Series: Kitty Norville #12
Format Read: paperback
Source: local library
Release Date: July 30, 2013
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Blurb from goodreads:
As Denver adjusts to a new master vampire, Kitty gets word of an intruder in the Denver werewolf pack’s territory, and she investigates the challenge to her authority. She follows the scent of the lycanthrope through the mountains where she is lured into a trap, tranquilized, and captured. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a defunct silver mine: the perfect cage for a werewolf. Her captors are a mysterious cult seeking to induct Kitty into their ranks in a ritual they hope will put an end to Dux Bellorum. Though skeptical of their power, even Kitty finds herself struggling to resist joining their cause. Whatever she decides, they expect Kitty to join them in their plot . . . willingly or otherwise.
I am so done with the Long Game story arc in this series. Vaughn has milked it for too long with too little forward motion. It's time to resolve it, end it, come to some sort of conclusion. Kitty takes a few steps closer to understanding and accepting her role in the war against Dux Bellorum, yawn. The one nice thing I noticed was how much Kitty has grown over the series. Oh, she's still a bog mouth but she's gotten better at impulse control, she's matured, she's become, albeit reluctantly, a leader. Her career and personal life are calm, she's accepted being a werewolf. Really, there's no major struggles left; everything is external now.
I might not mind so much if the external struggles were less Long Game and vampiric BS and more werewolf struggles. The best stories have been Kitty and the wolves interacting with humans such as Kitty Goes To War and Kitty Steals The Show; werewolves and humans interacting, dealing with each other and rubbing each other the wrong way. But too many of recent books have taken the focus off of the wolves.
The one thing I am liking about the books focused on the Long Game, including this one, are all the different mythological aspects that Vaughn keeps working in. She's tying different global mythologies and animal tales and weaving them into her world building. I love myths and she's doing a great job working them in. But, they don't carry through from book to book; instead each addition is confined to the book they are introduced in and then throw away. Maybe Vaughn has her own long game and will be bringing them back but I'm just about out of patience.
The bulk of this is Kitty as a prisoner underground i.e. in the underworld. Now, that has huge mythological importance and meaning but Vaughn doesn't fully exploit it. Instead well over half the book is Kitty trapped underground, a prisoner of a cult. She's drugged heavily at first and spends a lot of time sleeping. Her mind is not clear and her thinking is sluggish. We get a shit-ton of internal monologue, a little insight into the people who have kidnapped but it's only the last 70 pages where things finally start to happen. The ending is intriguing and has potential. The next book is from Cormac's POV and I'm assuming will run with the thread from this book.
Since Kitty is mostly underworld with her captors, we see little of her supporting cast - Ben, Cormac, the pack, etc. The story was weaker for their lack as her captors were only mildly interesting and not enough to hold my interest. The new vampire master of the city is growing on me and slowly adjusting to his role. He had a small part in the story but he has potential. He makes a good foil for Kitty. Now that Kitty no longer has Rick to help her, she has to forge a new relationship with the local vampires.
This is a book you could easily skip in the series, it's by no means a must read. If you're a hardcore fan, read it. Otherwise, skip it.