Kitty Raises Hell
Published 2009 311 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… except when it doesn’t.
Kitty and Ben return to their werewolf pack in Denver only to discover an invisible evil that smells of brimstone and plays with fire has followed them home. Stalking the whole pack, it leaves a charred trail of ashes and death across the city.
Kitty seeks help from Rick, the master vampire of Denver, as well as the paranormal investigators on a popular reality TV show. But when a mysterious vampire who claims to be a demon hunter – and the only one who can help them – suddenly arrives, Kitty and her allies won’t be able to predict what he really wants… or what they must do to extinguish the terror that can torch them all.
The Editor’s Review
Kitty Raises Hell is the sixth novel in Carrie Vaughn’s popular Kitty urban fantasy series. Six books into the series means that if you haven’t read any Kitty books before you really don’t want to start reading here. Start with Kitty and The Midnight Hour and read the books in order. In particular it’s important to read Kitty and The Dead Man’s Hand before this book because Kitty Raises Hell is the second (and concluding) part of the story that was started in Dead Man’s Hand.
Kitty and The Dead Man’s Hand saw talk show DJ Kitty Norville travel to Las Vegas for her wedding and get mixed up with the local supernatural community there. She made an ally in the form of magician Odysseus Grant and some deadly enemies of the chaos-worshipping Band of Tiamat, a cult of lycanthropes who perform in a big cat magic show on the Strip. Kitty spent most of Dead Man’s Hand frantically running around to little good effect and the resulting novel seemed to miss out on all the usual things that make the Kitty books so very readable.
Kitty Raises Hell suffers from no such problems and with this instalment Carrie Vaughn effortlessly delivers a thrilling urban fantasy mystery. Stalked by a fire-wielding demon (raised by the Band of Tiamat) Kitty is forced to take action as the demon targets her property and the lives of other members of her pack. She enlists the aid of Paradox PI, a reality TV show that investigates hauntings and other paranormal phenomenon, although they seem out of their depth on this one - demons being a lot more aggressive than your average haunted house.
When a strange vampire arrives in Denver claiming to be a demon hunter - and the only person who can rid Kitty of the demon - Kitty finds that the price for a vampire exorcism maybe more than she is willing to pay. Rick, Kitty’s friend and the vampire master of Denver, certainly thinks that there is more to this than meets the eye but all vampires are paranoid so is there really a conspiracy or is it just overactive imagination? Either way it’s up to Kitty to find a solution to the problem before any more people meet a fiery death at the hands of the demon.
Kitty Raises Hell combines a solid mystery and fast paced action while introducing a variety of new paranormal creatures and ideas. Ghosts, demons, other worlds, magic and psychics all serve to extend the supernatural realm of Kitty’s world further the previous books have taken it. Werewolves seem almost normal by comparison to some of Kitty’s latest paranormal discoveries.
Carrie Vaughn’s writing is all about realistic human characters, even if they also happen to have supernatural abilities. Kitty Raises Hell gives readers a protagonist that keeps trying and fighting for survival even though she feels fear and other all too real human emotions. In addition to a believable supernatural protagonist a strong cast of supporting characters also work to make the Kitty books stand out from the rest of the urban fantasy crowd. Where next for Kitty, the world’s first celebrity werewolf? Looks like it could be reality television in Kitty’s House of Horrors. Now that’s one TV show I’d like to see!
Reviewed by Amanda who rated this book at 4.5 stars out of 5.
Some series just go for too long. That may sound harsh, but sadly it is exactly the case of Kitty Norville novels. I still love Kitty’s universe. The mixture of paranormal and very mundane all dipped in a spicy media sauce, is always entertaining and the parts of novel having to do with her radio shows still grip me. There are also few background characters that are worth pursuing. I would like to hear more about the delinquent lycanthrope hunter Cormac and sulking master vampire Rick. But Kitty herself and her faithful husband/ sidekick Ben just do not do it for me any more.
In the Kitty Raises Hell the happy duo has to face a new type of creepy crawly that followed them back home from Las Vegas, where they eloped. They are joined in there quest for peace by the vampire master of the city Rick and a team of TV paranormal investigators, who do not seem to know anything about the magical world, but are happy to tag along. Their best defense against the otherworldly monster that is targeting Kitty and her loved once, seems to be a mixture of old clay and blood, which must be the most pathetic magical paraphernalia I have ever heard of.
That is a sad truth, but happy marriages just do not go along with the crazy urban fantasy lifestyle. Kitty was never a kicking and screaming type of heroine, but nor was she a Wisteria Lane housewife, which we begin to see in the latest book. Her whiney reaction to family problems and peaceful evenings at home just do not add up to an interesting reading. What is more, she is horribly inconsistent, obsessing over her responsibilities as the alpha werewolf and than taking in stride two deaths of her wolfs, that she indirectly caused.
There are few upsides to this book. Ms Vaughn’s writing style is as light and easily digested as ever. Some episodes have a slapstick comedy type of humor to them and mash nicely with the more serious parts of the story. It just makes me wonder, how good a book it would make, if these fine qualities were to accompany a more deserving heroine.
Reviewed by Ania Tyburska who rated this book at 3 stars out of 5.
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