reach out to like-minded and curious listeners. I like Kitty best of all because her books have been a real journey. She started out as a down-trodden werewolf, low on her pack’s pecking order – but over time and with growing courage, Kitty has risen to become alpha of her own pack and has forged strong bonds with two very important men – her husband Ben and his hunter cousin, Cormac. I am a fan of this series – but recent books have blunted my enthusiasm somewhat, and ‘Kitty’s Big Trouble’ is more of the same.
This ninth book starts off with an interesting premise. Kitty is doing some digging and discovers Civil War transcripts that discuss William T. Sherman’s werewolf background. This, of course, kicks our curious Kitty off on a gossip quest – she speaks to her closest vampy friends and tries to pick their brain about famous supernatural icons. Of course, the famous supernatural’s storyline has been discussed in other book series – most notably with the adorable character of Bubba in Charlaine Harris’s ‘Sookie Stackhouse: Southern Vampire’. But Vaughn takes such discussions to the slightly higher-brow, theoretical. This is an interesting bent, and I hope Kitty pursues this interest in the future. . .
But then the vampires step in and side-track Kitty’s hunt. The infamous bad-ass vampire, Roman, is on the hunt for a Chinese artefact, so Kitty and Co. have been called in to help keep it out of his hands. Once again, I really liked the Roman storyline – especially as it’s tied in with some fascinating Chinese mythology. Roman is also a notorious villain in the series, and I was happy to see his storyline revisited with such damning results.
Carrie Vaughn excels in writing high-octane action scenes. Her fights and brawls read like live-action movies on the page and the tension levels are always on a heart-palpitating high. The actual drama storyline is sinister and superb, and I cannot fault the detailed inner-workings of Chinese tradition and vampiric games.
What I have a problem with (and have been disgruntled by for the last few ‘Kitty’ books) is Carrie Vaughn’s determined avoidance of emotional development for her characters. The ‘Kitty’ series started off with such vibrant and complicated emotional relationships. Kitty first met Cormac when he was sent to kill her – a monster hunter with his sights set on the famous werewolf Kitty Norville. But what started as animosity turned into bewildering chemistry – and many fans were waiting with bated breath for Cormac and Kitty’s relationship to progress to the next level . . . and then Cormac’s lawyer cousin, Ben, entered the scene. At first he was nothing but an acquaintance, sometimes lawyer and then a sort-of friend to Kitty. But with a werewolf bite and sudden transformation Ben quickly came to mean a lot more to Kitty and the two soon embarked on a romantic relationship . . . while Cormac still seemed to be battling his feelings. When Cormac was sent to prison, Kitty and Ben’s relationship heated up – they become alpha mates and then husband and wife. And Cormac all but admitted his regret over not staking his claim on Kitty when he had the chance.
“You don’t have to worry about me,” he said, matter-of-fact, instantly – like a defence mechanism. “Yes, I do,” I said. “Get used to it,” Ben said, amused. “You’re part of the pack.” “The pack?” I hesitated, then said, “Pack of three. That’s what I've been calling us. I figure we have to look out for each other.” “Huh,” he said, settling himself against the wall, adjusting his grip on the crossbow. I kept waiting for him to say something else, but this was Cormac. The strong, silent type.
Where we are in the series now is Kitty and Ben firmly established as a loyal and loving union . . . while Cormac has recently been released from prison. And that’s about it.
Vaughn hasn’t revisited Cormac and Kitty’s old attraction for a long time now. Kitty and Ben are bordering on dull – and even a quick mention of adoption in ‘Trouble’ is skirted over and relegated to a one-line utterance. For a lot of people the Cormac/Kitty ‘will they or won’t they?’ was a big selling point of the books – some even had hopes that it would turn into a heated love triangle between Cormac/Kitty/Ben. But the old romance hasn’t been mentioned for books now – Kitty and Cormac don’t share a scene with just the two of them in ‘Trouble’ and Cormac is so steely tight-lipped that you almost forget his presence in many scenes.
I don’t know why Vaughn seems doggedly determined to avoid discussing any sort of emotional/character development in her series anymore. Considering that the first few books were all about Kitty’s growth from subservient to alpha – and she went through a rather harrowing character arc – I can’t believe that recent books have stunted her so much. Kitty and Ben don’t even share many intimate scenes in ‘Trouble’, nothing to remind fans that they’re not this boring, steady couple who are becoming exceedingly dull in their matrimony.
And the lack of Cormac/Kitty is atrocious. He is such a beloved fan-favourite character – I think readers could forgive his lengthy stint in prison if only Vaughn would have made his freedom interesting by revisiting his feelings for Kitty with a vengeance. No such luck, and mores the pity.
I do still love these books – Vaughn’s action scenes are unparalleled brilliance. But I am quickly losing steam with the series because Vaughn’s characters seem to have stunted emotional growth.
This one didn't strike me as one of the better Kitty Norville books. It's primarily a road trip story; Kitty, Ben, and Cormac have an adventure in San Francisco, and while other events are narrated, the whole thing doesn't fit together as well as the other books I've read in the series. (Even the title strikes me as a little on the lame side.) The speculation about Sherman is interesting, we learn what happens to Anastasia, Ben is called Mr. Kitty as one point which was worth a chuckle, and Cormac's confusion at being Amelia part of the time is entertaining, but overall I was a little unsatisfied at the end.
“Werewolves are all about instinct, emotion. They’re so full of passion. Makes them fascinating, don’t you think?”
It’s like meeting back up with old friends when a new Kitty book hits the shelves. Whether she likes it or not, Kitty always finds herself in the middle of the action and while she might hope for a nice, quiet life with her husband, Ben, trouble seems to find her (or she it) more often than not. After asking many questions about werewolves throughout history and who might have been a famous shapeshifter, she ends up getting a call from the vampire Anastasia asking for “help” in retrieving the Dragon Pearl, an object of massive power that if in the wrong hands, namely Roman’s, would be devastating. Kitty agrees to help and her pack of 3, Ben, Cormac and herself head west to San Francisco. What starts out as a hunt to find the Dragon’s Pearl, turns into far more than anyone saw coming and battling other werewolves, being brought in to see the local vampire Family, facing off against Roman and even coming face to face with Gods, is all in a nights work for Kitty and Co.
All I could think when reading this book was, Kitty is having one hell of a rough night. The main story takes place during one long day and the majority of scenes are in underground San Francisco, not any underground that would be on a map however. The world is a new one to Kitty and to readers and has a very dreamlike quality to it. Are things really what they seem? Are the people? In a big way, it was an introduction in that we don’t know what all is “out there” and there’s no way to get the answers to everything, even though that will never stop Kitty from asking the questions…any question:
“It’s rude, asking vampires about their age,” said Boss. I shrugged. “Yeah. I keep doing it anyway.” I was getting my groove back. I came as close as I could to staring at him without looking him in his hypnotic eyes. He had a slight hook in his nose, “I have some questions. You’ve been running San Francisco for almost a century, so you were here during the sixties. Summer of Love and all that, right? You ever meet Janis Joplin? Jerry Garcia? Country Joe? Any of those psychedelic guys?” “What if I said yes? What do you expect me to say about any of them that hasn’t already been said?” “Maybe I just wanted to see if you had any concert bootlegs.”
One thing I really enjoyed that stood out most for me was this was a story that showed Kitty’s main pack in action. She, Ben and Cormac were together pretty much from cover to cover and I loved seeing their new dynamic at work. There are still so many questions about Cormac and his "other" side, and we’re slowly seeing how he’s changed and I’m hoping that he has a short story in KITTY’S GREATEST HITS that explains a little more about what happened when he was in prison. Not everything’s all roses and rainbows for the trio though because even though Cormac knows Kitty and Ben, he’s still weary of their werewolves and while Kitty does trust him to have their backs in a fight, I don't know if they 100% trust him to not take one or both of them out if he thought they were a threat. I’d like to think he wouldn’t, but there are just enough references to his weary looks at them, or how he holds his weapon that makes me wonder just what’s going through his mind.
While this book didn’t have a big showdown with a clear cut finish or ending, it set up the next book and the future of Kitty and her potential “army” vs Roman and whatever this Long Game is that will no doubt run right through Kitty – or she’ll run through it! In the short term, Kitty won’t have her calm, quiet life, but that’s not really her to begin with. She finds herself in the middle of everything and this is why I’m a Ben fan – he’s her safe place. When everything was going to hell and back in this story, all Kitty needed to do was touch Ben to calm down and get centered. Their relationship has been one of my favorite things about this series from the start. It’s not really the norm to have a series centered around a heroine in a committed relationship, but Kitty needs the solid, steady presence of Ben (as he does with her) and I love the team they’ve become and it just gets stronger with each book. I hope that Cormac can find his place in their pack, Kitty and Ben want him there, and if the ending of KITTY’S BIG TROUBLE is any indication, Cormac is getting more comfortable with life on the outside again, and is realizing that he’s a part of the “we” when Kitty and Ben talk about hitting the road for another adventure.
Overall, this is another very entertaining Kitty adventure. The story flows so well and the ending leaves me wanting the next book now!
Fresh from her experience of working with male werewolves, who, while soldiers in the U.S. Army, had been traumatized by their combat experiences in Afghanistan, Kitty became curious as to whether any werewolves figured prominently in American history. So, she made a number of inquiries, one of which led her to suspect that General William Tecumseh Sherman, one of the great Civil War generals, had been a werewolf.
Utilizing her friendship with Rick, the leader of Denver's vampire family, Kitty learns, via Rick's contacts with other vampires across the country, that at least one of the famous figures from the Old West had been a vampire hunter. This excites Kitty's curiosity so much so, that she (along with her husband Ben --- who is also a werewolf --- and their mutual friend, Cormac, a man of many talents), drive over to Dodge City to explore the remnants of what had been a vampire community in the latter part of the 19th century. Unexpectedly the 3 of them are confronted by 2 male werewolves (in human form), who didn't take kindly to having their "turf" encroached on by 2 strange werewolves. (Werewolves are very territorial creatures.) So, Kitty, Ben, and Cormac wisely return to Denver --- curiosity satisfied insofar as vampires in Dodge City's past was concerned.
Late one night, Kitty receives an urgent phone call from Anastasia, an 800-year old vampire she had befriended when they had been part of a paranormal reality TV show sometime ago. Anastasia is fearful that Roman, a Master Vampire with whom both Kitty and Anatasia had separately battled in the past, may have come into possession of the Dragon's Pearl, a magical jewel that can give its user absolute and unchallenged power on a universal scale. Apparently, Roman is in Anatasia's neck of the woods --- San Francisco --- where he is quietly gathering allies in the paranormal realm (vampires and werewolves alike, who are under his total control). Kitty, though wary of another run-in with Roman, agrees to come out to San Francisco to help Anastasia find the Dragon's Pearl. Better it is, she reckoned, to take on the devil you know tout suite rather than wait til he's stronger and a more potent future threat to her and her pack.
It is at this point, that the story goes into high gear upon the arrival of Kitty, Ben, and Cormac in San Francisco. (The intrepid 3 later meet with Anastasia in Chinatown, where the "fun" begins.) The imagery is rich, vibrant, and evokes the magic and wonder of "Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon". Anyone who is a fan of the Kitty Norville Series and enjoys action-packed stories with a flair for the fantastic won't be disappointed here.
So, Kitty is a werewolf, who asks wayyyyyyyyy too many questions and is really big on getting into other peoples business, which doesn't seem very werewolf like. lol This gets her into a lot of trouble, which is to be expected, but she seems to always have other people backing her up. While this isn't necessarily unexpected, it does seem to me that they would be getting mad at her running her mouth, or telling her to shut up or something. This is my main gripe with this series--Kitty's behavior to me just doesn't jive as werewolf-like.
Anyway, in this excursion, Kitty gets a call from Anastasia, a vampire she met a couple books back, asking her to help find a lost item of power. Okay. Now, I don't see vampires doing this. and I doint see a werewolf jumping at the chance to help. So I kept thinking there is some kind of trap, or double cross going on here. But nope.
I also kept getting struck by the weirdness of Kitty and Ben and Cormac. At the beginning of this series, Kitty and Cormac had a lot of sparks, and Ben was just Cormac's lawyer cousin. The Ben turned into werewolf, and she tried to help him through his first change, and their wolves mated, so now they are lifemates. She has to touch him all the time, and they are just kind of hinky. and I still am not feeling it. There was never an interest or a spark, just a sudden 'oh were mated now'. Maybe I am team Cormac, and I get she needs to be with a werewolf, but this seems too easy or something.
