I liked this book. I liked this book at the end a lot more than I did at the beginning.
At the beginning, Kitty is a strong woman but a very weak wolf. I know this aspect made a lot of people nervous and left them feeling disgusted. And it should. It’s not pretty. What happens to her every time she has to deal with her pack is disturbing. She’s always afraid. She has no ability to make her own choices as a wolf. Her pack alpha is an asshole and there are not any redeeming qualities about this pack but for her best friend, the second in command who steps in to save her ass over and over. She says there are redeeming qualities but frankly, waking up naked with people so you don’t forget you’re a werewolf even though those people constantly terrorize you isn’t what I’d call positive.
But that’s nature. Nature sucks. And a group of predators? Yep, the smallest and most vulnerable are always at the biggest risk and sometimes the biggest and strongest misuse that power. Hell, the biggest and strongest humans misuse that power all the time. IMO, the way she wrote it was very realistic and not pleasant but I appreciated the more dark edged view. (even though I write werewolves and don’t make them that dark – then again, mine are in romance, but still)
But I digress – the world here is interesting and unusual and I quite liked how Kitty was written as this very weak wolf who finally gets sick of being afraid and misused all the time. She finds her own strength and she takes a stand and I loved that Vaughn creates a heroine who is three dimensional, flawed, scared and makes big mistakes. And yet, she’s got this inner light that she finally embraces.
The ending isn’t a traditional happy ending. There’s some major tragedy. This is not a romance either. But I really dig the fact that this book takes you with this character who is like soft clay and you watch her grow and learn. She is NOT a Mary Sue, the paranormals are not fluffy bunnies. The book is dark and funny at the same time. I have Kitty Goes To Washington to talk about next, I read it earlier in the week.
(I should add that the book has some violent situations that really struck me personally as sexual assault, but they’re not there for titilation and in my view, they were necessary)
September 2nd, 2006 at 6:58 pm · Link
Interesting review, Lauren, thanks. I write werewolves, too, so it can be interesting to see what some people do with a werewolf character.
Btw, your new blog is wonky in Safara with Mac OSX. The posts are all pink and underlined and if I try to comment it takes me to Comstock Films. (I moved to my secondary browser, Firefox, to post this.)
That said, I’m a wordpress fan!
September 2nd, 2006 at 11:24 pm · Link
Hey now it’s working great so ignore my pink comment. Maybe it was me.
September 3rd, 2006 at 6:27 am · Link
I really enjoyed this book. I haven’t read the second one yet but intend to when I get a chance. I found it disconcerting at first because Kitty was so weak, but as you say, she grows. This book didn’t gloss over the grittiness of being in a pack. It certainly wasn’t a “romantic” look at being a shifter, and I liked it because of this. From what I’ve seen on the web, readers either loved or hated this book. There’s no middle ground. To me, that’s good writing.
September 3rd, 2006 at 10:56 am · Link
Jorrie – Thanks! There wasn’t a closed line of code after Tony’s link which made everything after it wonky. I’m glad it’s reading better now.
Shelley – I agree! I thought it was a bold choice and I liked Goes to Washington as well.
September 3rd, 2006 at 2:23 pm · Link
Oh I know! I love Cormac and the romance novelist in me is like – let’s get busy, Kitty!
September 3rd, 2006 at 1:52 pm · Link
I’ve read both the Kitty Books and enjoyed them immensly. Although I wanted more Cormac. 😀