Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kitty's Big Trouble by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty's Big Trouble (Kitty Norville, Book 9)Kitty's Big Trouble is the ninth book in this series, and it seems like it's a little lighter fare than some of the previous novels. One of the blogs I read regularly complained about the title of this book, wondering why anyone would sign off on "Big Trouble". I believe it's an homage of sorts to Big Trouble in Little China, a Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrall (pre-Sex in the City (OMG, she was wonderful in Mannequin!)) film of some note, a bit before that blogger's time, perhaps.

At the start of the story, Kitty is digging into the rumor that Civil War General Sherman may have been a werewolf, based on a journal account of one of his soldiers, but is having some difficulty getting anyone to allow her to have him exhumed for DNA testing. She asks her Conquistador vampire friend, Rick, about Sherman and other potential historical figures who were more than they seemed, and gets a clue that Wyatt Earp may have been a monster hunter, like her friend, Cormac. So she travels to Dodge City with Cormac and Ben to investigate rumors of a burned out den of vampires attributable to Earp. They encounter a crazed vampire while they are there, but deal with it easily, and the only thing left to mark the occasion is an old Roman coin on a string.

Kitty gets a call from Anastasia, the ancient vampire we met in Kitty's House of Horrors, asking for her help in recovering an object of power, The Dragon's Pearl, before the arch villain vampire, Roman, acquires it. Kitty, Ben and Cormac travel to San Francisco to help Anastasia, and end up in the middle of some ancient Chinese secrets (not Calgon). They journey with a guide, Grace Chen, whose ancestors swore to guard the Pearl centuries ago, into the heart of an underground maze in Chinatown, which is not exactly firmly grounded in our reality.

The Pearl turns out to be missing from its hiding place, and their work gets a bit more complex and hazardous. They encounter a few miscellaneous figures from Chinese myth, the Monkey King, the Hundun, and the Queen Mother of the West in their quest, and get some help from the vampire community in the city by the Bay. We get to learn, finally, about Anastasia's past, and a little more about Rick's, too.

A good read, setting things up well for a little bit of a new direction for Kitty and her pals.

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