- Series: Kitty Norville (Book 3)
- Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (April 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446618748
- ISBN-13: 978-0446618748
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 127 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Having established a successful radio show, revealed herself to the nation as a werewolf and testified in Senate hearings on the supernatural, Vaughn's plucky series heroine, Kitty Norville, is ready to lay low in a remote Colorado cabin and work on her memoirs. Her plans get derailed when werewolf hunter Cormac Bennett shows up at Kitty's hideaway with her lawyer, Ben O'Farrell, who has been bitten—and infected—by a werewolf. Soon after Kitty takes them in, hoping to help Ben adjust to his new predicament, she discovers gruesome animal sacrifices at her door. It becomes apparent that a malevolent force is staking out the cabin, targeting one of them, and Cormac's hunt for it takes them all in some unexpected directions. Kitty's matter-of-fact voice continues to mine the horror and romantic material for laughs—especially in her prank calls to a rival DJ—and Vaughn's universe is convincing and imaginative, providing enough series mythology to satisfy without slowing down the narrative. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In Kitty's third appearance, she is back in Colorado, where she is supposed to be earning the advance she was paid to write her story while on leave from her radio show. But strange things are happening: barbed-wire crosses and dead animals are left around the cabin. Bounty hunter Cormac shows up with Ben, Kitty's attorney who has been infected with lycanthropy, and together they work to bring him through the change successfully. Cormac and Ben had been tracking down a pair of werewolves who had been destroying sheep near Shiprock, New Mexico, and who had killed a werewolf son of the people who had hired them. Vaughn ventures into Tony Hillerman country with the introduction of an evil skinwalker who takes the form of a wolf. Strong on characterization, Vaughn creates characters worth visiting time after time in this compelling world where vampires and werewolves have their own radio call-in show. Diana Tixier Herald
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
By Carrie Vaughn
Book Three in the Kitty Norville series.
Of the first three books, this is my second favorite right behind the first Kitty novel. Book two was a little scattered and not very exciting. Kitty Takes a Holiday takes the action and stakes up a notch. Kitty takes a sabbatical from her radio show to write a book in a remote cabin. A sort of working holiday. What could go wrong? What indeed!
At first, Kitty is just worried about her writers block and the fact that her wolf seems to be taking advantage of the remote location to get some running and hunting in while Kitty sleeps. It doesn't take long for things to turn spooky and weird.
One of my favorite things about this installment is the working relationship between Ben, Cormac, and Kitty. Carrie Vaughn could have turned this into another tired love triangle but she went a completely different way and I applaud her for it. She's also not afraid to take her characters in different directions and allow them to grow and change. There is significant change for all three of the main characters by the end of this book.
The rest of this review covers all the main plot points.
Kitty's peaceful stay in the woods is disturbed in a big way when a noise wakes her one night and she discovers a grisly offering/symbol/warning on her doorstep. Someone has painted a cross of blood and left a dead rabbit on her doorstep. The police treat it as a joke and aren't seriously interested in the incident.
The incident has Kitty seriously spooked and she isn't over it when Cormac shows up with Ben and the shocking announcement that he has been bitten. Bitten by a werewolf and infected. Still wounded but already healing, Ben insists that Cormac is supposed to kill him.
Cormac tells Kitty that they indeed had a deal, but when it came time to kill his cousin, he just couldn't do it. The confession could have been cheesy, but it was well done and moving. Cormac related the entire messed up episode and it is clear things were off on the job he'd been hired for. Ben saved Cormac's life and got bitten in the process. Cormac killed the rogue wolf that did it but another strange red-eyed wolf got away.
Even though it isn't explicitly said, it is clear he has relied on Ben in the past and always managed to keep him safe.
It is also clear he is racked with guilt over the both getting Ben bitten and being unable to fulfill his cousin's wish to be destroyed rather than turn. Kitty is sure that she can help Ben through the transition.
When a second animal sacrifice is performed on Kitty's doorstep, Cormac suggests that it is a curse. It's hard to say if he is joking or serious.
When Ben wakes up there is plenty of awkwardness and the three them manage to stay in the cramped cabin together. This character interaction is some of Carrie Vaughn's best writing. There are plenty of half finished conversations, storming around, and more is revealed by what isn't said than what is at times.
As Cormac and Kitty continue to find evidence that someone is either trying to drive Kitty crazy or work some kind of magic - possibly both - Kitty makes a huge life altering decision on the spur of the moment. She declares herself the alpha of a pack of two in hopes of keeping Ben alive. It seems to work and for some reason Ben accepts her authority.
In between all this serious drama, Kitty amuses herself by calling into the latest talk show that happens to be a complete rip off of her own. These little prank calls are hilarious on one hand and serve to show Kitty's wit and insecurity at the same time. It is a more than a little petty but I couldn't help but chuckle every time she did it.
After Ben turns into the wolf on the first moon, Kitty and the new werewolf bond romantically. Neither of them planned or expected their relationship to go there but as soon as it does, Cormac feeling like a third wheel, leaves. Again, I have to stop and phrase Carrie Vaughn's expert writing here. It all could have been so cliché, but it isn't. It is clear that Cormac is sort of heartbroken but it is also clear that he is going to completely cede to Ben. They never talk about it - it being Cormac's own desire for Kitty. Not once, but the whole thing plays out beautifully without any of them acknowledging it.
