Carrie Vaughn’s writing has improved since her first book and this one is much more enjoyable. In the first one Kitty had to deal with some very uncomfortable situations.
She’s moved on now and has taken charge of her own life. She’s no longer willing to back down to just anybody who tries to be intimidating.
Instead she goes to Washington to participate in a senate hearing to determine if paranormal creatures are actually real. She’s supposed to testify.
There are people at various levels of government who want or don’t want her to be right. As you might imagine, there are those who see a potential for super soldiers or extended life treatments. There are those who see an excuse to label people with paranormal abilities as no longer human and take away their rights.
Kitty, obviously, falls on the opposite side of that argument and the reader is supposed to agree with her. In this series, I guess that’s okay. There seems to be a lot of evidence that the majority of vampires and werewolves and were-other things are pretty willing to get along with everybody else. Sure they can be dangerous and there are occasional murderous rampages but normal people produce serial killers occasionally, so…
The story itself is pretty mild. Kitty has to deal with some politics and with a really creepy preacher who claims he can cure vampires and werewolves.
There are people she doesn’t trust and people she does that she shouldn’t. She has a lawyer and a talk show and friends who might want to kill her.
What I missed in this book was what I liked the most about the first one. The talk show scenes. Kitty seems to come alive when she is hosting her radio show and I’m not sure why. One of the most tense scenes in the first book was when she talked down a werewolf hunter on the air. Dialogue is — usually — action. Even when it’s just people sitting and talking so maybe that’s why. There are a few scenes in this book but not as many as in the first one.
What is better is Kitty’s attitude. She’s no longer a cowering, whimpering pack follower. She’s gotten some spine and is a much more interesting character because of it.
Also Carrie Vaughn’s writing has improved. She has grown more comfortable with the novel length story telling and is much better at making plot elements add up and build on each other. Some of the scenes still come across as disjointed and the betrayals and surprises are broadcasted way too openly to be actual surprises but I find Kitty a much more likable character than Harry Dresden and Carrie Vaughn’s voice is smooth enough that the book flows and moves pretty quickly.