Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the third book in the Kitty Norville series. As much as I appreciate that the books don't fall into a convenient formula, it makes for some uneven quality of the books.
In this installation, Kitty is taking a break while she works on a memoir about her life and how she became a werewolf. Only, she's stuck, and doesn't know where to start. Then barbed-wire crosses start showing up on her property, as well as animal sacrifices on her front porch. And, to top it all off, her lawyer, Ben, is brought to her by her werewolf hunter buddy, Cormac, because he's been bitten.
So far, every book surprises us by where Kitty starts out, and where she ends up. For a series, there are a lot of changes from one book to the next. Kitty remains unsure of herself, but a reader can track her progress. Her reason for rising to the occasion makes perfect sense: with Ben to look out for, she has something more important to worry about.
Unfortunately, Ben drags the story down a lot. He spends a good chunk of the plot moping, and planning to have Cormac kill him so he won't have to live as a werewolf. While it does give Kitty a chance to reflect on the drawbacks of lycanthropy, the back-and-forth, stomping about, and pouting don't make for interesting reading.
There's a mystery within this book, but it's fairly obvious who's behind it. The town where Kitty's hiding out has so few people, and she interacts with even fewer than that. The mystery definitely didn't do anything to heighten the tension.
The pacing is off in this book. The main conflicts are presented to Kitty one at a time, which is awfully polite of them. The biggest of the problems takes until the last third of the book to show up, and it's so geographically removed that I wondered why the author bothered including it in this book. It made the plot take on a stuttering, start-and-stop momentum that made it hard to want to keep reading.
I do plan to pick up the fourth book in this series, but I'm not in any hurry to get to it. Hopefully the pacing is better. I don't think I could make it through another book about Kitty killing time until she's ready to join the world of the living.
I listened to this book on audio, narrated by Marguerite Gavin. She has a lovely, smoky sort of voice, the kind of voice I can imagine Kitty, herself, might have. Though, her pronunciation of "lycanthropy" gets more annoying every time I hear it.
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