Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand - Carrie Vaughn

I’m a big Kitty Norville fan: she’s witty and brave and the books have serious content, delivered with a light touch. Normally I’m cheering for Kitty to win the day and sad that there are no more pages left to read. Yet with “Kitty And The Dead Man’s Hand”, I found myself going “Is that it?” and “What was Kitty thinking”.


The story seemed promising enough: Kitty and Ben, already mated for life as an Alpha pair in a werewolf pack, decide to make things official in the human world and get married. To avoid the fuss of a  big wedding, Kitty decides to get married in Vegas and her boss uses this as an opportunity to get her to do her radio show live on TV. He also books Kitty and Ben into a hotel that is running a gun show, complete with silver bullet carrying bounty hunter. Add in a magician who reads H P Lovecraft, a Vampire Master only interested in partying and a bizarre tribe of werecats and it should have been quite a ride.


Instead, I found it unsatisfying.


I’ve been to Vegas a few times, I even renewed my wedding vows there, and I thought Carrie Vaughn caught the atmosphere of the place well, so that wasn’t the problem.

I think the problem was Kitty. She’s on her own for most of the book for various reasons, even though she brought Ben and her mother and father to Vegas with her. She stumbles around getting into trouble and mostly waiting for someone else to get her out of it. She gives little thought to her family and only a little more to Ben. Her relationship with the BDSM-loving werecats didn’t convince me. The way two of bounty hunters reacted to her was also hard to swallow. The marriage, when it did finally occur, seemed crass and narcissitically self-indulgent.


Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood, or maybe I didn’t get the appeal of all those bare-chested young men, but I just couldn’t settle in to this book. In every other book, Kitty has grown and developed. In this book, she seems to take a holiday from herself.


Oh, and I still don’t have a clue what the title means.


Anyway, I hope I get the real Kitty back in book six.