Author: Carrie Vaughn
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 01/01/10
Talk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. She's expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a publicity stunt will turn into a fight for her life.
The cast members, including Kitty, arrive at the remote mountain lodge where the show is set. As soon as filming starts, violence erupts and Kitty suspects that the show is a cover for a nefarious plot. Then the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying, and Kitty realizes she and her monster housemates are ironically the ultimate prize in a very different game. Stranded with no power, no phones, and no way to know who can be trusted, she must find a way to defeat the evil closing in... before it kills them all.
Plot: 5 Stars
I love this series, and this was the best one yet! Kitty just can't seem to keep herself out of trouble. What I love most about Kitty's world is how much the Supernatural has come out of the closet. The general public doesn't just know about them, they're bombarded by them (in comparison to most Urban Fantasy novels). And the plot behind this novel would bring them into the spotlight even more. The beginning of this novel has quite a bit of humor, and definitely pokes fun at reality tv. Then everything hits the fan and becomes a roller coaster ride. Normally, I don't really fear for the main character's safety because I know there are more books to come after so obviously the MC doesn't die. But even though the next novel, Kitty Goes to War, is on my bookshelf I really didn't know how Kitty was going to pull through at some points. And that is exactly why I loved this novel so much. Plus, a special someone makes a special appearance at the end. I won't spoil anything, but readers who have been following this series will be very excited!
Pace: 5 Stars
I could not put this novel down. I don't remember the last time I finished a novel in less than 24 hours. (I think it was Hex Hall last March). I almost didn't go into work because I couldn't put this book down. I loved that there were still scenes in which Kitty hosts her radio show, The Midnight Hour, even though it's not the focus of the plot. I love reading about her taking calls. There was no downtime, unneeded scenes, or overwhelming amounts of detail in this novel, and that helped the plot fly by.
Characters: 5 Stars
Although it was great to see Kitty reconnect with a bunch of characters she's met along the way, I missed some of the characters that play a bigger role in her life. As she ventured out to the middle of nowhere to shoot the television show, she left a few awesome characters home in Denver. But that just leaves me anticipating the next novel even more, in hopes that they're back to center stage. Some very interesting relationships were forged at that cabin, and I wish some things could've worked out differently. Kitty's sarcasm and wit really kept the producers of the reality tv show on their feet. It was quite funny, but when it came time to be serious, Kitty became a leader. Somehow throughout all of the mayhem, Kitty stayed strong and was everyone's rock. She kept a level head in the face of danger.
Cover: 4 Stars
Although this is one of my top five Urban Fantasy series, they haven't had the greatest covers. I must've picked the first book up at the bookstore to read the back multiple times and put it back multiple times. I finally bought it, and am so glad I did. But it's proof that covers do matter. While the cover for the first book almost kept me from starting this series, I feel like these covers have definitely progressed. The monochromatic coloring is actually something I like to see in covers when done well. And the font color choices have definitely gotten better over the years. (Book one was royal blue with red text... A little too much for the eye...) This cover specifically is the perfect color; the purple gives it a mysterious feel that definitely fits the novel. My favorite part these covers is the consistency: Kitty is always the focus, and there's always an animal in the background.
Overall: 5 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.