I really enjoyed After the Golden Age, and after that planned to try pretty much anything by Carrie Vaughn that I came across. That initial good impression is waning a bit, though; I didn’t love Martians Abroad, and there was unfortunately quite a lot about Kitty and the Midnight Hour that I found made me uncomfortable. The idea — a werewolf is a DJ who ends up running a whole feature in which supernatural creatures can call in for advice and debate — is pretty darn cool.
The pack dynamics, however, are not. I can see that through the book, they’re slowly critiqued more and Kitty realises that she’s essentially in an abusive situation, but at the beginning, it’s presented as totally normal for her to be treated like a child, and yet also used for sexual gratification more or less whenever anyone else wants. I really cringed at her passivity in that situation, and her acceptance that this was okay. It’s not even true of real wolf pack dynamics (the common perception being based on packs in captivity) and it’s really difficult to read when it’s applied to people who are also human. I didn’t love it in other werewolf books like the Mercy Thompson books, but at least Mercy didn’t put up with it the way Kitty does.
The other books might well deal with this better, but I’m kind of burned out on werewolves right now — at least, on werewolves that act like this. Particularly at the start of the book, it’s treated as normal and okay and no one stands up and says hell no, and I really don’t fancy spending more time in that world waiting for Kitty to become the kickass protagonist I assumed she was. (Note: kickass doesn’t mean invulnerable — I just mean I can’t deal with a protagonist who lies back and lets all this happen to her.)
Maybe I’ll come back to Kitty at some point. Maybe not.