Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Series: Kitty Norville #1
Published by Tantor Media
Published on: August 3, 2009
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Length: 7 hrs & 1 min
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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.
KITTY NORVILLE and I first met back in 2010 when I started my blog; at the time I found the heroine rather spineless, and I didn’t particularly care for Carrie Vaughn’s werewolves. I forged on to book 2, didn’t see much improvement, and decided to call it quits. Now, five years later, the series has concluded, and I’ve decided to give it another chance in audio. Marguerite Gavin’s narration caused me to bump my original rating up by a star, and my second impression kinda left me scratching my head as to why I was so harsh to begin with.
KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR still didn’t bowl me over with its mild level of Urban Fantasy badass-ery, although I did find myself enjoying the story and the characters more than expected given my initial assessment. The off-scene rape bits are probably what tipped me over the edge originally, and I’ve since encountered far worse over the course of my fictional wanderings *cough* Anne Bishop’s THE BLACK JEWELS trilogy *cough* that I barely batted an eye at them. Also, now that Norville is out from underneath Carl’s wing it seems unlikely that there will be a repeat.
The inclusion of a werewolf POV is borderline mandatory in a series with a fury protagonist IMO, and Vaughn’s spin was to my liking. The possibilities for future plot threads are practically endless as well given Kitty’s outstanding issues with the pack, the barely explored vampire angle, and the potential for her to become a police consultant, not to mention all of the cray-cray her callers could throw at her on any given night. In addition, it helps to know that there are only fourteen installments because it shows that the author has a plan of attack.
Marguerite Gavin is a new-to-me narrator, and given the impact that she had on my overall opinion of this title, I’d say that she just significantly increased the odds of me staying the course. The subtle adjustments of her tone and pitch with regards to Kitty’s “radio” voice and that of her wolf’s were well executed, especially her three-way on air dialogues. I enjoyed Gavin’s European accents, although they did seem slightly out of context, but that was in part due to some holes in the secondaries’ backstories which she can’t be held accountable for.
KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR needed a few years to ferment, at least for this listener.