Audio Review: Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

May Contain Spoilers

I am on an urban fantasy kick, thanks to Ilona Andrews.  Because I don’t want to get burned out on her writing, I decided to grab a few other longer series that I missed out on. I remember getting a review copy of one of the later Kitty Norville novels, but since I hadn’t read any of the previous books, I set it aside. When I saw that the first installment was available as an audio book at the library, I happily clicked Borrow, and the rest is history.

I must have confused the Kitty Norville series for another one, because I thought it was about vampires (I did. I thought it was the WVMP Radio series by Jeri Smith-Ready – oops! Another one to add to the list.) Yeah, I didn’t read the description. And I obviously need my eyes checked, because there is a big, freaking werewolf on the cover. That’s okay! I was in the mood for a shifter book, and when I found out that Kitty was a werewolf – cha-ching! I was hoping for a big pay-off.

I found Kitty hard to like at first. She is the submissive in her pack, and she lets the other wolves knock her around. Worse, her wolf savors any attention from the alpha, even if it’s the worst kind of abuse. When Kitty’s Midnight Hour talk show gains traction, and listeners, both the local vampire family and her alpha want her to give up the show. Kitty, finally having found something that defined her, made her proud, and gave her confidence, refuses.

It’s the popularity of her talk show that ultimately gives Kitty the backbone that she needs to stand up to the more aggressive wolves in her pack. It was great to see her grow in both strength of character and strength of her fists. When a rogue murders women with no mercy, a police officer approaches Kitty for help. Can she confirm that the victims were torn apart by a werewolf, or was it really the work of a pack of wild dogs? Kitty’s alpha is incensed when he discovers that she’s helped the cops, and her relationship with her pack grows even more tense.

I loved how Kitty does come into her own by the end of the novel. The wolves are not all that likable, driven by their inner  beasts, and Kitty strives to keep a tight leash on her wolf. She’s afraid of letting go, or losing her humanity, and that contributes to her submissive position in the pack. She’s just not ready or willing to push back and let her wolf go. As she is embroiled in the murders and pack politics, she has to learn to give her wolf some freedom in order to stand up for herself.

While I was lukewarm to both the characters and the plot at the start, the narrator really drew me into the story. By about the halfway point, I was finding things to do around the house that allowed me to wear my headphones, the chief activity being walks on the treadmill or pointless pedaling on the exercise bike. Yikes! Discovering audio books has got me exercising again on a daily basis! Who would have thought?

I’m looking forward to the next book, where I hope Kitty continues to grow in both strength and confidence. This was a fun discovery!

Grade: 3.75 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station – and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it’s Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew?