The Double Phoenix

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Archive for the ‘Kitty Norville’ Category

Kitty’s Greatest Hits

Posted by spragujs on March 19, 2012

Kitty's Greatest Hits cover artAnd while I’m talking of Carrie Vaughn, I’d better get around to writing about Kitty’s Greatest Hits which I listened to recently.  Again narrated by Marguerite Gavin, who’s awesome (if a tiny bit mealy-mouthed sometimes), this one was great fun to listen to.

This is apparently most of the Kitty universe short stories published between 2003 and 2010, plus You’re on the Air” (about a vampire gas station attendant finding his dead self) and the novella “Long Time Waiting”.  While there are a few Kitty stories collected in this book, for me the more memorable ones focus on some of our (or at least my!) favorite “side” characters or historical figures from said universe.  Rick and especially Cormac are featured characters with two stories apiece (that I remember for sure).  The novella mentioned above is Cormac’s side of things from when he was in jail, and explains the presence of Amelia.  I’d love to hear another story from Cormac’s POV about Amelia now that  Cormac’s out of jail!

Let’s see, the ones I can be sure to remember were in the novel, from Vaughn’s bibliography:

“God’s Creatures” where we get to see what Cormac is up to when he’s not in the Kitty books.

“Wild Ride” was T.J.’s origin, revealed.

“The Book of Daniel” is a retelling of the story of Daniel in the lion’s den.

“Conquistador de la Noche” is the origin story of Rick the vampire! Where did he come from, and did he really know Coronado?

“The Temptation of Robin Green” (if I have this one right) includes a young researcher who finds more than she bargained for in the paranormal and includes an appearance by Rick.

“Il Est Ne” in which Kitty spends a Christmas alone and meets another rogue wolf.

“Life is the Teacher”, a story in which we check up on Emma, from Kitty Goes to Washington.

“Kitty’s Zombie New Year” when a new year’s party goes a bit wrong for Kitty.

“A Princess of Spain” where Catherine of Aragon finds danger and intrigue in the court of Henry VII.

“Looking After Family” in which a sixteen year old Cormac hunts his first werewolf.

“Winnowing the Herd” a Kitty story, takes place before the first novel: It’s the staff appreciation party at KNOB.

“Kitty and the Mosh Pit of the Damned” when Kitty shows up to interview a band that’s got some supernatural power over their audience.

In any case, I really enjoyed these stories and strongly recommend them to anyone who’s caught up with the Kitty series!

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Kitty Norville

Posted by spragujs on February 3, 2011

Kitty Goes to War cover artWell, unfortunately for me, I’ve caught up on all the currently available (8) Kitty Norville novels on audiobook.  Now I’ll need to wait for new releases like everybody else!  ::cries::

I’m continually amazed by the stuff that happens to Vaughn’s characters.  I mean seriously, one of the good guys actually goes to jail for an extended period of time.  How many series does that kind of thing happen in?!  These “unusual” occurrences always make sense in the story and make for a nice change of pace from the usual bad stuff that always happens to the good guys in fantasy and science fiction.

Vaughn’s a little heavy on the political biases (though I’m sure that’s from my slightly conservative point of view), and I’m sometimes disappointed in Kitty’s assumptions about people in certain situations, but generally Vaughn seems to make her overcome these biases and be a bit more open-minded by the ends of the novels.  On the other hand, Kitty’s biases often tend to be right in the stories as well, so in some cases, there’s little incentive for her to need to change her mind about various stereotypes.  Irregardless of that, however, these stories and Kitty’s network of pals and informants are ceaselessly fascinating to me.

I have to say though that Cormac’s situation in this most recently released story, Kitty Goes to War, wasn’t a surprise to me in the slightest.   😉 

I still strongly encourage anyone to read or listen to these novels, so please go read!

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Random Reading Thoughts

Posted by spragujs on January 7, 2011

Kitty Takes a Holiday cover artFirst, I just finished listening to the third Kitty Norville novel, Kitty Takes a Holiday.  I don’t know what it is about these books, but I’m having to restrain myself and set limits so that I don’t just listen to the next one all through work today instead of working…

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The books are pretty short by fantasy novel standards (especially today’s).  They’re only slightly longer than Agatha Christie’s audiobooks (~7-8 hrs, give or take).  But man, do they pack a punch!  So short and yet so full of things-that-happen, and pretty unusual things too, if you ask me!  It’s terrific!  The endings are quite good as well; there’s just enough so that you know the story goes on, but if for some horrible reason it didn’t (thank goodness it has so far up to a turned in 10th book!), it still works as an end and you can imagine whatever future you like for Kitty and her cohorts.

Secondly, I’m going through a bit of withdrawal since I haven’t been reading OR listening to any of Mrs. Christie’s novels.  Randomly I get these ideas that I’m missing out on something and should go start up my audiobook or check my novel, and then realize that it’d have to be a new one!  And I don’t know when I’m going to go back to them, especially since I’m addicted to the Kitty novels at the moment.  (Maybe not going back right away is a good thing at this point.)  Which leads me to my third thought…

Having put the stuff I’m looking forward to over on the left, I realized that I have very little time to prepare (since I’m just over halfway through Imager’s Challenge and intend to read Imager’s Intrigue before moving on) at least for Blackveil (especially since I intend to reread the first 3 books of that series), not to mention The Wise Man’s Fear.  (I’ve never read The Name of the Wind, I’ve just had it on my shelf for ages based on some friends’ recommendations and reading the author’s blog.  I decided to wait on it till I knew the next book was coming out since my TBR shelf is actually more than one bookcase.)

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So, there you have it.  I’ll be reading Imager novels for a while, and probably Green Rider books after that, which will probably mean I’ll be getting to Blackveil later than I’d like.  But I’ll get there eventually!

Posted in Classics, Green Rider, Kitty Norville, Reading | 2 Comments »

Kitty Norville

Posted by spragujs on January 4, 2011

Every now and then Audible.com has a sale on audiobooks and you can buy them for ~$5 instead of the at least $11 that a credit usually costs (or more, of course).  I frequently take advantage of this sale, and in doing so came across Carrie Vaughn‘s Kitty Norville series (10th book has been turned in according to her blog).  I’d previously heard of the author as she contributes to GRRM’s Wild Cards series, but I hadn’t read (or listened to) any of her stuff.

Kitty and the Midnight Hour cover artNow I have.  I listened to her first novel Kitty and the Midnight Hour and was hooked.  First, it’s about a werewolf, which makes a nice change from the vampire craziness that’s been going on these days.  There are vampires in the stories, and they can even have a fairly major role (in my whole 1.5 book experience at this point), but it’s still a nice change.  Another interesting bit is that vampirism and lycanthropy are considered diseases, and those infected are still basically human and expected to behave as such (even though vampires are still dead).  Sure, they’re gonna have their quirks, but so do regular humans!  😉  Werewolf politics are pretty interesting too…  And in book 2, the world is going through having outed the supernatural world to the rest of humanity through Senate hearings, believe it or not.  Quite the twist compared to most things I’ve read!

The audiobooks are read byMargarite Gavin, who narrated the majority of Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, which I’d listened to first.  At first, I was stuck in Hollows mode (especially with the overall similarities between the series), but fairly quickly the characters took on personalities of their own, and now I’m not having that crossover problem and Gavin’s work is again spectacular and immersive.

There are many other little things that I could say about the series (again as I’ve listened to it so far), which has prompted me to use actual audible credits instead of waiting for super good sales, but instead I’ll just provide you with the blurb from the first book and encourage you to go pick the series up yourselves!

VAMPIRES.  WEREWOLVES.  TALK RADIO.  Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station–and a werewolf in the closet.  Sick of lame song requests, she accidentally starts “The Midnight Hour”, a late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged.  After desperate vampires, werewolves, and witches across the country begin calling in to share their woes, her new show is a raging success.  But it’s Kitty who can use some help.  With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew…

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