This is the sixth book of the Kitty Norville series. At last I've read all the books out so far (though this is not the final book)! I've read and reviewed the first five books over the past month here:
Book 1: Kitty and the Midnight Hour
Book 2: Kitty Goes to Washington
Book 3: Kitty Takes a Holiday
Book 4: Kitty and the Silver Bullet
Book 5: Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand
Again – I recommend reading the series in order because although each book is fairly contained, it's better to follow the character growth and relationships as they progress. The premise is that Kitty is a werewolf with a talk radio show. She's the first open paranormal celebrity and has been using her show to educate the world about the supernatural.
*** Spoilers for earlier books from this point on ***
Kitty Raises Hell occurs really quickly after the fifth book, Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand. Because these books were released so close to each other (one in February and one in March this year), I think they are meant to be read together with Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand doing much of the set up for what's going on now. Kitty is back from her adventures in Las Vegas, but the problems she encountered there aren't over yet. A week after she's in Denver, the werewolf club of New Moon gets a vaguely threatening message – the word "Tiamat" burned on it's front door. All the wolves are on edge, waiting for some sort of attack, and soon they get what they expect in the form of a creature that smells like brimstone and sets fires.
Now that Kitty is the alpha werewolf, she knows she has to protect her pack, and in the usual Kitty fashion this means using all her different resources to ask questions – on the air, via her vampire friend Rick, her contact in Las Vegas, and a group of paranormal investigators with their own reality TV show – Paradox P.I. This approach reminds me of seminars that point out the differences in female and male management style. Ben knows that's how Kitty works and usually lets her do this – using her mouth to talk to people to find solutions to her problems, which becomes interesting during their first challenge as the alpha pair, but I'm glad that they choose to use a more mental rather than physical route to solve issues. It's also nice to have the werewolf pack have what seems to be a partnership with the vampires with Rick treating Kitty like a person, not a minion. Hopefully that stays that way.
Thoughts: I find myself liking Ben more and more each book. In Kitty Raises Hell he does a couple of things that showed backbone – one is instinctively act like the alpha male when he and Kitty are threatened (and he needed to be I think), and the other is telling Kitty off for doing what she usually does – run off without telling him what she's doing. That actually amused me a bit because yeah I've been on the receiving end of that kind of glare. It does seem more like a real relationship that they still argue and Kitty makes mistakes, but they still like each other. It also puts them on more equal footing. Kitty has someone to answer to – that means she's allowed to do her own thing, but someone wants to have her back too and she can't always just risk herself. Of course, she hasn't really learned to always remember to tell Ben what's going on.
We don't really learn much more about werewolves and vampires, except we do learn more about the Vegas vampires and who is really in charge. Otherwise this installment has more of a focus on other supernatural things (specifically what has followed Kitty to Denver). We do however revisit a character from the first book – Kitty's best friend T.J. has an unexpected role in this book. There is some back story about him that I liked learning, and I think it helped Kitty to find out some things about him.
Overall: I liked this installment better than the last one – lots more action and less of a feeling of waiting while set up is going on, but my favorite is probably still Kitty Takes a Holiday. I did think "wait a minute" a once when it felt like Kitty was being saved at the last minute, but she does save herself at other points so I guess I won't focus on it. We also still never find out what happened to Ben in Vegas. Is that perhaps a short story somewhere I don't know about?
There are a couple of hints about the next book (coming out next year), including an excerpt at the end of this one, but I'm curious as to what's going on with Cormac in jail, because he had something he wanted Kitty to investigate. It will be very interesting to have Cormac leave jail and re-enter the picture, but not sure when that happens.