Kitty Goes to Washington

Reviewer: Jake Beal

Author: Carrie Vaughn

Published: 2006

Reviewed: 2007-04-30

Publisher: Warner Books

I'll admit it. This book caught my eye with its odd referential title
and it's wacky hook---a werewolf named "Kitty" who runs a late-night
talk show get called to testify about the supernatural to Congress.
At least it's a break from normal politics, right?

Eh, whatever. The politics angle could have been interesting, but
basically turns into a lot of ham-handed "brave testimony" muck with a
religious loon congressman playing the Joe McCarthy role. There's fun
with sensationalism and news manipulation, but it doesn't really go
anywhere except a "people are just people, even when they're wolves"
kind of sentimental mess.

We get some interesting looks at Ms. Vaughn's world, but it's far too
chaotic to learn anything, and the main character spends too much time
whirling around doing Interesting Things. I mean, there's even a
totally unnecessary monster hunt in the middle which doesn't really
relate to anything else in the book, and involves a lot of fairly
unbelievable toughness and meddling on the part of our heroine.
Why was she the one who had to go kill that guy? We never really get
a good answer other than that it needed doing and the story put him
in her path.

There's some good scenes with the radio program, though, and I really
wish Ms. Vaughn had done more with it. Maybe she did more in the
first book, though I doubt it, based on this book and the back blurb
of the other.

All told, this is a well executed book which, basically, just didn't
do anything for me. If it had been written twenty years ago, maybe
it would have been more interesting, but this genre is pretty well
plumbed and this book just doesn't offer anything that hasn't been
done better by other people. If you need a werewolf and vampire fix
and you're out of other books, you'll do fine here. For everybody
else, I'd recommend setting your sights a bit higher.