Monday, August 22, 2011

Kitty's Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn

I loved Carrie Vaughn's Discord's Apple, and hosted her for Authors @ The Teague shortly after that book came out. But, I never read any of the Kitty Norville books, the stories of the werewolf and radio personality, the novels that made Vaughn a New York Times bestselling author. Kitty's Greatest Hits, a collection of stories, is the perfect place to start for an introduction to Kitty, her friends, and her world.

I'd recommend readers start with the Author's Notes at the back of the book before even starting the first story. There, Vaughn gathered her thoughts to discuss the origin stories for Kitty and her friends. These are stories of supernatural beings forced to cope in the "real world." And, then she provides a short analysis for each story, telling why the adventure fits in the body of work, who the characters are. Quite often, these stories were the genesis for ideas that grew into the novels.

Even if you're tired of those romanticized vampire stories, don't hesitate to pick up this anthology. Vaughn doesn't glamorize the life of a werewolf or a vampire. These are fascinating, realistic accounts. "The Book of Daniel" is an interesting interpretation of Daniel in the lions' den. Two of the stories feature Cormac Bennett, a hunter of werewolves. The novella here even finds him jailed for manslaughter, trapped in a haunted prison. Vaughn accounts for supernatural beings in all aspects of history, from ancient Babylonia and medieval England to the contemporary world and a secret government laboratory. And, of course, there are a couple Kitty Norville tales.

I'm impressed with Carrie Vaughn's imagination and creativity. Kitty's Greatest Hits provided an opportunity for her to explore time periods and different characters. She has wonderful storytelling skills. Although all but one of these was a short story, Vaughn is still able to develop her characters, and give them depth. I finished the book as a fan of the storyteller. Now, I need to find  time to go back and read her Kitty Norville novels and meet up with these characters again.

Carrie Vaughn's website is

Kitty's Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn. TOR, from Tom Doherty Associates, LLC. ©2011. ISBN 9780765329578 (paperback), 320p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Liz V. said...

Another library try.

Have you seen Katherine Hall Page's ode to librarians in the back of The Body in The Sleigh? Thought of you immediately--enticing me to try new genres and introducing soon-to-be friends.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Liz. I read that ode to librarians when The Body in the Sleigh first came out. Now that you said that, I'm going to have to go back and read it again. Thank you.

Kathryn Casey said...

Enjoyed the review, Lesa. I'll have to look for this one.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Kathryn. Really enjoyed this anthology.

Karen C said...

Nice review, Lesa.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Karen. Good book, too.