Anyway-there are some good parts in this story too. Kitty explores some American werewolf history. Theyre in Chinatown, there are catacombs and Chinese gods. They end up fighting with Roman. Overall, a strong 3 stars
2.5 stars - I did this in audio and it never did grab me to the point that I was tempted to listen outside of the car, so it took a long time to finish.
Part of that was that I experienced some negative crossover with the narrator - she's the same reader that does Charlie Davidson, so I kept expecting funny and sass, and that's not Kitty or Vaughn's style.
A couple of other things didn't help either: the story wasn't that focused and I have a feeling that I could have skipped this book without missing much serieswise, also (even though I really did love Ben when he was just a lawyer) Kitty and Ben are solid but dull, and finally I really hate the evolution of Cormac - he wad a great character and the mage thing is sort if cool but the possession thing isn't. What I did like was the little bit of Chinese mythology.
So, the book probably fell more on the okay side than a solid like for meand I am thinking there's a reason why I let myself get so far behind in this series. But I bought a couple of the books on an audio sale, so I'll keep on going with the next book.
Man, I hate to give this only two stars but I really didn't enjoy this one as much as the other Kitty novels! I don't know why, really. The story just didn't suck me in like some of the others. I get really sick of hearing about "hackles rising," "fur standing on end," "back of neck prickling," etc. I kind of feel like a thesaurus would be good sometimes. And the epilogue just felt like it was never going to end! :o(
I also need to comment on the narrating since I listened to this book at work. I was a fan of Marguerite Gavin while listening to the rest of this series earlier this year. However, I grew tired of her voice in this one. It was like she was putting the emphasis on the wrong words sometimes, and things didn't always make sense with the way she said them. Felt like a lackluster performance to me.
This one really has me debating on whether or not I will continue the series. We'll see when the next one comes out how I'm feeling and what's already in the queue.
The style was smooth and entertaining, but when I think back over the story, it feels like a short story and not a 300 page novel - nothing really happens. Mostly they wander around lost a lot. And the end is completely anticlimactic. I just really don't get this one at all. I'm a bit worried because I haven't liked any of her non-Kitty books, they've lacked impact and intensity for me, but I've always liked these books a lot. But maybe she's just losing her focus all together. I hope this is just an anomaly in the series.
I Picked Up This Book Because: Continuation of a series.
Kitty Norville: Ben O’Farrell: Cormac/Amelia, Sun, Anastasia:
This title is misleading, Kitty is always in trouble but with so much going on I see why the author kept it simple. This story was anything but simple. With monsters and relics and gods and centuries old vampires. Oh and pack members that are now magically inclined. There is an excellent setup for the next book which I look forward to getting my hands on.
Marguerite Gavin deserves a shout out because her portrayal of Kitty and company is unbeatable. I think a great amount of my love for this series is due to her.
Writing: Intricate and slightly overwhelming, like I like it. Forward Motion: Excellent,not a moment of lull. Seriously the characters have to be exhausted. Overall Interest: Great. I actually listened to the last 45 minutes at work this morning. Length of Reading Time: Good Re-read-ability: No.
The Random Thoughts:
I kinda hope we get to see Sun again. I really liked his character.
I just had a thought: Is the title related to/a play on Big Trouble in Little China? I’ve never seen the film so I am clueless.
Another corker of a tale in this modern-day werewolf series. This one ratchets up the world-wide stakes a notch and seems to be leading toward a much greater and millennium-long supernatural war. Kitty, of course, is not content to sit on the sidelines. It's pretty cool to think of historical figures such as William T Sherman, Wyatt Earp and Coronado as actually being werewolves and vampires. Looking forward to see where this is all leading...
This one felt like it took a while to get going. It got more entertaining when the Chinese gods and creatures got involved. Kitty has definitely leveled-up. I enjoyed the Cormac scenes and Rick scenes disproportionately to their page count because I really like those characters. Perhaps because there isn't really much interaction with him, I'm not finding Roman that interesting a villain.
