Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Kitty's House of Horrors" by Carrie Vaughn

The seventh book in Vaughn's popular Kitty Norville series places our favorite werewolf smack in the middle of nowhere - on purpose. Kitty is approached by some Hollywood producers regarding their idea of a reality show, one with supernatural beings as the participants. Think of a "Big Brother" house full of weres, vampires, psychics, etc, that sort of thing. At first Kitty is torn; it sounds cheesy as hell, but being the sort of girl she is (one who tends to gravitate towards the publicity), she sees the appeal. She tells the guys she'll think about it, at which point they tell her that there are already a few others on board, two of them being her friends from previous adventures. When she contacts those friends to find out why they said yes, she learns that the slimy Hollywood moguls told them that she had already signed on to the project. Yeah, gotta love producers, huh?

After discussing things with her husband, Ben, Kitty decides to go for it, even though it means being away from her mate for 2 weeks. Not to mention that their good friend, Cormac, is up for parole (long story short - he killed a human, with good reason, was found guilty of the crime and sentenced to four years in prison). Kitty hates the idea of leaving Ben, but he assures her he can handle things there regarding their pack and Cormac's hearing. Kitty packs her bags and heads into the wilds of Montana.

Upon arriving at the house, she meets her other "cast" mates: Tina, her friend from the Paranormal PI TV show; psychic Jeffrey; Odysseus Grant, Vegas magician and real-life owner of the box that makes things disappear into another dimension; Ariel, Priestess of the Night, also a fellow radio-talk-show host; Jason, a professional wrestler and werewolf; Lee, an Alaskan state senator and were-seal; the vampire Anastasia, her companion Gemma, and their blood source, Dorian; and finally, writer and skeptic Conrad. The Hollywood guys are there, too, trying to stir things up a bit, asking some pointed questions, etc, all in the name of good TV. Kitty is a bit bored at first, but curious as to what the show is really going for, especially after she's told not to Change right away - even though it would shut up Conrad, who has an explanation for everything. During the first few days, it's obvious that Tina and Jeffrey are attracted to each other. And there's some sort of animosity between Anastasia and Odysseus, too.

Then the you-know-what hits the fan. People are killed, and it becomes a matter of survival. Who's behind the deaths and why I'll leave out, because that's basically the rest of the book. Suffice to say that there's action a-plenty, and sadly, we lose some of the good ones. This book is setting up a much bigger picture here, something Anastasia refers to as the "Long Game" - and it looks like Kitty is going to be a part of it, whether she wants to or not.

I flew thru this book! Good writing and I loved seeing some of the people from the past, especially Odysseus - a true man of mystery (and very classy, to boot). There were a few detractions. I missed the interaction of Kitty and Ben, but the plot dictated their separation. I also found it a bit unrealistic that Kitty was the only person in the house not to be injured; smacked of the super-heroine. Granted, Anastasia didn't suffer much damage -but she still got hurt. I was excited to see Cormac reappear, though - I love his relationship with Kitty, and it will be even more interesting now that she and Ben are married. Can't wait for the next book!

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