I have to admit that I fell victim to prejudice. I pre-judged a book by its cover – or rather its title - and you’d think after all these years I’d learn, but no.
I had avoided reading Carrie Vaughn’s urban fantasy series because I thought the titles were, well, silly. A bit cheesy. But I was asked – okay, guilted – into reading them, and I’ve been smacking myself for not reading them sooner. I’m a goof, and I apologize profusely. Mea culpa!
Carrie’s protagonist is a late-night radio talk show host, Kitty Norville, who happens to be a werewolf. She opens up a “do you believe” session and it catches on and grows, getting her huge attention, much to the dismay of her pack leader. As Kitty (who is not unaware of the irony of a werewolf named “Kitty”) grows and changes, she finds her place in her pack to be changing.
What I really like about Vaughn’s writing is that she’s not afraid to look at things bluntly. Kitty periodically finds herself in dangerous or awkward or damaging situations, and there’s no sudden rescue, no quick flying kick to solve things, no easy solution. Bad things happen, people die, and Kitty has to deal with the aftermath, however horrible it is. And it is. There’s a decided noir aspect that isn’t evidenced by the packaging.
So despite the cutesy titles and the flashy covers, the series itself has a substance that you might not expect. I certainly didn’t. And I’m not too proud to admit I was wrong.
-Seattle Mystery Bookshop