This was my first Kitty Norville book and I really enjoyed it. There was a good balance of action and character development/self-reflection, and the plot was fun and fairly fast-paced. I’ll probably start the series from the beginning now.
Favorite Quote: “Amelia’s game “ “Does she even get a vote?”
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?
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. . . .(Goodreads)
Kitty’s trouble finder is working great in here, much to her husband Ben’s despair. Kitty receives a call from San Fransisco vampire Anastasia asking for her help. Roman is still playing the long game and mobilizing an army while trying to locate a great object of power. Anastasia knows where the OOP is but needs Kitty’s help in retrieving it and keeping it safe. Kitty, Ben, and Cormac travel to San Fransisco and are soon embroiled in a supernatural war that has drawn the attention of the Gods.
Kitty’s Big Trouble is number nine in Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series. From a weak terrorized werewolf to becoming an alpha of her own pack and married-Kitty has come a long way in the last eight books. I really enjoyed the first books of the series. They maintained a serious undertone filled with action and suspense with well placed humorous snark. The last few books have, in my opinion, have stalled and become complacent. It’s like reading a Nancy Drew mystery. They find a mystery, solve it, then everyone goes home happy. I miss the edge of your seat tension where we weren’t sure what was going to happen to Kitty and her friends. We know Kitty and Ben are happily married and in love and Cormac will always have their back.
Kitty continues to try and learn more about the supernatural beings in her world; she has an interesting theory about General Sherman and Wyatt Erp, but her need for answers borders on rudeness. It’s as if her knowing is really all the matters and she can’t believe everyone isn’t lining up to spill it all to her. Grace says it best here:
“You expect me to be able to explain all the Chinese culture and mythology and folklore to you in a couple of hours? China isn’t a culture-it’s hundreds of cultures. I’m not the person who can explain all of this. I inherited some tricks and spells and a set of keys and a bunch of promises my ancestors made. I didn’t think I was ever going to have to use any of that, then it all shows up to bite me in the ass. What else do you want me to say?
Roman is back and his long game is still going strong. He is recruiting minions to help fight in his war he is bringing. I’m still not sure exactly what the long game is and I really wish we could get some POV from Roman. So far I find him one of the most interesting characters. This all takes place in about one day so the storyline plays out fast. Bringing in additional supernatural powers helps set up for future storylines but doesn’t do much for the main conflict at hand.
The romance between Ben and Kitty is safe. I get nothing from them because I felt they never really had to work for it. It just happened. Ben isn’t a memorable character anymore. He is and forever will now be Kitty’s husband. That’s too bad because he was more interesting in the beginning. Cormac, in my opinion, would have been perfect for Kitty. The Hunter and the hunted. There is still an underscore of tension between them but the storyline pretty much spells it out that they will never be anything but friends from here on it. Cormac is still possessed by an ancient sorceress and I hope that sometime down the line we get an in depth look into all that.
All in all an easy read with predictable storyline and ending. We also get a small glimpse into what trouble Kitty might find in the next book-Kitty Steals the Show (Kitty Norville #10)-set to release July 12, 2012. Kitty’s Big Trouble felt more like a filler. Low key suspense and action with almost no romance made the story ok but it just doesn’t seem to shine and wow like her earlier ones.
Ninth in the Kitty Norville urban fantasy series about a radio show host who turns into a werewolf. While Kitty is based in Denver, this story takes place in San Francisco.
My Take Well we gets into the woo-woo here. And really dorky as well. This one is off in a new direction, gaining new life, I guess. Setting Kitty up for the next stage in her leadership role.
It was a fun and imaginative tour of San Francisco's Chinatown and the touristy parts of the City. Took me right back to all the lovely aromas and I am so panting for some duck with rice right now. A bowl of congee...sigh… Unfortunately, this was the best part. We do gain a bit of information about Anastasia's back history. And some possible new allies against Roman. We also get a bit more of Rick's history, which helps explain more about his particular attitude.
We get some background on an early-in-the-century "coup" in San Francisco in which Anastasia was involved along with how pervasive Roman's influence is...eek!
The Story A very useful obsession tips Kitty off to an aid to Roman's power. A good thing when she, Ben, and Cormac end up in San Francisco helping Anastasia track down a powerful artifact before Roman can get his hands on it.
It's a treasure hunt through magical tunnels, encounters with gods and goddesses, and unexpected traps all while being chased by local wolves more interested in their deaths.
And Kitty learns that werewolves have led in the past.
The Characters Kitty Norville is the alpha for the Denver pack. She's also the radio talk show host for Kitty and the Midnight Hour on KNOB radio. always looking for the next hook for her show. Ben O'Farrell is her werewolf mate and husband as well as a lawyer. Cormac Bennett is Ben's cousin and just got out of prison, although he's still on parole. One of the terms of his parole is no weapons. So his werewolf bounty hunter days are still on hold. However, he has found a way to compensate. Amelia Parker is a Victorian-era woman who was hanged a hundred years ago and she's a witch. Now Cormac shares his body with her, and they seem to have come to a unique compromise.
Anastasia, a.k.a., Li Hua, is an independent vampire seeking to prevent Roman taking over. Grace Chen carries an obligation, one of Family to guard the artifact and bring aid to Anastasia when she requires it. From operating a video shop in Chinatown to fulfilling this duty that she never believed...it's a stretch for Grace.
Sun Wukong is the Monkey King, a Buddhist hero; he seems as frivolous as his title. Xiwangmu is the Queen Mother of the West, a Taoist goddess. Hundun is the god of chaos, a part of a Confucian parable.
Rick is the current Master of Denver and makes a cameo appearance. Dr. Shumacher from the Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology gets shut down for her nosiness.
The San Francisco vampire Family Henry and Joe are Jazz Age hipster-type vampires serving Boss. Yup, that was the best Vaughn could do.
Roman, a.k.a., Dux Bellorum, a.k.a., Gaius Albinus, is a seriously bad vampire from earlier than Roman days. Seems he had a lot to do with Anastasia back in the day.
Tom Hanson had enlisted in the Confederate Army and does he ever have a tale to tell.
The Cover The cover is a range of yellows from lightest to darkest as Kitty stands in dismay, one knee bent, a huge hole in her muscle shirt, and her golden hair braided high on her head, the tail of it flipped in front of her shoulder. Ben---as wolf---appears to be laughing.
The title doesn't begin to reflect Kitty's Big Trouble.
You know what, I know it's a little lame but I just like paranormal vampire/werewolf/witch novels. But the thing is: I like to pretend that the events in the books could be happening in real life. This is why I like Rachel Vincent's Shifters series. Ok, it obviously fiction but it's not over the top.
The Kitty Norville series starts out that way too. Kitty is likable, snarky and kick-ass. The other characters are fun. But for me, Carrie Vaughn makes the mistake of taking it a little too far every time. This last one in the series is a good example of that. Come on really...gods? Cormac and the twisted, does-not-make-any-sense double souls thing? What, he was human and needed to have an paranormal kick as well? If that were the case;have him bitten like Ben was or turn him into vampire, why this far fetched untold/unexplained storyline for him?
I dolike the way Carrie Vaughn writes. She makes me not want to put her books down because I just have to know what happens next. It's fluff, not literature, but on the whole the Kitty Norville series is (very) entertaining. I have read them all and it's not because I thought they sucked.
However, one storyline per book is enough! Carrie Vaughn's editor should have told her that. The whole series suffers from "double storyline"- and/or "some of these events are too far fetched"-syndrome: - Book #1: why the cult thing on the side? - Book #2: again, what does the cult thing have to do with anything? - Book #3: this one was acceptable but if the author had choosen to a) just go with the skinwalker thing or b) go with the angry-humans-with-spells-gone-wrong thing, that would have been fine too. Both wasn't necessary seeing as there was also the love triangle with Cormac and Ben. - Book #4: this one is just good :) - Book #5: Did not understand what Ben's kidnapping was needed for, especially since his return was so very anti-climactic - Book #6: a genie, really?! - Book #7: storyline (although a little cliche) was fine! enough people died to make it less predictable and no too strange supernatural stuff (except maybe for the were-seal, but ok) - Book #8: Wizard with the blizzard does not make this my favorite in the series but it's consistent and focused enough. Cormac's double soul was not really a great addition but i've mentioned that already. - Book #9: Gods? Tunnels with three legged crows and nine tailed foxes? hmpf..
Still, looking forward to book #10! :)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
If I think about this for a while, my rating my change. Right now, I liked it. It was satisfying, plenty of cool new things for Kitty to poke at and wonder about. I also liked that Kitty keeps growing - she's curious if General Sherman was a werewolf and when she finds her answer she realizes that not everything that she thinks or that she knows has to come out of her mouth for the whole world to see or hear. This is a big change for her. I also liked that this book kept the shifting boundary line of wolf or human in play but we got to see more of how wolf thinks and how that affects what Kitty does. As a character I think she's fairly predispositioned to acting on her instincts anyway, it's the animal nature that gives Kitty problems.
I was on the fence about Chinese gods making an appearance but I had to giggle at the appearance of Sun Wukong (who I know I as Son Goku from Journey to the West) because the author described him so well I knew who he was before the reveal. I did like that their (Cormac, Kitty, and Ben's) time with the gods became hazy as time went on, but part of it had to have remained with them because they knew what happened with Anastasia. I also liked that Carrie Vaughn's gods were so approachable but still inscrutable.
All the Kitty books have a very earth feel to them for me and this one was no exception. I like how things are shaping up between Kitty, Ben, and Cormac. I wasn't so fond of the addition of Amelia to Cormac, maybe I'd like her better if I read the short story where it explains what happened to mesh them together. However, when reading it feels like a way to make sure that there is always something for Cormac to do other than be a menacing bodyguard. They get into enough situations where they need a bodyguard that diversifying him just feel like a cop out. I keep waiting for Ben and Kitty's relationship to explode but so far they've been a very stable couple. I'm kind of liking that and it's nice to see a functional married couple thrown into these crazy situations and have them come through them with the relationship made stronger.
Nice set up for the next book at the end but I get the feeling that as Kitty gets deeper into her crusade the Midnight Hour will end up suffering. Or maybe she'll talk radio the bad guys into submission? lol
I found when I was reading this book I was ambivalent about the "big trouble", it was interesting, but not the heart of the story for me. What really caught my attention was all the personal relationships in the book.
Kitty is really getting known as the person to go to when you need help. If you are her friend, she won't let her down and will take up your cause as hers. She really believes that all the supernatural people can get along if they try. Kitty's normal curiosity, the goofy way she wants to know everything, tends to win people over. I love it when they don't expect her to be just like she is when she is on her show. Her sense of awe when she gets to the bottom of mysteries and when she can pull out a story from a vampire makes me smile.
I loved the little foray into the Wild West, I wish that that had been more of the story. I also love that we learned something about a famous dead character, I hope there are more of those along the way.
Through the series I have felt that Kitty ended up with Ben kind of by default and while I like him, I had really wanted her to be with Cormac. But with this book Ben has fully won me over, with his actions and reactions about Kitty. I even felt really sorry for Cormac so many times as he was there to see things. For Cormac, I think it was hard. He knew Kitty was a werewolf, he knew Ben was a werewolf, he knew they were a couple, married even, but seeing their bond as deep as it was is a whole different thing. I also loved it when both Kitty and Ben stated that Cormac was part of their pack, their pack of 3. I think that went a long way of soothing hurt feelings, feelings that shouldn't have been hurt, but never the less were.
I really liked that we got to see more of Amelia and just what the relationship with Cormac is about. It seemed like we were going to get the whole story of how they came about, but it didn't happen. Although I think it may happen in the next one because...London, yep that is were the gang is headed next. Because it isn't bad enough that Kitty has been all over the US and gotten in trouble every where she needs to bring her brand of trouble to a whole new continent, and I for one, can't wait!!
Well this just pains me. I think this series is very original as far as the storylines and the things Kitty encounters and has to go through. More so than maybe any other UF series out there. Everything is done with just enough action, a little humor and a great set of characters that you can't help but love. But somehow it has gotten to the point where it's not working as well for me.
This in big part is due to the fact that in book one I fell in love with Cormac. He's tough, sexy, badass, a bad boy shifter killer. And he had this instant, sparks-flying everywhere connection with Kitty. And then his cousin Ben got bit and turned into a werewolf and he brought him to Kitty to help through the transition. And it all went downhill from there between these two.
