Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn | Audio Review

January 29, 2014 Reviews 9

Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn | Audio ReviewKitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Series: Kitty Norville #1
Published by Tantor Audio on July 2, 2009
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 300
Length: 7 hours 1 minute
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station?and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it?s Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew?

My Initial Reaction…

Why did I wait so long to start this series? Although I wasn’t a big fan of Kitty to start with, as Kitty and the Midnight Hour progressed, I got to know her better and love her. And using a radio show to tell big hunks of the story? Brilliant! But I’m ahead of myself…

The Narration…

I came across Marguerite Gavin in the Hollows Series and was iffy about her, but wondered if it was because I already had voices in my head for those characters (I was rereading in audio). Well, now I know that I like her a lot. I don’t love her narration, but it’s a solid B+ for me. Something about her voice for Kitty was absolutely perfect for me – it carried a radio personality perfectly. Her voices for other characters, although distinct, was a little less than perfect for me. Particularly some of the male characters, who came out sounding a bit too forced masculine for my taste. All in all, I loved her for Kitty and her voices for the men weren’t perfect, but good enough that I definitely plan to continue listening to this series.

The Characters…

Ok, so Kitty and I didn’t like each other at first. See, she had all this potential to be someone I could love and then I find out that she’s uber submissive. Like annoyingly, pathetically so. But as the story progressed a few things happened to change my opinion of Kitty. First of all, I learned her back story and that explained a lot. I won’t tell you what happened, because I like the way it’s revealed in Kitty and the Midnight Hour, but how she was changed and the person she was before her change to werewolf really explained why she acted the way she did. Second, and perhaps more importantly, I watched her grow as a character. Through her radio show, she gained an independence and self-worth that she so badly needed and with it she really started to transform. As a character driven reader, this kind of development makes a story shine for me. I loved seeing her transformation and so in the end, I not only love Kitty, but I’m really glad she started the book so annoyingly submissive. Clearly Carrie Vaughn knew what she was doing.

As for the other characters, I have to say that like her radio show, this is really a one-woman act. There are a full cast of other characters and they’re developed just enough for you to have the desired response to them. There’s the best friend that you love, even when he frustrates the hell out of you; the alpha that you’re on the fence about, but think you hate; the stereotypical cop that you respect but wish would stay the hell out of this stuff. Cormac, the love-hate interest, was an interesting figure but sadly a bit forgettable for me. He went from enemy to trusted ally to quickly and easily for my liking, though I absolutely loved their dialogue. I think what I’m getting at with these characters is that, they do the job to move the story forward, but besides Kitty, they’re all a bit predictable and too easy.

The Story…

I loved the way this story was told perhaps even more than the story itself. Kitty is a late night radio host who inadvertently turns her show into a paranormal talk show. And it becomes a major hit. And a major problem. She’s getting syndicated and lots of attention; becoming a real hot shot, making serious money. At the same time, however, some supernaturals (particularly some vamps in her area) don’t like what she’s up to and she’s ordered to back down. That sets up the major plot tension, although a murder does happen that Kitty gets involved with investigating, but for me that was really a back drop. The real tension, for me, was Kitty’s fight to become and remain independent, through her radio show.

Huge segments of the book take place while Kitty is actually doing the show. I loved this. It was so unique and Vaughn writes dialogue so brilliantly that it just works. I also think that listening to Kitty and the Midnight Hour rather than reading it only amplifies the brilliance of this storytelling move because I felt like I was listening to the actual show a lot of the time. Gavin does a great job of showing Kitty’s radio persona/voice as something just slightly different from her regular one, so that made this spectacular. The mystery was solid (surrounding the murder) and I didn’t figure it out until maybe seconds before Kitty, which is always a good sign. That last 15% was fairly shocking, including one heart-wrenching moment, and I gobbled it up.

Concluding Sentiments…

For me, this was a really positive start to a series. The world was pretty much your staple Urban Fantasy and I settled into it quickly. I’m ready to see what’s next for Kitty and I’m hopeful that some of the other characters will have better development as the series progresses.

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About Carrie Vaughn

Vaughn was born into a military family and has lived all over the U.S. She received a BA from Occidental College, after which she went on to work too many jobs to count until she went back to school to receive her MA from University of Colorado at Boulder. She currently lives in Boulder, CO.


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

9 Responses to “Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn | Audio Review”

  1. Tina

    One thing that kind of turns me off from reading books in a series is that usually the first book spends so much time worldbuilding and introducing characters that there is sometimes a lack of plot. It sounds like this book had a little bit of that going on, though I don’t think it would deter me from reading this series. I am really a newbie when it comes to Urban Fantasy, and would love to find a series that really engages me and opens up my mind to the genre. I might have to try this one out. Great review!
    Tina recently posted…Carbon Monoxide MonitorsMy Profile

    • Berls

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      The world building – particularly in Urban Fantasy – can really dominate the first book (or first couple honestly) – but if they do it well you still feel a good plot. The thing about UF is that you want a good world build because that’s what makes the series shine. So it’s kind of tricky and I usually forgive my UF books if they are a bit shaky at first as long as I can see a solid world coming through 🙂
      Berls recently posted…#COYER Read-a-thon | Christmas in July!My Profile

  2. Lark

    I’m so glad you wrote about Kitty’s “annoying submission” and then made it clear that she changes as the story goes on, because that might have made me DNF in irritation. My daughter found me a copy of this book, and I’ve been a little leery of starting it. I feel more confident now that this is a book I’m likely to enjoy. Thanks!
    Lark recently posted…Sunday Post – 2/02/14My Profile

  3. A Voracious Reader

    I’ve been wanting to read this one for awhile. Of course, I never get to read what I *really* want anymore. LOL But the trade off is I’ve read some awesome books by authors I would never have noticed if it weren’t for my blog. 🙂 I’ll get to this one eventually. I’m pretty sure. 😉
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…VABT ~ Tour ~ Into YouMy Profile

  4. Naomi

    Wow berls… this sounds like it should be on my must read list!! I can’t believe I haven’t read it myself! Definitely my kind of series. I’m glad you started to like Kitty, nothing worse than reading about someone you don’t like. Great review!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  5. Lupdilup

    You have no idea how happy it makes me to have audiobook fans around 🙂 I had this audiobook on my library for like it seems forever, but never felt the the desire to listen to it until now. You know how it is, you’d like to get an opinion of someone familiar to get excited about a book. You bet I’ll be dusting out this bad boy and moving this close to the top.
    Thank you, great review 🙂
    Lupdilup recently posted…Kissing Under the Mistletoe Audiobook by Bella AndreMy Profile

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