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on July 2, 2010
Carrie Vaughn's "Kitty" series started off a bit slowly but she's definitely hit her stride with her last few novels in the series. "Kitty Goes to War" is an enjoyable, fast-paced Urban Fantasy read with interesting characters and unusual situations. Particularly interesting was Vaughn's exploration of the impact war has on werewolves. Her situations are plausible and the conclusions that she draws make sense.

It doesn't hurt that Kitty is a likable protagonist - something that is not always a "given" in an UF series. She's got integrity and is concerned about being a good leader to her pack. She is also committed to helping her fellow supernaturals when possible. This desire to get involved is one of the reasons that she's getting into a majority of the scrapes she does, and this novel is no different, but it's also one of the reasons that the reader cheers her on and stays engaged.

One thing that I wish Vaughn had handled better was the Cormac sub-plot. A lot of questions were raised (perhaps too many? Kitty seemed a overreacting to Cormac's actions a bit here) and then the answer was just suddenly given to the reader in a tidy little package. And the answer was...strange. I think that if something so unusual had happened to Cormac, it needed to have a bit more groundwork laid so that his situation didn't seem so sudden and from-thin-air.

I also found the action a bit less than I had expected. But I think that is mostly because I found Vaughn's last novel, "Kitty's House of Horrors" to be so electrifying. After such a truly horrifying novel, "Kitty Goes to War" seemed a bit more tame.

That said, there was still plenty of action and you really found yourself rooting for Kitty and the crew to come out on top. It was a good read and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, interesting UF novel.
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One thing that's always bugged me about urban fantasy is the authors rarely think out how the military would use vampires and werewolves.

Well, Carrie Vaughn is not one of those authors: "Kitty Goes To War" tackles just that subject, throwing the radio werewolf up against some lycanthropic soldiers that are spinning out of control. It's also Vaughn's eighth werewolf book, but she keeps things fresh with brisk, clever writing and suspenseful subplots.

Kitty is summoned by the Army to help them deal with an unusual problem: a secret squad of werewolf Green Berets has gone wild because their alpha/commander has been killed. Now Kitty not only has to help recapture them (including the murderous new alpha), but help them learn to deal with the real world as werewolves. Easier said than done.

Also, Kitty is being sued by Speedy Mart's president because of a caller accusing him of magic weather terrorism -- and she soon realizes that the accusations may be true. But she has bigger problems to deal with when one of the werewolf soldiers goes AWOL to free his crazed alpha -- even as Denver is hammered by an ancient magic that might wreck the whole city.

"Kitty Goes To War" isn't a very accurate title, since Kitty isn't actually involved in a war at present -- she's just dealing with some of the nasty aftermath of war. But it's still a rollicking good read -- lots of blood, fur, madness and armed mayhem, as well as a magical conspiracy involving a chain of 7-11-esque convenience stores. The biggest downside: Cormac's subplot is wrapped up rather hastily and oddly -- you're left thinking, "Huh? What? Huh?"

Vaughn does a good job juggling the various subplots and filling them with the right amount of action, romance and fantasy. But she also handles the supernatural world with tongue planted in cheek -- Kitty describes Colorado Springs as a "Love­craftian behe­moth of ur­ban sprawl" and remarks that "every vam­pire I'd ev­er met loved blithe­ly throw­ing out these por­ten­tous procla­ma­tions of supe­ri­ority and doom."

Kitty is also dealing with some personal problems here, such as flashbacks to the traumas of the last book and her determination to thwart an obsessive scientist who wants werewolf test subjects (although said scientist sort of fades out late in the book). Additionally, Cormac is back -- and he's, er, not quite the man he used to be.

"Kitty Goes To War" isn't really about Kitty going to war, but it's a solid and enjoyable urban fantasy that tackles a subject few authors are smart enough to think of -- werewolf soldiers.
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on March 29, 2016
I purchased this book from Amazon.com.

I was pleasantly surprised with my reread of this book. At first, I couldn’t really remember much about this novel except for the werewolf soldiers. However, the story about the soldiers was much better than I remember, and this is the book that reveals the story of Speedy Mart and Cormac’s association with Amelia.

The relationship between supernaturals and the government has always been a touchy one in Vaughn’s world. Actually, it’s a touchy relationship in most fantasy fiction that deals with the government at all. As humans, we don’t appear to be very optimistic about how our government would deal with a new sentient species, especially one with more power than we have. Says something about our general feelings toward our government, doesn’t it?

Anyway… this touchy relationship comes to the fore again as Kitty tries to deal with the Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology and the military in the case of three soldiers who were turned werewolf while overseas in the military. While nominally caring for the soldier’s rights as individuals, the military ultimately sees them as weapons; the Center ultimately sees them as research subjects; and only Kitty is fighting for their right to be seen as people. She manages to save one of the soldiers, which is as good as she can hope for, given the circumstances.

