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Kitty and the Midnight Hour    by Carrie Vaughn order for
Kitty and the Midnight Hour
by Carrie Vaughn
Order:  USA  Can
Aspect, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Kitty Norville hosts a late night radio program called The Midnight Hour. Tired of playing the same old songs requested by the same night owls, weirdos and lonely people, she decides to shake things up. Soon she's offering practical advice to anybody listening, including some who aren't quite human. Kitty and her regulars discuss everyday issues along with common misconceptions about werewolves, vampires and other supernatural creatures.

The show becomes an overnight sensation and syndication offers are on the table. Kitty is thrilled; who knew there were so many unhappy werewolves and vampires out there? However, there are certain factions who aren't too keen about their particular secrets and proclivities being made public. In fact, the local vampire crime boss is so annoyed he sends a hit man after Kitty, which results in a dramatic on-air confrontation. It's during these tense moments that she finally reveals that she too has a hidden alter ego - she's a werewolf. Now Kitty's life really starts getting complicated. There's a sudden spate of territorial infighting within her pack, her parents can't understand why she never divulged her little secret, and bodies are turning up all over town (they're clearly not the work of wild dogs). The local police ask Kitty for insight into the killings. Her heightened senses confirm that a rogue werewolf is on the loose - but is he really just killing at random? Or does Kitty's pack rival want to get rid of the competition? And what about that sexy assassin she just can't seem to stay away from?

Just when you thought nobody could put a new spin on werewolves and vampires, along comes Carrie Vaughn to prove otherwise. Kitty and The Midnight Hour is fresh, hip and action-packed with nice moments of sly humour. Kitty is an engaging, tough-talking protagonist but underneath that exterior is a young woman with plenty of uncertainties and vulnerabilities. Vaughn has also created an intricate werewolf hierarchy, very reminiscent of actual wolf pack behavior, but not without a touch of humanity. The second in this promising new series will be out next year - I can hardly wait.

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