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You kids get off my lawn. 

Kitty Goes to Washington - Carrie Vaughn I read this maybe a month ago, and didn't bother to review it, because I didn't have much to say. I probably would have given it two stars at the time, because it's pretty snackish and light. But after the insult of reading half of Marked, this book is getting another star for not being insulting and chock-full of moralizing subtexts. Kitty's a werewolf; she runs a call-in show for paranormal Americans like vampires and stuff; she gets called to Washington to give testimony to a Senate sub-committee hearing now that vamps and lycans have been revealed as real. Sure.

The plot is pretty loose, and not entirely in a good way. Some sub-plots are strangely rushed, given their potential for awesome, while others, quite literally, read like paranormal C-SPAN. Yawn. But Kitty herself feels true and right, not Mary Sue-ish and pumped that being a werewolf gives her shiny, shiny hair. I get the distinct impression that Carrie Vaughn is intelligent and well-read. I took great pleasure in her little asides about Stoker's Dracula or “Paradise Lost”; asides that were concise and clever. Vaughn's prose is straightforward and free from the label-dropping bullshit to be found in plenty of women's fiction.

As much as I love tv and its serial nature, I'm not that into book series, for whatever reason. I just want to slap scifi authors and their need to drag trilogies out to 6000 books, each book functioning as a sort of coming-soon for the next. (And I should probably say this book doesn't do that, for the most part.) Then at the same time I totally get off on narrative dis-union, when books capture the essential lyric randomness of life; series have the potential for this in a way that I find frustratingly tantalizing. I don't know if I'm going to keep going with this one. The first book dealt with more complex interpersonal issues. This one, on some levels, is about grief and betrayal, themes difficult to maintain, even in narratives not as inherently silly as ones about talk-show hosts that are werewolves. Vaughn doesn't fail, but it's not exactly a success, either.