While all this is going on, Kity also discovers that the owner of the Speedy Mart franchise is a weather witch who uses his many Speedy Mart locations as anchors for his storm magic. Cormac, now with witch Amelia in his head, is able to make a plan to defeat the storm headed Kitty’s way so Kitty and her pack can take him down. The cat that is Amelia is now out of the bag, and we’ll get to learn more about her in coming books.
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on July 11, 2010
I am a HUGE fan of the `Kitty Norville' series. This is one Urban Fantasy in which the heroine has a very discernable character transformation - going from meek werewolf and runt of her pack, to Alpha of her very own werewolf family. Over the course of eight books it has been fascinating and uplifting to read Kitty as she comes into herself. For me, that's been the most fulfilling aspect of the books - Kitty's emotional journey. Especially her finding love with Ben, and entering into a complicated truce with his bounty-hunter cousin, Cormac.

But in this, the eighth Kitty book it feels like Vaughn has sacrificed emotional characterization for an action-packed plot.
In `Kitty Goes to War' there are two major conflicts that Kitty is dealing with. One is a lawsuit brought against her by the owner of a chain-store called `Speedy Mart', whom Kitty has accused on her show of being involved in cultish rituals.
The second is a werewolf-related favour she gets called in for by Dr. Schumacher. Turns out a unit of Green Beret US soldiers who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan were turned lycanthrope by their commanding officer. This soldier thought to start-up his own, unofficial and unsanctioned, werewolf unit. All was fine until said commanding officer got blown up, leaving his pack Alpha-less and in a power vacuum. Dominance fights ensued and now only three remaining members need Kitty's help if they have any chance to rehabilitation into civilian life.

Let me just say, the werewolf soldier plot is fantastic! It makes for really intense drama and a lot of werewolf `what if's' and questions are answered and explored in-depth. Such as - would werewolf soldiers be a breakthrough for the army? How much would pack hierarchy affect their combat training?
I was less in love with the `Speedy Mart' storyline. My disgruntlement was mostly because it was an underdeveloped and second-fiddle storyline to the werewolf soldier's - but also because it felt like `Speedy Mart' took the place of emotional and relationship development in `Kitty Goes to War'.

At the end of `Kitty's House of Horrors' Cormac was released from prison and came home. This was such a huge event - because Cormac and Kitty almost had a romantic entanglement, until Cormac's prejudice and Ben's affections put that on hold. Then Cormac got thrown into jail and it seemed like behind the plexiglas, Cormac had made some profound realizations about his feelings towards Kitty. Then he comes home - home to Ben and Kitty in wedded alpha mate bliss - and lots of fans were wondering how this little love triangle would play out.
But in this eighth book that tension is barely even mentioned. Twice Ben and Cormac make allusions to a possible past romance between Kitty and Cormac... but for the rest of the book it feels as though everyone (Carrie Vaughn, essentially) are walking on eggshells around this triangle.

I don't know if Ms. Vaughn has something big planned regarding this trio, but I went into `Kitty Goes to War' with my fingers crossed for some confrontations and realizations and I got neither.

We don't even get to read much affection (i.e.: smut) between Kitty and Ben. It took me a while to warm up to Ben, I thought he was just a minor secondary character and Cormac would be Kitty's HEA... so when she mated Ben, I was thrown for a loop. But in subsequent books Vaughn really illustrated their affection and dependence on one another, and I really came to like Ben. But in recent books there hasn't been the same warmth between him and Kitty, and I am again wondering if Ben is Kitty's true HEA?

So ultimately this book was a disappointment for me. I may have been less upset by the lack of emotional progress for the characters if I'd had a big pay-out in the seventh book, `Kitty's House of Horrors'. But in that seventh instalment Kitty was by herself in the wilderness, with no Ben and no pack for comfort. So it feels like we've been given 2 books now in which Kitty's relationships and emotional development have been put on hold.
At the end of `Kitty Goes to War', Kitty does ask a rather profound question of Ben, which may have repercussions for future books... but it is literally on the last page and a case of too little too late.
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on April 26, 2015
My 13-year-old is a massive Kitty fan and has read every ... single ... one ... of Carrie Vaughn's books. And ... she got to meet her at BOSKONE this past winter to get it autographed (Carrie Vaughn LOOKS a little bit like Kitty on the cover!). I finally got around to reading the series (after prying it out of my teenagers hands) and enjoyed it as well. It is one of those crossover series that has equal appeal to adults and teenagers.
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on March 27, 2013
3.5 stars

*Contains Spoilers if you haven't read the previous books in the series!

I was really looking forward to get my hands on Kitty Goes to War, the cover is gorgeous and the plot sounded awesome! Besides our beloved Cormac is finally back!

Kitty Goes to War is a great addition to the series. The introduction of the werewolves in the military was a great one and it made for a great and emotional story.

This time Kitty doesn't go away, so we get more Ben and with the return of Cormac things have the potential to get really awkward, but for me that storyline just fell flat =/ Cormac being back is an awesome addition to the series, but I felt like more could have been done with it. However I did really enjoy finally finding out his secret and I am dying to see how that pans out.

