E's Reviews > Kitty Steals the Show

Kitty Steals the Show by Carrie Vaughn
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's review
Aug 09, 2012

did not like it
Read from August 09 to September 05, 2012

Oh man. This review is going to be difficult to write. Allow me to say that in the past I have enjoyed this author's stories, her characters (if not the main one usually), and the concept of her plots. I enjoyed reading as the main character came into her own, became the reluctant hero, and discovered how her world worked around her. I even looked forward to this novel. That's what makes this so disappointing.

Allow me to summarize this book in one word: Fail.

Allow me to summarize the entire review of the book here in one catch phrase: The author "phoned this one in".

And now, the review. For what its worth. I'm not a scholar... I just enjoy stories.

Over all, the book was far too "talky"... and even I don't understand how a novel could be so, but there it is. The author took her characters and put them well out of their comfort zones (all of them) and then had this great location to play with. Unfortunately, the author also brought in pretty much a couple dozen new characters, and even brought along a few old ones, which made it seem like she was overwhelmed with trying to give all of these individuals their time to shine. Up to, and including, a kidnapping attempt of one old character by another one. Even when she bothered to explain how these two were connected, it still didn't help to move the story forward. In fact, nothing moved the story forward. The "plot", such as there was one, was so very lacking. The author stated that she wanted to write a mystery - get farther in the "conflict" of the "long game" in this novel... but really, I don't think that she managed that too well either. It took the whole length of the novel, until the last chapter, to get around to DOING anything with that plot.

When I discovered that there was an "epilogue" I literally threw the book across the room! I felt that the "story" ended around the middle of the book. Seriously, reading the book was like reading a 300 page epilogue! 300 pages of WRAPPING THE STORY UP AND NOTHING HAPPENED TO BEGIN WITH! Seriously, there was more conflict and action with them riding the plane to Europe, than there was in the ENTIRE rest of the book. The author took a very "Kermit the Frog" approach to physical attacks, talking them out and ending them without any real action...which would have been fine, had it been better written.

A number of things about how the main characters have evolved into what they were in this novel really bothered me on a basic level. They're f-ing werewolves! Why the hell is a HUMAN a better "hunter" and have better "Hunter instincts" than they do!? Why, also, has the coolest character she has written (so determined because a. he's a bounty hunter, and b. he has the most interesting background and best lines) been watered down and striped of his cool aspects so much so that he's become more lame than the werewolf who is, for some unknown reason, leader of a pack and "inspirational" but can't fight worth anything and is willing to show left and right how pathetically weak she is.

The author did not take time in this novel to do much in the way of ensuring consistency
...or even that it would be entertaining. The most blaring example was when she noted that the main character was giving a speech - “She didn’t even have notes” but went on anyway... and as soon as she reached the podium, “She straightened her notes”. See? That’s little stuff, sure, and I’ve ignored similar from her other works and other authors, but at the end of the day, this story was so terrible that I couldn’t bare to over look this kind of thing. Also, considering all the other things that the author had going on in this story and all the other directions and situations - WHY WAS THAT STUPID SPEECH EVEN IMPORTANT!? It wasn’t part of her “epilogue” . No, kids. It was literally part of the main event story. I guess that’s part of the reason why the author spent SO MUCH TIME talking about how unimportant the speech was THROUGHOUT the entire story...so that we knew it wasn’t important?? But it was so important to keep bringing it up.... Yeah... dumb.

The author clearly did not want to write any conflicts in. It was like she set to do a mystery novel and just failed or didn't know how to do it. Or, at least that was the lie I told myself to explain why the characters were running around pointlessly, doing nothing but talking, trying to “solve the question” of how to beat some character that NEVER showed up in any form other than mentioned. Characters that are stronger, smarter, faster, and basically, better written even, would defer to the main character as she showed over and over how completely weak she was. Now, she did put in token conflicts...however it was handy that vampires dealt with them off scene or that she simply walked in, opened her mouth, and it ended.

The whole story was boring. Terribly so.

I felt cheated. I felt that the author did not stay true to her original characters. The story wasn’t fun. It wasn’t entertaining. I wasn’t excited to find out what happened next...because there was really no “happened” to anything. It was like there was no plot. The author chose a location and threw the characters there and then realized that she was over her head...but she wanted to do this story so badly that she just plunged on. This reminds me of those stories I would write in grade school...you know, you write it in class because you’re bored and you base characters on your friends and put them where you wish you were and give them all kinds of powers or whatever....yeah... you get the point. But you never write any conflict because you’re a freaking grade schooler and the biggest fight you get in is over who cuts in front of you in line. So conflict in your grade school stories is limited... just like in this story.

I also felt cheated because London offers SO MUCH in the way of opportunity for ghosts, locations, history, entertainment.... there’s A LOT there to work with. And the author really made me believe that she never has been there... I guess she was so busy focusing on the thousands of characters that she wanted to bring in that she forgot that she had a gorgeous backdrop to build and play with...

In then end. This story was dumb. and the worst part is I know that if I just stopped reading it, waited and hoped for the next one to come out and be better, I wouldn’t have been able to follow the next one. I skipped an earlier book and clearly, that meant that I missed a lot because she still harps on stuff from that one, and I still have some trouble piecing it together.

Buy this book used or borrow it. Not worth the money.
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Reading Progress

08/09/2012 page 70
20.47% "So far, so...meh... still in character introduction and back-story fill. I guess there's a lot of building when an author just wants to talk about their trip to another country instead of write a plot to start out. There's some hints toward "confrontation"...but those are nothings, that do nothing, prove nothing, and only introduce more characters."
08/11/2012 page 94
27.49% "A little taste of Conflict, finally...but really, is "How old are you?" Fight'n words? really? Lame. So far, all I've gotten from this book is that I preferred the character when she was struggling to comprehend herself as the monster and to try and handle herself as an emerging "leader". Now I think this author's world has the weakest monsters I've read. Second only to Twighlight where the monsters are lame."
08/13/2012 page 150
43.86% "Okay, so the biggest conflict remains her disgust with some vampires...and her "Fightin' words"? "How old are you?" Still. Half way through the book and I feel that nothing has happened except some lame touring of London and some poor attempt at sexual tension. You have a character that is a werewolf, and she's disgusted by talk of what other "monsters" are doing? How stupid has this character become???" 1 comment
08/14/2012 page 187
54.68% "187 pages in and we finally get to some mystery.Sheesh.There's no conflict, there's no intrigue, just the characters bumming around building background and world history, but nothing of INTEREST is going on in the novel, until this section, where we finally get a glimpse of the actual point of the story as put forth by reading the back cover. All the characters were great to follow before this book.Now, they're lame"
08/19/2012 page 205
58.0% "I'm torn between stopping entirely or just finishing because I hold the hope that the next book will be better, and I know that the author will reference this book in it and I'll have a hard time following it otherwise."
08/21/2012 page 250
71.0% "well, at least by now we've got some action, not just the characters looking at stuff and talking about the action that didn't happen."
08/26/2012 page 300
85.0% "Soooo close to finishing this lame book. Yes. Lame. It's all talking and touring London, and what little bit of excitement there is, it's short and over with. The author defiantly just "phoned this one in"."
08/26/2012 page 300
85.0% "Soooo close to finishing this lame book. Yes. Lame. It's all talking and touring London, and what little bit of excitement there is, it's short and over with. The author defiantly just "phoned this one in"."
08/28/2012 page 325
92.0% "All the uh... I guess the author calls it "action"... is over and I thought the story would be too...but no. Chapter 25, more talking. I'm finished with the book, but there's no end in sight! This book was no doubt the author's "wish fulfillment" story... complete with a forced plot. It was a let down. The story was lame. There was too much talking and nothing happening. I hope the next book is better."
08/31/2012 page 330
94.0% "So I'm in the chapter titled "epilogue"... to be honest, I fell like I've been reading the epilogue since chapter 5. That's the tone and flow of this book. It's all epilogue, but nothing has happened!"
08/31/2012 page 330
94.0% "last update: So I'm in the chapter titled "epilogue"... to be honest, I feel like I've been reading the epilogue since chapter 5. That's the tone and flow of this book. It's all epilogue, but nothing has happened!"

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Tonya I agree with you on how disappointing the story was and extra characters seemed to be brought back for no reason. I also thought I was in the minority regarding my disdain for the werewolf that can't fight, I like that the series isn't all about the pack and fights for dominance but I'd like to see her and Ben actually BE part of their pack not just figureheads.

message 2: by E (new) - rated it 1 star

E Exactly. This book was a filler that she could have summed up in two chapters in a real story line, not write a whole book about it. It was like she lost touch w where the character's development was, and taking them out of the setting they belong in threw her off.

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