First off, I do want to let y’all know that is the latest book in the Kitty Norville series – of which this is the 10th book. Though I did read it as my first foray into the series, I wouldn’t recommend it. My suggestion is to look into the series and grab the first book, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, instead.
That was just a brief disclosure; as this review will inevitable contain some spoilers from the past nine books.
Werewolf and radio personality Kitty Norville has been selected to be the keynote speaker at the First International Conference on Paranatural Studies. She gets to travel all the way to London, where it’s taking place, and dodge protestors and activists while pretending to understand all the scientists.
It’s definitely interesting; as the conference is bringing a whole bunch of supernatural beings to one location, including vampires. Kitty, her husband Ben, and close friend Cormac are right in the thick of it.
Thing is, the vampires are having a conference of their own – providing Kitty a glimpse into the Long Game, a power struggle that has been in effect for centuries and behind which, she is certain, is one particularly evil-minded vampire named Roman.
Bringing so many territory-focused individuals with special powers into one localized area isn’t looking like the best idea…
Okay! I’ll admit that the idea of an urban paranormal novel trumped my long-standing devotion to reading series’ in order… And kind of backfired.
I was pretty confused as I jumped into a well-established world – and couldn’t shake the unfamiliarity and discomfort it caused. Once we got to London, it got a bit better. The sense of Kitty’s buoyant personality and chemistry with her husband Ben began to warm me up a little – but I was still so unsure about the details of the supernatural mythology that my interest, which would occasionally spark, would also wane.
There’s a heavily political, philosophical part of Kitty Steals the Show that, while not bad at all, didn’t appeal to me. And part of the reason could be that the conference had such a complicated hierarchy of paranormal beings so previously imbedded in the story that I felt left out.
But I don’t want to give a negative impression! When we got to some good old-fashioned romantic tension between Kitty, Ben, and her old flame Luis – fun! Or when Kitty spends her time asking ridiculous, crazy, kinda awesome questions to ancient vampires – fun! Kitty is a tough, ambitious, sassy gal!
Plus, Kitty Steals the Show is clearly a well thought-out and detailed tapestry of information bursting at the seams. Unfortunately, joining the series so late in the game left me feeling like an outsider – I have a feeling that starting from the first book would be quite the overarching thrill.
One thing I want to call out is that I really appreciated that for an adult fantasy there was no graphic sex or gratuitous obscenities. Classy. Plot oriented. I like that.
Kitty Steals the Show works as a more adult companion to the phenomenal YA likes of Kelley Armstrong and Jennifer Lynn Barnes.
There was a sweet end – definitely a worthy read. Just was more tedious than it would have been had I had any idea what was going on within the big portions of it!