Now Cormac is back in the story but he is SOOOOOO not him. Granted he is kind of possessed, but it almost pains me to read parts about him and how different he's become. Especially in this book. Kitty remembers the way Cormac used to smell, the way she always went to him first when there was an issue and she wanted advice. It was just hard to read that being a Kitty/Cormac hopeful.
I have come to terms with the fact that Kitty is with Ben. He is more of a beta male in my eyes and that's not my favorite type of hero. I definietely see her as more dominant than him, but he does love her.
So now onto this story. Yes, rant over about what apparently will never be. Kitty, being curious and nosy as always goes looking for proof that some important historical figure was in fact a werewolf. While she's researching that (and dragging Cormac and Ben along) they come across Anastasia. She enlists them to help stop Roman from taking an ancient artifact with immense power. Action pact as usual and another great installment that would make a kick ass movie if they ever made one!
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.
The other thing that buggged me about this book was the Sun thing. Sure, yeah, he and the other woman are gods - and that's cool, that's not what I feel weird about - but it's his introduction. Kitty gets lost in the magic tunnels, falls into a pit, gets separated from Ben and Cormac, and ends up in this guy Sun's "apartment" which then Sun explains is a "monster trap." So what does Kitty do? Instead of just leaving and being leery of the guy who just "trapped" her, she sits down and eats some soup with him.
Kitty eats soup with him. Kitty, the overly paranoid, not always trusting girl who gets herself into sticky situations. Yeah, it happens and this time it left me thinking, "WTF....?" But even though there's that one spot, the rest of the novel picks up nicely. Though I must admit, the stuff above bugged me so much I almost rated this one a three.
This was a very good story and addition to the series. This story takes place mostly in San Francisco after a short detour to Dodge city. Kitty is trying to track down which famous people from the past had dealings with the supernatural or were supernatural themselves. When she hears a story about Wyatt Earp being a hunter who cleared out a group of rogue vampires in the Dodge City area in the past, Kitty has to go check it out and see if she can find any clues that the story might have been true. Kitty, Ben and Cormac go on the trip (Cormac having gotten permission from him parole officer to travel) so when Kitty gets a call from Anastasia (a vampire she met and allied with in Kitty's House of Horrors) needing help, all 3 of them end up heading to San Francisco to meet up with her.
Anastacia called Kitty because she is trying to keep Roman from getting a talisman of great power. They all meet up in Chinatown and proceed down into mystical tunnels that require a guide to navigate. The situation isn't the best and Anastacia's vampire arrogance doesn't really help matters any. They run into some interesting supernatural creatures in the tunnels, as well as some chinese "gods". Things are pretty much constantly on the move and Kitty and company have some difficulties to get past before things are finished. Things do turn out well though and Kitty, Ben and Cormac are able to go home and continue their lives.
This was a very good story. I still like Kitty as a heroine and Kitty and Ben are a good couple overall. The story itself was very good and progressed the series storyline pretty well. I'd recommend this story and series.
* note - I listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator did a great job.
This is yet another good book in the Kitty Norville series.
In this one, Kitty has started to wonder more and more about the history of weres and how they may have been a part of human history. She introduced her suspicions about General Sherman in the first book, and her questions about his nature have continued to bother her. Even though they're supportive, Ben and Kitty's friends don't really understand her obsession with history. But that's part of the nature of werewolves--since they can't have children and all werewolves are therefore "made," the potential to pass down legends and history is impaired. Vampires are also "made," but they have strong Family relationships that create bonds and enemies among their own kind.
Just as Kitty touches on some fascinating clues to a history of supernaturals, she finds herself distracted and en route to San Fransisco. Anastasia has called asking for help--she's on the track of a powerful artifact, but so is Roman. Anastasia needs Kitty's help to make certain that it does not fall into Roman's hands. Of course, Kitty agrees to help. And, of course, the situation becomes much more dangerous than she realized.
Over the course of the series, Kitty has become one of my true favorite characters. She's smart, and her constant desire to know more keeps me coming back for more. She has grown and changed from a puppy to something else altogether, something mature and strong. I can't wait to read the next book and learn what those changes will mean.