Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville, Book 5)I think I finally found a way to describe the way I feel about this series by Vaughn. It's like a bag of Twizzlers red licorice; if you have it readily available, you'll be forced to devour the entire thing in one sitting. This one took me about an hour and a half yesterday afternoon.

Kitty and Ben have decided that they need to formalize what their inner wolves already know, that they're mated for life. Discouraged by the complexity of planning a wedding, they decide to head to Las Vegas and get married there in one of the less tacky wedding chapels. Before they leave, the head vampire of Denver, Kitty's friend, Rick, gives her a note for the head vampire in Vegas, Dom, giving her a friendly introduction to the master of the city. Apparently, there are no werewolves in Vegas; the desert is simply too inhospitable to their wolf sides. Kitty's producer decides that this would be a great opportunity for Kitty to do her show on TV, in front of a live audience, and sets things up with his friends in Vegas to produce a show the day before her wedding.

When Kitty and Ben check into their hotel, they find out that there's a gun convention and exhibition going on. Ben, having been Cormac's partner in hunting down monsters, turns out to have a few acquaintances among the attendees, none of whom are thrilled with him associating with an "outed" werewolf, but they manage to avoid any gunfire in the early going.

Kitty meets with Dom, and tries to convince him to be a guest on her tv show, but the master vampire is uninterested in participating. The vampires in Vegas keep a low profile, preying on the many tourists passing through sin city. The vampires in his "court" appear to be a bunch of effete, vapid hedonists.

There may not be any werewolves in Vegas, but Kitty finds out that there may be some weretigers and werelions performing in an animal show there. She gets invited to come see their show by one of the weres in the show, and things start to get complicated after that.

Some of the bounty hunters from the gun show decide that going after Kitty, a famous were, would be good for their reputations, the animal show turns out to be more than a sideshow, and Dom's vampires turn out to be even less effective than they first appeared. All of this, I believe, is setting things up for stories dealing with a deeper game of vampire and were politics.

A good, fast, interesting read.

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