Monday, May 5, 2014

Kitty in the Underworld by Carrie Vaughn

I'm not sure what Vaughn was going for here, aside from a touch of Stockholm Syndrome. It seemed like a placemarker novel while she figures out where the story line is going and how the Long Game is going to be resolved.

Kitty's friends find out that Roman aka Dux Bellorum has lured one of the old European vampires into a trap and killed him, while hunting for a magical artifact called The Hand of Hercules. The supernatural community in Colorado decides to take a wait and see attitude, and so do we, if we read this story.

Ben has to travel to the hinterlands on business for a few nights, and while he is away, Kitty goes out to investigate a pair of weres who have invaded her pack's territory. It turns out to be a trap, as well, and she ends up captive to a group consisting of a very old vampire, Kumarbis, a were-lion, Sakhmet, a werewolf, Enkidu, and a sorceress, Zora. Kumarbis turns out to be the vampire who "turned" Roman two millennia ago, and he believes he is the only being who can stop Dux Bellorum. They believe that Kitty is the incarnation of the Regina Luporum, and coerce her into participating in a ritual designed to open a way to Roman's hiding place and to kill him.

The book is basically a couple hundred pages of Kitty captive in an old silver mine, cold, hungry, lonely, and sometimes angry. Plentiful pity party time. Though at one point she has a chance to escape, she decides she must give the conspirators a chance to succeed, or forever wonder what might have been, and if Dux Bellorum could have been stopped "if only".

The only thing Kitty and company seem to gain at the end of this fiasco is a book of spells that Zora places in Kitty's care when the battle with Roman goes TU. Probably needs to be read for completeness, but proceed at your own risk with low expectations.

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