Monday, January 25

Kitty and the Midnight Hour - Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Norville used to DJ the midnight shift for a local Denver radio station - her focus was music, particularly anything before 1990. When a random remark about a tabloid cover story about the oft-sighted Bat Boy starts a discussion about the supernatural, Kitty starts feeling more invested than she has for a while, and when her next caller reports being a lone vampire undergoing an existential crisis, Kitty gets to sink her teeth into a wider discussion about redemption, suffering and Milton. Purely by accident, her show changes in the space of a few minutes to the Midnight Hour, and Kitty proffers advice and support to the disenfranchised. But she walks a slender line - she must succour the suffering without revealing her own identity.
For Kitty is a werewolf, and though she strives for independence, she is comforted by the dominance of her Alpha, Carl and his partner Meg - and they want werewolves' existence to stay secret. All that's blown to hell when Cormac, a paranatural hunter, comes after her while she's live on air, and it's while talking him down that she uncovers a conspiracy to strike at the heart of all she finds dear.
This was a really interesting take on the werewolf genre - I found Kitty an interesting, erudite and unique take on the usual paranormal heroine. That said, I was disappointed to find once again the pervasive sexual dominance element that seems to run through werewolf series, where all females are available to the alpha male to mate with subserviently, and dominance and hierarchy are key. Not only am I uncomfortable with this as a feminist, it appears to be rooted in flawed research based on captive grey wolf packs. I would really love to see a series where this model was not the foundation of the were universe, but it seems this some time off.
I was able to move past this aspect to enjoy Kitty's first adventure, and am looking forward to the sequel, particularly as events toward the end of Kitty and the Midnight Hour mean significant changes in Kitty's pack. - Alex

No comments: