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Editorial Reviews

Kitty Norville is just your average, everyday Disc Jockey, except for the fact that she turns into a werewolf every full moon. But that werewolf bit is a secret, at least until one night she starts taking calls about the paranormal and stumbles into hosting a popular, syndicated advice show for the supernaturally gifted (or afflicted). Things are going great with the new show — at least until a hitman tries to kill her on the air. But after talking her way out of being murdered, and charming the hitman to her side in the process, Kitty has to find out who's really behind the hit...while at the same time unwillingly assisting the police in an investigation of suspicious deaths which look like the work of a werewolf. Untangling these two mysteries would be complicated for anyone, let alone a DJ out of her depth, and it's all made even more complex by werewolf clan dynmaics, the vampire clan eager to get the werewolves away from their turf, and a preacher who claims he can cure supernatural afflictions.

To pull off the first-person narration of a talk show DJ in an audiobook, it's essential to capture the feel and sound of the talk show host just right. If that was a challenge for narrator Marguerite Gavin, you'd never know it; she sounds so authentic as DJ Kitty Norville, you'd think she was a DJ herself. This is partly due to Vaughn's witty dialogue and strong authorial voice, but Gavin brings a little something extra to the role that you wouldn't necessarily get when reading it off the page. The several "Midnight Hour" talk show bits in the book sound pitch-perfect in depicting both Kitty's hosting persona and the callers' personalities and neuroses, thanks in large part to Gavin's excellent pacing and injection of attitude and sultriness into the role.

For fans of Sookie Stackhouse's adventures or contemporary urban fantasies, this one is a no-brainer. But even if you don't normally go for that kind of thing, Kitty and the Midnight Hour deserves a spot in your listening queue. It's just plain fun, and Gavin's talents shine throughout the narrative, making it one of those audiobooks that'll have you wishing your commute was a little bit longer so you'll have the excuse to keep listening. —John Joseph Adams

Publisher's Summary

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.
©2005 Carrie Vaughn, LLC; (P)2009 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Fresh, hip, fantastic.... Don't miss this one. You're in for a real treat!" (L. A. Banks, author of he Vampire Huntress Legends series)

What members say

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  • Overall

Pleasant Surprise!

I tried this and some other books after browsing some Amazon lists for new authors. Based on the cover art and the publisher's description I expected an OK book, but I was happy to find a book that exceeded my expectations. I really enjoyed this book the entire way through.

I adore the narrator based on listening to her read the Rachel Morgan series so that helped, but the story also deserves credit for getting my interest early and keeping it the whole way through. Ms. Gavin reads with a rhythm that's engaging and that feels like someone actually talking versus the fake, repetitive, sing-song rhythm some narrators use. She does a fabulous job of defining each character with her voice, which I don't think is an easy thing to do well.

I agree with another reviewer about some characters being somewhat derivative, but I didn't find it so blatent that it bothered me. That said, I'd like to see a unique, quirky, interesting character or two added as the series progresses.

There was enough going on in the plot to keep things moving and the main character was realistic and likeable. I was happy that the author stayed away from some of the trite characteristics for the main character that I've seen in some books of this genre.

I'd stretch things and give the book a 4 rating instead of a 3.5, mostly for managing to catch my interest so well with the first book in a series, but I decided to give this a 5 overall because of the narration. I've already downloaded the next book in the series and can't wait to listen!

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jennifer
  • austin, TX, United States
  • 02-19-10

Love Kitty

Well, I thought I'd be embarrassed or at least bored reading a book about a DJ wolf named Kitty, but it was on sale and I figured, why not?
It was hugely surprising. The writing is funny. The main character is... well, actually she starts out the kind of girl you really want to hit, but grows into someone you'd want to hang out with, except that everything that could go wrong, does around her.
I've finished the series, and just like her more and more in every book. Among other things, she has this... O.K., I realize the whole world is falling apart around me and hitmen/demons/crazed religious zealots/whatever else could possibly be horrible in the world is after me, but I've still got to do the show, attitude that makes you shake your head and smile.
Some people don't seem to like the narrator, but I do. I understand the complaints, but think her narration makes Kitty funny, if a bit older than she is supposed to be. I'm even thinking of getting other books from this narrator based on her appeal.
Can't wait for Kitty's next adventure.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kristian
  • Phoenixville, PA, USA
  • 08-05-09

Good first book

If you have enjoyed Carrie Vaughn's book in print, this is an EXCELLENT audio version. If you didn't, this may still be worth it, because of the reader.

