Review: Low Midnight by Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville #13)


Low Midnight by Carrie Vaughn // VBC ReviewLow Midnight (Kitty Norville #13)
Carrie Vaughn
Published: Dec. 30, 2014 (Tor)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: purchased

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books in the series.

Low Midnight is the thirteenth installment in the Kitty Norville series, but the first from Cormac Bennett’s point of view. This might be the only time you’ll ever hear me say this, but I think you could pick up this book without reading the rest of the series, so long as you weren’t worried about being spoiled. The first few chapters did a really good job recapping the parts of the story relevant to Cormac without feeling too info dump-y.

In the last book, Kitty acquired a journal from a witch named Amy Scanlon that may provide information Kitty and her friends need to fight Roman, a millennia old vampire bent on taking over the supernatural world. But the book is written in code so Cormac has volunteered to work on decoding it. His research has led him to Amy’s aunt and mentor who may be able to help.

There are two problems with interviewing the aunt. The first is that she doesn’t know that Amy is dead. The second is a little more complicated. Cormac shares his body with Amelia Parker, a magic expert who died more than a hundred years ago. Amy’s aunt lives in the town where Amelia was wrongfully arrested for murder, which led to her execution. She is understandably reluctant to go back.

Amy’s aunt says she can give Cormac the code, but only if he can solve a century old murder mystery. That investigation brings Cormac back into the lives of some shady characters from his past. His father’s former cohorts in the local militia movement have discovered magic and are using it in their criminal enterprises. And of course, they want Cormac to help.

Low Midnight is surprisingly low key and introspective. I expected more action from Cormac, but solving the mystery involves research more than fighting bad guys. Cormac also spends a lot of time struggling to reconcile his desire to be a loner with his need to protect his family, Kitty and her husband Ben. He’s often surprised that they love him, even though his love for them is what motivates most of his actions. I think fans of the series will enjoy this inside look at the strong, silent Cormac.

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from Amelia. I didn’t really like her when she first appeared in the series. There are several chapters from her point of view, mostly flashbacks to her life and her travels, which I thought were interesting. Her lifelong quest for magical knowledge is what keeps Cormac pursuing answers when it gets dangerous. I was also surprised at how symbiotic her relationship with Cormac has become. They function essentially like partners, but with a single body.

Even though it stems from the larger series plot, Low Midnight is basically a separate story. Kitty appears several times and I enjoyed her interactions with Cormac. They’ve become sort of like siblings, constantly frustrated with, and over-protective of each other. There is an also important tie-in to Kitty’s story at the end, but I’m not sure what it will mean to the larger plot. I’m also wondering if this might be the test run for a Cormac spin off series, since Kitty’s seems to be drawing to a close. I’d definitely read that if it happened, though I would hope he takes on some more exciting mysteries.

Sexual content: none

One Response to “Review: Low Midnight by Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville #13)”

  1. This is a series I’ve been wanting to try. I did just recently learn that the narrator is the same as the narrator for The Hollows by Kim Harrison, who I love.

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