Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn

This book isn’t due out until June 29, 2010, but thanks to Renee at Renee’s Book Addiction, I got an advanced reading copy. As soon as it comes out, you should go buy it immediately!

Kitty gets a call from the new director at the NIH’s Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology. It seems an Army captain has created his own unit – by making werewolves. He was a werewolf himself and he knew that gave him an advantage. Unfortunately, he was blown up in combat, which left his unit without an alpha. They knew little, if anything, about being a werewolf and how to stay healthy and sane so they aren’t in the best of mental health. One of the remaining weres began killing the others. The director of the CSPB asks Kitty for help in determining if these soldiers can be rehabiliated.

There are other things going on in Kitty’s world. For one thing, she is being sued by the owner of a major corporation. For libel. She did a show about how strange things were happening at his stores and the next thing she knows, she’s being sued for libel. Cormac is out of prison and behaving weirdly, leaving both Kitty and Ben (her husband, who is Cormac’s cousin) quite worried about him.

Kitty Goes to War is the best of the Kitty books to date. The title is slightly misleading as Kitty never actually goes to war herself. Still, she does help veterans who served in Afghanistan. If you think about what you know – or have heard – about vets returning from war and add to that the difficulties with being a werewolf and learning to deal with it, you can imagine why these guys were a bit unbalanced.

Kitty is one of my favorite characters. She’s a strong woman – she has to be to be alpha of a werewolf pack. She is also vulnerable at times and, though she doesn’t show her pack her weakness, we get to see it. So many female leads who are tough don’t have much of a softer side. I think no character should be so one-sided.

Vaughn keeps the reader engaged from start to finish. There are no boring bits in her book, nothing I skipped over. She sets the reader up for future books by implying (as she has in previous books) that there is a larger story coming – sort of a “good vs. evil” war with the supernaturals that, of course, the humans will be clueless about. I’m curious to see what happens in book nine.