2008’s Kitty and the Silver Bullet is the fourth volume in Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series1.
Werewolf DJ Kitty Norville fled Denver (or rather her abusive, Denver-based werewolf pack) in Kitty and the Midnight Hour. She never intended to return. Now she has no choice. Her family lives in Denver and her mother is deathly ill.
It’s a safe bet that her former alpha Carl and his mate Meg will not react well to news that Kitty is back in town. How Carl will react is a serious concern … but not the most serious issue Kitty will have to face.
Issue: Kitty feels guilty about her role in sending werewolf-hunter Cormac to prison. His crime was to kill a woman who might have otherwise have killed Kitty2.
Issue: soon after visiting Cormac, Kitty has a miscarriage. The timing suggests it might have been caused by the stress of dealing with Cormac’s situation. In fact, it is because werewolf women cannot carry babies to term.
So, lots of issues. As if this were not enough, another problem piles Pelion on Ossa. Kitty is approached by Rick, an ambitious vampire. Rick wants to depose Arturo, the current vampire Master of Denver. He wants to recruit Kitty as a werewolf ally. Kitty is not interested. However, Rick’s approach entangles her in an escalating war for control of the city.
The struggle for Denver is merely the latest move in a long game with which the vampires of the world have been wiling away the centuries. If Arturo and Rick cannot resolve their conflict quickly and decisively, outsiders (would-be vampire Masters) may enter the fray. Both Arturo and Rick see Kitty as a potentially useful tool and see her attempt at neutrality as an attack.
Carl, however … Carl, her old pack leader, is happy to sell his services to the vampires. Any violence will be an excellent way to cull all potential enemies from his pack. And that includes former pack members like Kitty.
Kitty regards her condition as a disease. That’s a reasonable reaction but other folks might be more interested in the fast healing and enhanced senses they get out of the deal. Kitty does recognize that one might use lycanthropy as a treatment for potentially terminal ailments. Reminds me of pyrotherapy , one form of which used malaria to treat syphilis.
I regret to say that in this book, Kitty and her chums head pretty far down the path of “supernatural being law trumps puny human law.” The supernaturals have high-sounding justifications for their cultural norms; both vampires and werewolves are convinced without a firm leader, the rank and file would run amok. This may be the case but … perhaps not. This line of reasoning is just too damn convenient for the Masters (without us lords, the peasants would fall to pieces). I am disappointed that Kitty seems to be increasingly tolerant of vigilantism.
Vigilantism does have an opposing force: Hardin, Kitty’s contact in the Denver police. In Hardin’s eyes, crimes committed by vampires and werewolves are still crimes. The epic conflict between Team Arturo and Team Rick is just gang warfare as far as Hardin is concerned. She is determined to make the local exotics submit to the rule of law. Even better, Hardin is ingenious when it comes to circumventing supernatural gifts. She may not have figured out how to imprison a vampire, but she’s working on it.
I guess I will have to read the next volume in the Kitty Norville series to find out how all of this works out. There are still quite a few volumes to go.
2: And he just happened to kill her in front of a cop.