In this fifth book of Carrie Vaughn's series featuring Kitty, werewolf and radio show host, Kitty prepares to face a new challenge in her life. Surprisingly, this challenge is not supernatural in nature - it is simply that she and Ben have decided to get married. The challenge the upcoming wedding poses is mainly how Kitty will deal with her mother's expectations of the wedding. It's difficult for Kitty to go against any of her mother's wishes, as her mother is in the process of fighting cancer, and how can she bear to disappoint her in any way?
Still, when it becomes clear that the plans are spiraling out of control, the thought of slipping off to Vegas for a quick, quiet elopement is too seductive to resist. It isn't long before the Vegas plans are neither quick nor quiet - everyone knows, and Kitty has been offered a chance to do a television broadcast of her show while she's in Vegas - and her parents have decided to come along. When the hotel they're staying in turns out to be hosting a gun show, and the place is crawling with bounty hunters with itchy trigger fingers just dying to shoot themselves some werewolves, Kitty's quick and simple wedding weekend becomes a bit more complicated. Add to the mix an odd show in which big cats perform without any visual cues or directions, a magic show where the magic is said to be more than sleight of hand, and a message that Kitty has agreed to deliver to the master vampire of the city, and Kitty's wedding weekend might be just too full for an actual wedding ceremony to take place.
This book does have a bit of a mystery to it - several mysteries, actually - but they are more peripheral to Kitty's life than those of the previous books; the focus is on her relationship with Ben. There is plenty of action and adventure, some humor to lighten things up, and intriguing and mysterious new characters. The ending reveals a fascinating supernatural development, an intriguing element that, I hope, will factor in the next book of the series. This series has become one of my tried and true favorites, and I'm excited to move on to the next book while dreading coming to the end of the series and having to wait impatiently for the next one to be published. I like that feeling of comfort I get from having the next installment waiting for me on my shelf, and knowing I can read it whenever I want. I've been eking this one out - but the good news is that the seventh book of the series, Kitty's House of Horrors, is due to be published this coming January.
Vaughn, Carrie - Kitty Norville series:
1. Kitty and the Midnight Hour
2. Kitty Goes to Washington
3. Kitty Takes a Holiday
4. Kitty and the Silver Bullet
5. Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand
6. Kitty Raises Hell
7. Kitty's House of Horrors (forthcoming January 2010)
Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (#5 in the Kitty Norville series) by Carrie Vaughn (Grand Central Publishing, 2009)
Also reviewed at:
Adventures in Reading: "That’s the thing about Kitty Norville – she is not a one woman wrecking crew. She struggles and gets in over her head. But, she is loyal to her friends and tries to do the best she can. There are also generally consequences to Kitty’s actions which affect and shape the world around her."
Beside the Norm: "Overall, though, Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand is a fun addition to the series and a good vacation read, the biggest draw not only being if the characters come out unscathed, but if, despite all those scathe-inducing scenarios, Kitty and Ben finally manage to tie the knot."
Musings of a Bookish Kitty: "Although this was not my favorite book in the series, Kitty and her friends continue to keep me entertained and interested in their adventures."
Unmainstream Mom Reads: "Kitty is getting to be such a hardcore, tough heroine, and it's great. The book is fast and furious, and I loved every page."