With Cormac gone, unfortunately, the creepy troubles only escalate. An entire herd of cattle is dismembered and the sheriff isn't convinced that Kitty herself isn't behind it. Kitty spots a mysterious red-eyed creature reminiscent of the one Cormac faced just before Ben was bitten. Are the two cases related? It seems too strange to be a coincidence.
Cormac sends a friend, Tony, to help with the hopes that he can shed light on who or what is trying to curse Kitty. He turns out to be very helpful. He discovers very quickly that the sheriff and some of the locals were actually behind trying to get Kitty to leave. But somehow the magic backfired and something worse is on the loose.
The sense of betrayal Kitty feels, as she finds out that not only the sheriff, but even kind gentle shop-girl Alice was behind the harassment is gut wrenching. The casual prejudice combined with the simple `it's nothing personal we just don't want your kind here' attitude is all too familiar and is really well done in this book.
Tony thinks that Alice's spell which was intended to repel evil, instead attracted something. Kitty isn't entirely convinced. She posits that whatever she saw in the woods might have followed Cormac and Ben.
When the town's people attempt to make amends to Kitty in a ritual guided by Tony, creature a that looks like a wolf but according to Kitty doesn't smell right attacks. Cormac arrives just in time and shoots the creature. After it is dead, they discover it is a girl wearing a wolf hide. She was a skinwalker.
Things take a turn for the worst when Cormac is arrested for the woman's death. To be fair to the law, the first shot was to save Kitty while she was under attack. Then when the skinwalker was lying on the ground apparently fatally wounded or at least incapacitated, Cormac shoots her point blank in the head finishing what he started. The move even shocks Kitty.
This happens only three quarters of the way through the book, making the timing seems sort of off. The is a feeling that there must be something more. The more turns out to be dealing with the mess that Cormac is in. He is charged with first degree murder. A charge that isn't really false since he had taken a job to kill the women in the first place. He had tracked her with the intent to do just that when Ben was bitten and sidetracked him from his purpose. Turns out she was Miriam Wilson and sister to the werewolf that bit Ben.
Then there is the fact that it is impossible to make a case for the victim being dangerous to anyone without dragging magic into it - something that isn't likely to help anyone's credibility. Their only hope is to dig into Miriam Wilson's past in hopes that they can prove she was a danger.
Her family doesn't seem to care that Miriam is dead - maybe not so strange given that they hired Cormac to kill their own son. Still, something doesn't add up. No one seems to talk about Miriam and everyone keeps telling Kitty to let it go. Unfortunately for Cormac's sake they can't let it go.
They finally get a break when a sister, Louise, agrees to talk to them. She explains that John (the werewolf that bit Ben and was killed by Cormac) and Miriam were twins. Louise explains that she thinks Miriam killed her sister Joan to gain an evil power. Officially, Joan died of pneumonia but Louise is sure that it was witchcraft. Her interaction with Ben and Kitty is seriously spooky.
They leave with a better understanding of what happened, but all of it steeped in the supernatural and it is doubtful any of the information will help Cormac.
They track down Miriam's grandfather who is also a skinwalker. He admits that his granddaughter killed her sister to become a skinwalker but taunts them with the fact that there is no proof.
In the end, Cormac is offered a plea agreement. Ben is racking his brains for what he did wrong. Kitty wisely says "Sometimes you did everything right and still lost." I really applaud Carrie Vaughn for the way she handled this story. Too many times the bounty hunters, the vigilantes, are portrayed as being able to kill over and over again with no consequence as long as the reader (or viewer on television shows) knows the victim was evil. It was really a brave choice to remove Cormac as Kitty's romantic interest and to have Cormac pay for protecting the one person he loved in the world - Ben.
Cormac takes the plea and is sentenced to 4-6 years. Ben and Kitty are devastated but Cormac isn't worried for himself. He asks them to take care of each other.
As a reader I was really sad to see Cormac take a back seat in the Kitty Norville sage but as a story this is one of my favorites in the series.
The stories are clever, engaging, and fun. I loved all of the ones I read. But my daughter bowed out after the first novel (too many adult themes that made her uncomfortable).
I think this was the strongest volume thus far. Vaughn is not afraid of taking chances with her characters...some potentially unpopular choices are made that affect Kitty, Ben and Cormac's lives. This works in her favor here as the story is intense, and exciting. The story line becomes more involved. I don't think this series will be able to be read as stand alones anymore. I must commed Vaughn for her beautifully drawn, complex characters, esepcially Cormac and Kitty. There is a depth to each of them that is uncommon in the paranormal genre. These aren't cookie cutter characters. While it doesn't end exactly on a cliffhanger, there is no solid, happy ending here. Yet, the book left me wanting more. How thrilled I am that the next book is right in my TBR stack, and there are two more installments soon to be published. If you haven't started this series, I encourage you to start with "Kitty and the Midnight Hour" and assure you they keep getting better.
I felt that Ms Vaughn wrote this book at a hard look at how our justice system would work when suddenly confronted with the occult in full gear. "You aren't going to believe this but . . ."
It's also an attention fixer of a book. Kitty comes off as way more mature than before which lessens her wisecracking. I've bought the next book in the series though!
Most recent customer reviews
I like how Kitty finally got out of her funk and begins to finally rely on herself.Read more
**warning, I'm letting something slip in this review that would be considered a spoiler**
This was a very good story and addition to the series.Read more