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Kitty Goes to Washington    by Carrie Vaughn order for
Kitty Goes to Washington
by Carrie Vaughn
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Kitty Norville first hit the midnight radio waves last year in Vaughn's fantastic debut novel, Kitty and the Midnight Hour. By the end of that story, Kitty became an overnight sensation after announcing on air that she was a werewolf and inviting all other supernaturals to call in and share their problems.

Now Kitty's show, The Midnight Hour, is a syndicated success and she's the country's only celebrity werewolf. However, sudden fame doesn't mean her private life is any great shakes. Her boyfriend is dead, killed by her pack leader in a brutal battle for superiority, and Kitty herself has fled the safety of pack life to lead a solitary existence traveling from city to city doing her show. Her only deviation from schedule is during the full moon when she has to find a safe haven to do her werewolf thing. It's during one of these moon phases that her lawyer calls to inform Kitty that she's been summoned to testify at a Senate hearing on behalf of all supernaturals. Kitty balks at the prospect of having her face plastered all over national television, but unfortunately, there are serious repercussions to saying no to Senate summons.

Washington immediately becomes an eye-opening experience for Kitty, who discovers that all werewolves roam freely without an Alpha to control them. She meets were creatures of other species who welcome her into their domain with open arms. One hot Brazilian were-jaguar in particular makes her visit to the capital memorable on various levels. Kitty is also the guest of the capital's vampire mistress, Alette, who makes it her personal business to protect Kitty from free roaming werewolves. While suspicious of Alette's motives, Kitty agrees to her hospitality and soon learns the hard way that Alette's fears are not unfounded.

Kitty is targeted by a shady government scientist whose ambiguous connection to the Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology alerts her suspicions and makes her a prime target for a fire-and-brimstone-spouting senator who believes that all supernaturals are monsters and should suffer a biblical thou shalt not suffer a witch type cleansing. Everybody is itching for a fight, including Kitty - who takes her job a spokesperson for all supernaturals seriously - and she's more than willing to put herself into further jeopardy and into the glaring spotlight to assure that every supernatural is allowed the same rights and freedoms as any other citizen.

Carrie Vaughn rocked the werewolf world with her first book and does so again in Kitty Goes to Washington, a well written, engaging, very smart sequel. Kitty is still vulnerable and dealing with her own insecurities and fears as a relatively new werewolf. She's also the first to admit that she's terrified of her new responsibilities as spokesperson for all supernaturals. Through Vaughn's very engaging first person point of view the reader is immersed in Kitty's life and the convictions that won't allow her to sit back and ignore the injustices against her kind that she sees brewing within the halls of congress, exacerbated by a certain bible thumping Senator and his minions.

A wonderful cast of secondaries adds to the story's marvelous appeal - including a double crossing journalist who writes for a paranormal magazine called Uncharted World as well as enigmatic vampire hunter Cormac, whose interest in Kitty is apparent though Vaughn keeps him maddeningly elusive. I can hardly wait to see what's in store for Kitty in the next installment.

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