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on 12 October 2011
"Kitty's Big Trouble" is the 9th book in the 'Kitty Norville' series and it's still going pretty strong. I continue to find all the characters interesting and most of the time, likable. However, I didn't quite like the plot in this one as much as I have in previous books. There's a lot going on with many different threads. It's not difficult to understand as Vaughn does a great job at keeping everything easy but it did get a little tiresome with jumping from one storyline to another.

Kitty is on the hunt for another story for her talk-radio show and is looking into the history of different famous people from the past. She finds some interesting facts about them. She's also helping Anastasia, along with Ben and Cormac, in the quest to find the Dragon's Pearl, where the gang come face to face with Roman, a two thousand year old vampire, who they met for the first time in 'Kitty Raises Hell'.

I felt a slight atmosphere change in this book, it just doesn't have the same feel as the preceding books. I'm not sure if it's because it contained a lot more magic, or if it was due to the inclusion of Gods and mythology, but there is a definite shift in tone. And although there's plenty of action as always, which I usually love, this time I found my mind drifting, I just wasn't as engaged.

Even after all this time, I still find it difficult to believe in Kitty as a warrior, a true alpha, as she doesn't fight with weapons, has no magical ability and hardly ever fights as a werewolf, therefore all that's left is her human side, which surely has no hope against a two thousand year old vampire. And yet Roman seems concerned by her and her ability to thwart him. Kitty manages to stop evil in its tracks just by being there and being her sarcastic, snarky self.

Also, what is happening to Cormac? This is not how I imagined his character to end up. He's a bounty hunter and yet he now feels stripped of that ruggedness I loved so much in earlier books. I'm not sure I like this turn of events for him and want him to be the guy I met in 'Kitty and the Midnight Hour'.

I'm also not sure about the inclusion of Gods - there are enough supernaturals in this series: werewolves, vampires, demons, psychics, wizards, ghosts, magicians, without having to add mythology and Gods to the equation - this is just overload. Although I must admit I did like Sun - he was pretty dishy ;)

VERDICT:

Despite "Kitty's Big Trouble" not being the strongest book in the series, there's still plenty to keep the interest of Kitty fans. I'm intrigued to find out what happens next for Kitty and her band of merry men, and I look forward to reading 'Kitty Steals the Show' when released summer 2012.
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on 5 December 2011
I have to make it clear that I am biased. I have all the Kitty Norville series so reviewing is a bit like saying which dessert I enjoy most. Some are sweet, some are tart and you can even find some lightweight as a mousse. The same goes for the adventures of the werewolf DJ. I enjoyed the book but I do fear that Carrie Vaughn may be becoming the victim of her own success. Just as Laurell K Hamilton's vampire executioner is doing fewer jobs and taking more loves and ever more abstruse enemies, so Kitty seems to be drifting into deeper water. I can understand why each new enemy seems to have to be bigger and badder, but that road eventually leads to self-parody. Kitty is not there yet and there were refreshing twists and good storyline exposition but the writing may be on the wall for the series :(
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on 8 April 2013
Fresh from her experience of working with male werewolves, who, while soldiers in the U.S. Army, had been traumatized by their combat experiences in Afghanistan, Kitty became curious as to whether any werewolves figured prominently in American history. So, she made a number of inquiries, one of which led her to suspect that General William Tecumseh Sherman, one of the great Civil War generals, had been a werewolf.

Utilizing her friendship with Rick, the leader of Denver's vampire family, Kitty learns, via Rick's contacts with other vampires across the country, that at least one of the famous figures from the Old West had been a vampire hunter. This excites Kitty's curiosity so much so, that she (along with her husband Ben --- who is also a werewolf --- and their mutual friend, Cormac, a man of many talents), drive over to Dodge City to explore the remnants of what had been a vampire community in the latter part of the 19th century. Unexpectedly the 3 of them are confronted by 2 male werewolves (in human form), who didn't take kindly to having their "turf" encroached on by 2 strange werewolves. (Werewolves are very territorial creatures.) So, Kitty, Ben, and Cormac wisely return to Denver --- curiosity satisfied insofar as vampires in Dodge City's past was concerned.

Late one night, Kitty receives an urgent phone call from Anastasia, an 800-year old vampire she had befriended when they had been part of a paranormal reality TV show sometime ago. Anastasia is fearful that Roman, a Master Vampire with whom both Kitty and Anatasia had separately battled in the past, may have come into possession of the Dragon's Pearl, a magical jewel that can give its user absolute and unchallenged power on a universal scale. Apparently, Roman is in Anatasia's neck of the woods --- San Francisco --- where he is quietly gathering allies in the paranormal realm (vampires and werewolves alike, who are under his total control). Kitty, though wary of another run-in with Roman, agrees to come out to San Francisco to help Anastasia find the Dragon's Pearl. Better it is, she reckoned, to take on the devil you know tout suite rather than wait til he's stronger and a more potent future threat to her and her pack.

It is at this point, that the story goes into high gear upon the arrival of Kitty, Ben, and Cormac in San Francisco. (The intrepid 3 later meet with Anastasia in Chinatown, where the "fun" begins.) The imagery is rich, vibrant, and evokes the magic and wonder of "Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon". Anyone who is a fan of the Kitty Norville Series and enjoys action-packed stories with a flair for the fantastic won't be disappointed here.
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Possible alternate titles: "Kitty Goes To San Francisco" and "Kitty Goes to Chinatown."

So guess where the ever-inquisitive Kitty Norville goes in "Kitty's Big Trouble," a shadowy, frantic scrabble for ancient magical artifacts and even more ancient Chinese deities. The beginning chapters feel rather disconnected from the rest of the story, but once the gang makes it to San Francisco the storyline becomes much smoother.

Kitty begins investigating historical figures --General Sherman, Wyatt Earp -- who may have had connections to the supernatural. And after a nasty encounter with a long-starved vampire, she's left with a coin necklace that may be connected to Roman. Unfortunately, not a lot of vampires know what it is, so she's sent off to find Anastasia in San Francisco.

However, Anastasia is more concerned with the Dragon's Pearl, a priceless artifact that Roman wants so he can expand his army exponentially. Kitty, Ben and the Ameliafied Cormac agree to help her find it before Roman does, and they soon discover that this is a dangerous proposition -- but they may have some allies even more powerful than vampires.

As an urban fantasy, "Kitty's Big Trouble" is solid but not the best of the series. It's a dark, grimy, action-packed story that immerses Kitty even more into the world, but it strays pretty far from Kitty's usual stomping grounds and cast. And there are some aspects of the plot -- Kitty's broken bone, the half-starved vampire -- that feel like they should have been more significant than they were.

However, the story gets much smoother once Kitty and Co. make it to Frisco, forming a tight rope of frenetic action and supernatural drama, but with some lighter moments (Cormac's "I escaped Alcatraz" shirt). And Vaughn splashes it liberally with Chinese folklore and religion, including a nine-tailed fox and a mysterious dude with a staff. I let a fangirl squeal when I read his name. And she doesn't wuss out on the religious implications of Chinese "gods" being real.

It's also interesting to see Kitty delving into the "hidden history," when she isn't showing her iron-hard determination to stop Roman. Without revealing too much, her determination means that she's now one of Roman's top enemies, and is squarely in the middle of the Long Game.

Vaughn also reveals a lot more about the beautiful, icy Anastasia's past -- If you didn't like her already, you will now -- and adds in the motherly Xiwangmu and the adorably quirky Sun Wukong. Here's hoping we'll see them again. However... Grace is ANNOYING. She whines and complains constantly about everything, and keeps bleating about how she didn't expect all this. Just shut up.

But despite a rocky beginning and an annoying human character, "Kitty's Big Trouble" is a decent addition to this series -- not perfect, but enjoyable and important to the story arc.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 18 February 2015
There is a story arc in this series about Roman, a very old vampire, who is playing the "long game" and who is determined to wipe out human kind in the long run in favour of himself and his followers. There have been glimpses of Roman in the past but he becomes a major adversary of Kitty in this book and obviously will continue to be so as the series progresses. Part of Kitty's activity in this book is to come to the aid of her vampire "friend" Anastasia and help her find a magical artefact in San Francisco in order to prevent Roman getting hold of it. This was an interesting plot and the Chinatown/San Francisco aspect was full of detail.

Where the book was less successful was in Kitty's motive for doing things. She is supposed to have boundless curiosity which results in her looking for possible historical characters who may also have been supernatural creatures. I can understand having an interest in this but kitty pushes it way too far, even digging up graves to find things out. Apart from her own curiosity I couldn't understand why any of this was necessary or relevant and rather thought that someone should say "no" to her. Part of my lack of interest in this part of the novel is that I didn't really know a lot about who General Sherman was or what he did (my American history is not all it might be and I didn't really want to look it up).

Kitty is a compelling character and she carries the story well. She takes no prisoners and delves into everything as well as raising quite interesting moral points about how society treats those who are different. Although she is the leader of a pack of werewolves we see little of them here. My favourite character in these books is her husband Ben - he is her stalwart supporter and quite often the voice of common sense. Cormac is also a major character here and it is nice to see his inclusion again after his prison sentence although he does seem to have lost some of his edge from the earlier books.

I did get the feeling that this book was really laying the foundation for future interaction with Roman but it was a compelling enough story by itself - anyone new to Kitty and her life should probably start with the first book "Kitty and the Midnight Hour" though otherwise a lot of this will escape them.
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on 18 February 2014
Once again Carrie writes about Kitty and her adventures, this time with not just her husband but the Vampire / Were hunter Cormack as well. Old charactors come and go in the book and Kitty is up to her ears in danger - also as usual, of course you know she will get out as you already have the next book on the book shelf ! But it's a fun read for light hearted days.
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on 16 December 2012
As Brit, it’s always interesting to see how an American writer (and character) finds London. Kitty and Carrie both do very well. This book is back to the main story arc and advances the plot in a very enjoyable tale. It’s well worth the read.
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on 6 February 2016
The story is good, been a long time fan of the series. The only reason this review has lost a star is because this edition of the publication's cover features stolen artwork.
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on 28 December 2014
Another great read in the Kitty Norville series. The books just keep getting better. The book is another solid read with only a couple of minor grammar errors.
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on 3 March 2013
I havent read them yet but bought them all and lost my husband for nearly two weeks as he read them all one after another said they were great
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