Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Review: Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand

Reviewed by Jen
 
I haven’t met a Kitty Norville story I didn’t like.  That’s true of Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand too.  I liked it, though it didn’t quite stand up to the blubbering fan-girl love I had for the last two books in the series.  At the end of our last Kitty installment, Ben popped the question and Kitty agreed to marry him. To me, that spelled the kiss of death, either for their relationship or Ben’s life. This book put that theory to the test.


Wedding planning has become overwhelming for Kitty, so she and Ben decide to elope to Vegas. Kitty’s boss thinks this would be an ideal time for Kitty to do a live tv version of her radio show.  So when she gets to Las Vegas, Kitty goes on the hunt for some good show-fodder.  She meets the Master of the city, Dom, who comes across as kind of lame (especially when you think back to Alette in Kitty Goes to Washington.) He clues her in to an all-shifter “animal act,” featuring Balthasar, King of Beasts and a bunch of were-tigers and lions. Magician Odysseus Grant sparks Kitty’s curiosity and warns her off against Bathasar and his crew.  Meantime, a bounty hunter convention is going on at Kitty’s hotel and many of the people there are old friends of Ben & Cormac’s from their hunting days. Two of them set their sights on Kitty.

So, we have danger from Balthasar and his crew, danger from the bounty hunters, mystery surrounding Grant, a wedding to plan –and all of a sudden Ben goes missing.  Ha! My theory from the onset is proving itself to be true! Now, when Ben’s life was in danger in the last book, I was very shaken up. I didn’t want him to die. But here, I just didn’t feel the same urgency. I almost felt like it was a given that he had to go now, so that Kitty’s life would change again.

(*Spoiler*) So imagine my utter shock, when he was still alive!  Yep, Ben survives AND they still get married.  I don’t know how I feel about that.  Not triumphant. Just strange.   I think the reason I feel a little unsettled at the end of this book is that I didn’t feel that gut-wrenching something I’ve felt near the end of every Kitty book yet.  Maybe it was supposed to be (*spoiler*) Ben’s kidnapping, but I just didn’t feel it. Hmm.

I’m interested, as always, to find out what happens next with Kitty. 4 stars.

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5 Comments:

At Monday, May 9, 2011 at 2:39:00 AM CDT , Blogger meggerfly said...

I've loved these run downs of the Kitty Norville series! I've heard small references towards them but not read them.

 
At Monday, May 9, 2011 at 11:41:00 AM CDT , Blogger LupLun said...

I think you're kinda missing the point of Kitty's relationship with Ben. You're looking at it as setup for him to be offed in favor of a more exciting love interest. In any other urban fantasy series, this might be a fair assumption, but by now you should realize that Kitty Norville is not your typical Urban Fantasy protagonist. She's not some katana-wielding Buffy wannabe that craves excitement. To the contrary, she's a woman in a crazy world trying to live some kind of normal, peaceful life. She loves Ben precisely because they keep each other stable and grounded.

-LupLun
Lupines and Lunatics

 
At Monday, May 9, 2011 at 11:56:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen said...

I have no doubt that she loves Ben. But as a reader, sometimes I find happy & settled = boring. This is true even with couples I love... the latest Cat & Bones book, for example. The last one was the weakest in the series (to me) because they have nothing left to overcome. I love a happy ending. But happy works best when it is exactly that... an ending.

--I think, too, that Vaughn makes it harder for some of us to accept Ben because she reminds us of the still existing spark between Kitty & Cormac. I'm not saying Ben isn't right for Kitty, just that I'm not very excited reading about them together.

Jen

 
At Monday, May 9, 2011 at 11:57:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen said...

And PS --I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I love hearing what other people think!

 
At Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 4:05:00 AM CDT , Blogger Kavach said...

nice review :-)

dead man's hand

 

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