All in all, even though I liked Kitty Goes to War, I didn't love it. I feel like something was missing from it, but plot wise it was a very entertaining book that I actually couldn't put down until I finished. The action is great and it definitely is a page turner, but emotionally it just fell short.

Originally Posted at Welcome to Larissa's Bookish Life {[...]}
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VINE VOICEon June 30, 2010
I really enjoyed this 8th book in the Kitty (the werewolf) series. Sometimes what starts as a pretty good set of books of urban fantasy can get repetitive and stale after a few books; Vaughn's series seems to me to get better and better. And, like all good fantasy, the rules of the Kitty book universe continue to grow in consistency and complexity.

This is a story about returning vets from Afghanistan -- members of an elite special forces team who happen, also, to be werewolves. We've all heard of post traumatic stress, and in a very real sense, beyond the fantasy, this book tackles some of the issues. I was really touched by a number of the characters and what they had to endure.

The characters continue to develop, also, as Cormac (the bounty hunter) continues to find his way after prison release.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes urban fantasy. But please read the first 7 books first! This is soooo much fun!
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on July 17, 2013
so I found a book by carrie vaughn at work on our free shelf. I read it cause I was bored, then I was completely hooked. I had to buy ALL of the series. Anyone who has read this series knows what I am talking about!!! THis story just keep getting better and better as you go along. I have even lent the ones I've read to my girlfriend.
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on December 28, 2015
4-4.5 stars

This was a really good story and addition to the series. Kitty and Ben are doing fine and living their life when Kitty gets a call from a Doctor she knows at the NIH's Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology. Kitty is informed that a werewolf that was in the special forces decided to make himself a squad of werewolves. Unfortunately, he got killed and the squad fell apart without him. A number of the members got killed in pack power/dominance fights and now there are only 3 still alive. The kicker comes when Kitty is informed that the 3 remaining special forces werewolves were being detained at a local base and escaped...so now they're headed into her territory and seemed bound to cause chaos and destruction.

Kitty and a few members of her pack are able to intercept the invading werewolves and enable to military to capture them. Once that's done though, Kitty is determined to help them if she can. While the alpha of the new werewolves isn't getting loose because of the men he killed, the other 2 aren't as far gone and Kitty convinces the military and the NIH to allow her to do what she can for them. While this is going on, Kitty also has a bit of legal trouble stemming from a show she did about all the supernatural occurrences that seem to take place at Speedy Mart convenience stores around the country. The owner of the company decides to sue her for liable and Ben suggests hiring Cormac to check behind the scenes for any info that could help counteract the suit. This turns up more than they were expecting and Kitty and her pack have some fast work to do to save the city from a blizzard to end all blizzards. Thankfully, things get worked out and Kitty, Ben and the pack are doing well in the end.

This was a really enjoyable story. I really love Kitty as a heroine and really like the Ben, Cormac and the supporting cast as well. Cormac finally told his secret about what happened to him in prison so I'm looking forward to seeing how Kitty reacts to that. This was a really good and engaging story. I'd recommend it and the series. :D

* note - I listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator did a great job.
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on July 23, 2015
After the last book, Kitty Goes to War probably didn't have a chance of measuring up. But it came close, it just didn't quite blow me away like the last one.

For one - - spoiler if you haven't read the previous books! - - I thought it was going to be awesome have Cormick back. It so wasn't :( he's just not the same - in part because he just got out of prison and that's really changed him. But more so, I missed Kitty's interaction with him. I love her with Ben now and I don't want that to change, but I realize now that what I loved about Cormick was the sexual tension between him and Kitty. Now she's so worried about him that she's playing mother hen to him instead. It's a big change in their relationship dynamic and I need to get used to it. There are some interesting developments where he's concerned, so things could get seriously interesting with him in the future.

Besides Cormick, though, I think Kitty Goes to War was another hit for me. I just love Kitty's eternal optimism and determination to help people. This time, she's trying to help some war vets who were turned into werewolves by another soldier - and it went really well until.... Until it didn't. Now they're home and a mess. I loved Kitty's respect for what they'd been through as soldiers, not just werewolves. I loved that she refuses to give up on them, even when they would give up on themselves. And thanks to Kitty's House of Horrors, I was constantly on the edge of my seat because who knew where Carrie Vaughn would take it. And she didn't pull punches again, which was great. Everything isn't always a happy ending!

But if you know Kitty, she never seems to have just one big problem - in Kitty Goes to War she's also looking into a series of concerns & incidents at Speedy Marts. It's something that has cropped up a few times over the series and it was cool to see a little tidbit take center stage in what becomes a pretty serious way.

And I know you've got to be tired of me saying it - I just don't know how else to say that Marguerite Gavin nails the narration. She's been on my list of top narrators for a while and with Kitty Norville she's better than anywhere else I've seen her. The voices are so spot on and I would probably throw a fit if you told me I had to read it or even worse listen with a different narrator! That would NOT be cool!

So yeah, another great addition to the Kitty Norville series and I'm picking up the next one immediately!!

4 stars Pretty Great

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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