Kitty’s Big Trouble by Carrie Vaughn – Advance Review

Book Jacket:

Kitty Norville is back and in more trouble than ever. Her recent run-in with werewolves traumatized by the horrors of war has made her start wondering how long the US government might have been covertly using werewolves in combat. Have any famous names in our own history might have actually been supernatural? She’s got suspicions about William Tecumseh Sherman. Then an interview with the right vampire puts her on the trail of Wyatt Earp, vampire hunter.

But her investigations lead her to a clue about enigmatic vampire Roman and the mysterious Long Game played by vampires through the millennia. That, plus a call for help from a powerful vampire ally in San Francisco, suddenly puts Kitty and her friends on the supernatural chessboard, pieces in dangerously active play. And Kitty Norville is never content to be a pawn…

You can read an excerpt here.


The ninth entry in the Kitty Norville series delivers another light and fun adventure, personable and eminently readable – but I’ll admit, this story felt a little out of left field to me.

Kitty heads off to San Francisco as a favor to Anastasia, and ends up racing Roman (everyone’s favorite shadowy Bad Guy) for possession of a magic object of power. Of course, said race lands her smack in the middle of a romp through Chinese mythology (of course…?) – luckily being a fan of martial arts movies has predisposed me to take these sorts of things in stride – and Kitty and crew find themselves lost in the middle of a treacherous magical labyrinth hidden beneath Chinatown, facing down various gods, goddesses, and other mythological creatures as they try to find their way.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to enjoy in the run and jump of this story – the action sets a nice pace, and you certainly can’t get ahead of this story! – and I was all around entertained, but when all was said and done, I couldn’t help but feel that this story was very tangential to the series as a whole. By and large this is a stand alone story, with only vague, faint ties to the larger arc of the series. And I realize it’s silly, in a series populated by werewolves, vampires, psychics, and even demons, to think that a little Chinese mythology seems out of place, but it just felt so…random. As Anastasia’s story, it would have made sense – but as this IS Kitty’s series, it felt like a bit of a stretch. Honestly it kind of seemed like Kitty was sort of tagging along in Anastasia’s story, and it weirdly sidelined our heroine. Despite the fact that Kitty was very much in the thick of things, in the end this story wasn’t about her – and yet we WANT it to be about Kitty, because frankly we don’t know Anastasia well enough as a character to fully vest in her getting a story of her own, and so it gives this book a strange, lopsided kind of feel.

Still, Kitty’s Big Trouble does set the stage for more direct conflict between Kitty and Roman in coming books, which I love, and I also enjoy how Kitty continues to step up, taking on harder and harder roles, not because she wants to, but because there’s no one else willing to do it. And let’s face it, it’s always fun to spend time with Kitty and Ben, who remain utterly adorable as a couple, and with Cormac, who has taken a very interesting character turn. (And by the way, Carrie is tentatively planning a spin-off based on Cormac, a detective series – and how awesome will that be). So in the end, this story may seem a little random, and it may not match, say, Kitty’s House of Horrors (my favorite of the series), but it still is a breezy, enjoyable read and as the title promises, it certainly delivers plenty of fun trouble. And as ever, I can’t wait to see what Kitty does next.

Byrt Grade: B+

As Levar Burton used to say – you don’t have to take my word for it…

Publishers Weekly says:

Vaughn delivers a solid ninth Kitty Norville adventure (after Kitty Goes to War) for the werewolf talk radio personality’s faithful fans….This refreshing froth of light entertainment avoids werewolf dominance clichés and obvious racial stereotypes in favor of communication, action, and adorable old-married-couple sweetness.

Red Hot Book says:

It wasn’t a bad book. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It just kind of felt like a bridge to intensify the conflict between Kitty and Roman.

Vicky Burkholder on Goodreads says:

While I loved the story, there were a few places where I had to stop and say “huh?” There were enough of these spots that I’d have to put this not at the top of my list of favorites, but that being said, it was still a fun read.