The plot is a little piece meal, as it is a novel created around at least one short story (the meeting of Kitty and Cormack). Still, it is a good story, and unlike a lot of the urban fantasy, the paranormal isn't the main focus of the book. The characters are, and Kitty is a likable heroine who is finally growing up, starting the journey from cub to mature adult. She doesn't arrive at maturity here, but she makes some strong steps.

Still, except for Kitty most of the other characters aren't memorable. Some of them are derivative. For example, Cormack is Edward from Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake series, and the local police detective is Jim Butcher's Lt. Karen Murphy from the Dresden Files, TJ is Patricia Brigg's Warren from the Mercy Thompson Series, and so on.

The narrator, Marguerite Gavin, is excellent. She also does most of Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan Series, and as with those, she reads the main character in a strong, spirit filled way without sounding silly, simpering, or bitchy. The speaking is clear, characters easily identified, and convincingly emotional.

Based solely on the story, this is 3.5, but Ms. Gavin makes it closer to 4.5 for me.

I hope all of the Kitty Books make it to audible, and I hope Marguerite Gavin reads them.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Good enough if you like werewolves

I am generally not a huge fan of post-Buffy urban fantasy, particularly the "hot chicks in leather" genre. The only reason I decided to try the first book in the popular "Kitty Norville" series is that I've heard good things about the author, Carrie Vaughn, and also it was on sale on Audible.com.

Well, Kitty and the Midnight Hour is well-written and not as schlocky as I feared, but it did not change my mind about the genre, nor am I likely to continue following the series. I found the story entertaining mind candy, but it's certainly nothing that stands out from the crowd. Also, I got so tired of Kitty groveling, whining, submitting, etc. By the time she finally did grow a pair -- sorry, grow some claws -- I just wanted to see the designated Love Interest werewolf hunter shoot her. I wanted to see more vampires and werewolves and learn more about how their world works, not listen to endless tedious angst about how much it sucks to be a lycanthrope. Shades of White Wolf!

The story is split into several different threads: Kitty's renegotiating her place in the supernatural world (and in her pack), a rogue werewolf who's killing people, and an evangelical preacher who claims he can "cure" the supernatural. None of these plot threads are completely resolved by the end of the book, so obviously you're meant to read the next installment. I wish I could say that the strength of Kitty's character was enough for me to want to find out what happens next, but it's not. The most entertaining bits were Kitty's on-air advice to lovelorn (and/or seriously delusional) supernaturals and supernatural-wannabes, but this was also too thin a premise by itself to keep me engaged with the series.

Not a bad read, certainly, but I'm becoming increasingly judgmental about well-trodden genre novels, and this just didn't have enough Win to overcome my aversion to "hawt vampire-boinking chick" series. (Okay, in fairness, Kitty doesn't boink any vampires... at least not in this book.)

The performance by Marguerite Gavin was fine, and she gave Kitty in particular plenty of personality and a snarky attitude, and handled what must have been a difficult job of narrating two and three-way on-air conversations quite well. She did seem to like giving every male character a European accent, though.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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BILL CLINTON WAS A WEREWOLF

AROUSED LIKE HE HAD BEEN LEAD OU OF A MONASTERY, INTO CHEERLEADING PRACTICE.
I like to read Gardner Dozier's The Year's Best Science Fiction, anthologies and Carrie Vaughn has become a regular in those collections. I like her short fiction and even though, as others have said, I am not into leather clad female werewolves, (At least I don't think I am) I was entertained and impressed again by Vaughn's talented writing. The main character is intelligent and likeable.

HE WAS PACK AND HE CARED
It was interesting that I was walking my dogs, and watching the young one constantly bump up against the older dog, when it is mentioned in the story that werewolves are always touching. It is obvious that Carrie has done her homework on the behavior of wolves, although I will admit the Briggs does an even better job in Alpha and Omega.

YOUR THIS VOICE OF REASON
An interesting concept of this book, is the radio talk show. I used to drive real early in the morning and catch some weird radio shows about paranormal stuff and I thought that was what this was going to be. It kind of starts out that way, but ends up being more of a Frazier type show with Kitty being the voice of reason to troubled Vampires and Werewolves. Normally I like more plot, but Vaughn is a superior writer and I was not bothered by the lack of not much of a plot. It was also interesting how the world finds out that vampires and werewolves actually do exist and how quickly they are to accept. Once accepted, this brought up new ideas, like what type of laws do you use to govern vampires. Vampires are immortal, so do you lock them up for life? Is a werewolf killing another werewolf, considered the same as a human killing another human?

Gavin
Narrator is above excellent and makes this book a lot better listen than a read.

Book two is in my wish list.

47 of 56 people found this review helpful

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  • Chantal
  • B'ham, AL, United States
  • 03-06-13

good story and humor

What made the experience of listening to Kitty and The Midnight Hour the most enjoyable?

more humor than i expected. made the story that much better. a little slow to start but got up to speed quickly. loved how the narrator clearly depicted each voice so well and distinctly:) <br/>totally recommend this book and i will continue to read Carrie's books:)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A main character who actually has some growth!

I know.... I know... Kitty's tolerance of physical and sexual abuse was an intentional part of the story and, to be fair, Vaughn did this very well - i.e. unlike many (too many) other writers in this genre who write abuse/coercion like it's romance, the abuse in this story was certainly presented as abuse, not romance. But it was still a bit frustrating at times and I just wanted to shake Kitty and tell her to smarten up.

Someone compared Kitty with Rachel Morgan and, surprisingly, I have to agree. If you liked Harrison's Morgan series, you'll probably like this book too: the tone is similar, the main characters are similar, even the plot is sort of similar (well, not the plot so much as the theme of "main character trying to find herself and her place among her peers/friends as she grows in strength/awareness")

And that sorta sums up the plot. It's about 2/3 an exploration of Kitty's life/growth and 1/3 an investigation into what might happen in (our current) world where werewolves are discovered to be real. We are not left hanging at the end of the book, but there is enough left unresolved that you'll be curious to see what Kitty gets up to in the next installment. I quite liked it and plan to read the rest of the series.

The narration is very good. There is violence and sex but it's not graphic and I don't recall much in the way of swearing.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Joy
  • Annapolis MD United States
  • 03-05-14

Good solid entertainment

Maybe I'll get around to writing a review for the next three in the series, but they probably would be just more of the same. I bought this book more on a whim than anything. Quite frankly I've listened to so many vampire and werewolf books that I swore them off for awhile.
Anyway, I got sucked into the series and listened to 4 out of the 12 in the series - I bought them one after another. So yes, I was highly entertained by the series but I am making myself stop and moving on to other genres. Maybe when i can't find a story that catches my ears, I'll come back to the series. So far the series is a nice easy listen. I am not in love with Marguerite Gavin's narration but she is good and won't drive you nuts.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wasn't expecting much and was pleasantly surprised

Which character ??? as performed by Marguerite Gavin ??? was your favorite?

Kitty. She was believable and someone I might like to know in real life, minus the werewolf motif of course.

Any additional comments?

Good story from this genre. Was imaging it to be just another of this type and it was on sale so I tried it, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was quite good. Worth listening if you enjoy this genre.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Teresa
  • NAMPA, ID, United States
  • 12-30-11

Terrible.

From the discription I thought this might be good, but I could barely finish an hour of listening. I hated the main character she was whinney and snively. And to me the sex scene was basiclly rape. Not my idea of a good story. After only one hour I have vetoed this auther for life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful