Kitty’ Big Trouble
Published 2011 307 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Kitty Norville is back and in more trouble than ever. Her recent run-in with werewolves traumatised 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 actually been supernatural? 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…
Kitty’s Big Trouble is the ninth outing for Kitty, Carrie Vaughn’s werewolf DJ protagonist, although a more accurate title for this story (but probably one not allowed due to copyright) would be Kitty’s Big Trouble In Little China. Like the classic ’80s movie Big Trouble In Little China, Kitty (like Kurt Russell) finds herself in encountering all sorts of strange Chinese mythologies come to life within San Francisco’s Chinatown. While the story is part of a long-running series it’s also fairly self-contained, so it’s probably not necessary to read this is strict series order.
Like all Kitty novels Kitty’s Big Trouble is full of fast-paced action and witty dialogue (if a female werewolf called Kitty isn’t enough of a clue to fun nature of these books I don’t know what is.) By now series fans should know what to expect and Big Trouble doesn’t disappoint. Kitty’s Chinatown companions include her ex-con cousin-in-law Cormac, who is as quick with his banter as he is with his weapons. Cormac has always been a favourite series character of mine – his werewolf hunter past gives him mad fighting skills and a dangerous streak while his bodily possession by the spirit of a long dead witch adds a whole level of mystery to his back story. Long term series fans are still denied the details of how Cormac ended up possessed by a dead witch, the mysterious details are only hinted at in this story which just serves to whet appetites for the Kitty’s Greatest Hits story collection (published August 2011) which promises novella containing Cormac’s story.
Kitty’s Big Trouble starts with Kitty investigating rumours that Wyatt Earp was a vampire hunter. She researches his past and works out where his vampire hunting ground was likely to have been. When she arrives there she finds a starving vampire, who’s been in hiding for the last hundred years or so. Then she gets a call to go to San Francisco and help her vampire ally Anastasia in her battle against the powerful Roman, an ancient vampire who has evil plans for the world. The stories are tenuously linked together leaving the plot feeling a little disjointed, and giving Big Trouble the impression of being an interlude rather than a further development of the overall story arc.
Still as short interludes go there are worse places to have them than a few days in Chinatown. The location adds a whole new layer of Chinese mythology into the mix. Kitty’s reaction to these Chinese deities is to not want to think about them, their powers, or their origins. Even as a werewolf and a self-proclaimed advocate of the paranormal, she realises that adding religion into the mix is more trouble than even she wants to handle. In some ways it feels like a copout on the author’s part after she’s raised the whole God and /or gods issue but in other ways it seems like a wise choice – since it stops the series from getting bogged down in questions pertaining to the existence of God.
All-in-all Big Trouble is a fast-paced and fun urban fantasy read – and an entertaining addition to this best-selling series.
LoveVampires Review Rating: