Title: Kitty’s House of Horrors (Kitty Norville #7)
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: Gollancz (UK) | Grand Central Publishing (US)
Publication Date: Feb 2011 (UK) | Jan 2010 (US)
Paperback: 292 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed by: Carolyn
RATING: 8/10 – brilliant, couldn’t put it down
Talk radio host and celebrity werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV’s first all-supernatural reality show. What she’s expecting is cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a publicity stunt is all too quickly turning into a fight for her life.
Kitty and her fellow housemates arrive at the remote mountain lodge where the show is set, but no sooner does filming start when violence erupts. It doesn’t take Kitty long to suspect the show is nothing more than a cover for some nefarious plot. Then the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying, and Kitty learns she and her monster housemates are not battling for a prize: they are, ironically enough, themselves 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.
Wow, I didn’t see this book coming – “Kitty’s House of Horrors” is a pretty depressing instalment due to the sheer number of dead bodies, but it’s also one of the best. It’s jam-packed with action from practically the first chapter and doesn’t let up until the last page.
Kitty is invited to participate in a reality TV show full of supernaturals. As Kitty is quite fond of the lime light and revels in publicity for her show, she agrees. When she enters the house, which is situated in a gorgeous cabin miles from anywhere, she meets the other contestants. I was wondering how the book would read without her love interest, but I didn’t miss her Alpha mate one bit!
It was great to see a few characters return from previous books, such as Tina a psychic and paranormal investigator, who we first meet in ‘Kitty Raises Hell’; Jeremy a TV psychic who Kitty works alongside in ‘Kitty Goes To Washington‘; Odysseus Grant a true magician who Kitty meets for the first time in ‘Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand‘ during her trip to Las Vegas.
There were many others in the house too: Lee, a were-seal; Anastasia, Gemma and Damian, two vamps and their human servant; Jerome, a werewolf and pro wrestler; Ariel, Priestess of the Night, talk-radio show host; and last but not least, Conrad, a human and a disbeliever in all that is supernatural.
After the introductions everyone settles in. What I noticed more than any other novel is that Kitty likes to ask lots of questions of others, but when someone asks her a question she gets annoyed. I must admit that Kitty did irritate me a little in this instalment. She puts herself out there and then wonders why people think she’s an expert, she roles her eyes and gets annoyed when people look to her, but always places herself in danger – she’s in danger of becoming a martyr and I didn’t really like seeing that side of her. However, with such great writing and fast-paced storyline, this was a small niggle I could handle.
After a few days Kitty begins to have suspicions about some of the other participants, beings to create conspiracy theories and one morning the contestants wake up to find that the producers and staff of the show have left, there’s no electricity and the phones are dead. As Kitty leaves the cabin to try and find out what’s going on, she finds the first body…
However, there was a big leap of faith on my part with regards to the believability of the plot. A house full of werewolves, vampires, magicians, psychics, were-seals (who can be surprisingly violent as it happens, and have very sharp teeth) are being hunted by three mortal men. Yes they have guns, silver bullets, explosives and silver tipped arrows, but surely the fast moving vamps with their hypnotic eyes could have snuffed them out in a matter of minutes?
Despite these few niggles I thoroughly enjoyed this instalment – it was a very entertaining and exciting read. This series seems to get better and better with each novel. I really appreciate Vaughn’s easy writing style and punchy storylines and her characterisation is second to none.
A great addition the the Kitty series and one of the best in my opinion. I can’t wait to read the next book ‘Kitty Goes To War‘, I have no doubt it will be a bumpy, but enjoyable ride.
You can find out more about the author here:
Books in Series Order:
7. Kitty’s House of Horrors
This book counts towards the following BCC reading challenges: