Kitty Goes to War

June 29, 2010

It’s the Kitty Goes to War official release day!

While I try to put at least a little bit of relevant social commentary in all the books, this one is probably the most relevant I’ve done — tens of thousands of soldiers are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and many of them aren’t having any easier time of it than Tyler, Walters, and Vanderman.  When I decided to write about werewolf soldiers, I knew I had to write about them coming home, rather than a perhaps more action-oriented storyline.  The werewolf metaphor is useful for many things, including this.

Some info, and not-so-light-reading:

Hidden Scars of Battle

The Wounded Warrior Project

Suicide rates among veterans are up

Intense combat tied to homicides by Fort Carson G.I.’s

Final Salute:  the Pulitzer Prize winning story on Marine casualty assistance calls — the officers who report to the family that their loved one isn’t coming home.  Warning — don’t read this until you’re home and safe with plenty of space and time to cry your eyes out.  (There’s a book as well.)

And now, an open discussion, if y’all want it.  I expect there will be spoilers in the comments, so be warned.


22 Responses to “Kitty Goes to War”

  1. UK Fan Says:

    Congratulations! ^^ When does Kitty Goes to War come out in the UK?

  2. Mary Rodgers Says:

    This really hits home for me. Both my father and my stepfather did two tours in Vietnam. When they returned, no framework whatsoever existed to re-integrate them into society. Upon their return, both of them were spit on and had vials of urine thrown at them when they were in uniform, the times being what they were. But they had zero mental preparation for this.

    To this day, it is difficult to get them to discuss their experiences at all, and my stepfather cannot be in a hospital without going into shock. He says that the smell is what does him in.

    60,000+ came home in body bags from that war, and over twice as many Vietnam vets have committed suicide since that time. I think that those numbers are staggering.

  3. Markysan Says:

    I admit that when I heard that there were going to be werewolf soldiers in your next book I was a little tense about it. I mean, it’s been done, you know? But I figured that since it was YOU, it would be okay, and it was. It was better than okay. I totally bought into those characters. Hearing Walters’ motivation for doing what he did affected me. My opinion of him did a 120 degree turn when that came out. Not quite a 180… and there’s a reason but I won’t toss out the first spoiler.

    This is your best book yet. Of course, I have Discord’s Apple lined up next so… we’ll see.

  4. Doruk Says:

    Ah, I was thinking of getting it when you are at Borderlands Books, but that is such a long time away still… would it be appropriate to buy it now and bring it there for you to sign later, I wonder (I mean, as long as I buy it from THERE).

  5. Joe Sherry Says:

    The handling of the returning soldiers and that the novel wasn’t so much about going to war, but rather about handling the trauma of coming home – it was exceptionally moving and easily the strongest part of the book. Very well done and wrenching.

  6. carriev Says:

    Awe, thank you, guys.

    Doruk: go ahead and buy it now and bring it with you when I’m there — especially if you buy it at Borderlands!

    I don’t know about the UK date…I haven’t signed the contract on it just yet so it may be a little while.

    Mary, my Dad’s a Vietnam vet, too. His stint was late in the war, ’72-’73, when most of the vitriol at home had died down. I was born during his overseas stint and don’t remember that time very well, but it was always in the background when I was growing up.

  7. Geoff Says:

    I can’t wait to read the book. It should be coming in the mail soon and I am going to put down whatever I am reading at the moment and get it.
    As for the content.. about soldiers returning from war, whether they be fictional werewolf soldiers or not, I am glad that you are doing that. Maybe it will show the effects of what happens to these people. They have risked everything for us, and they deserve whatever they need in order to get well.
    Hope to read it soon.

  8. SilverRoseWolf Says:

    I can’t wait for my copy!

    I’m in the UK, and bought the June 29th release {and now see that I’ve paid more than I would if I’d waited until today, June 30th 😦 Typical!}

    The ‘other’ UK edition {with the horrible covers} isn’t due out until January 2011.

  9. Kendall Says:

    I liked it. It made me think of this film we saw in my contemporary issues class this year about a soldier who returns from war as a snake. It was done by Japanese film makers for a set of September 11th films. I found it on youtube: …if you want to see it (It starts at about two and a half minutes in).
    And I’m sure Discord’s Apple will be a good one, too. 🙂

  10. Jared Says:

    All in all, a good, solid read. I have two main quibbles. The first is that Wizard!Cormac makes me think just a bit too much of Harry Dresden (the one from the books, not the godawful TV show). On the other hand, I never found Cormac interesting in any of the previous books, but this one kinda turned me on to him.

    On another note, the title seems very misleading. Given the epilogue of House of Horrors, I was expecting a story in which Kitty starts to take the fight to Roman and his allies; instead she seems just as reactive as ever to plot developments concerning him. The resulting story, while still very good, simply didn’t mesh well with the title.

    (On a more positive note, though I’m sure it wasn’t intended, I still did a double-take when I learned that one of Kitty’s pack members was named Jared. I had the same reaction later on when I found out that another pack member was named Rachel, the name of my older sister. Hey, I’m narcissistic, sue me…)

  11. Crissy Says:

    “On another note, the title seems very misleading … The resulting story, while still very good, simply didn’t mesh well with the title.”

    Actually, I disagree with that. I see your point, but I think the title isn’t supposed to be taken quite as literally as what you suggest. I believe Kitty really did go to war. She fought very hard to save the soldiers turned werewolves. Even more so when everyone around her was telling her it couldn’t be done.
    Of course there was also the whole fight against the Speedy Mart guy (I forget his name and am too lazy to look) in which during the final showdown, she seemed to me like a general directing her troops to take him down.
    I know I’m not coming across as eloquent as I’d like, but yeah. Heh.

    I did really like this book though, it is probably one of my favorites in the series. It’s just a shame all of the soldier/werewolves couldn’t be saved. I certainly found myself rooting for them, and even had a small hope that Kitty could eventually get through to Van.

    Cormac became a lot more interesting as well. I admit I’ll probably miss the “guns blazing” version of him, but it sounds like this new development will bring some cool new things to the series.

  12. Mom Says:

    I think it is important to remember that Carrie, like any other author has to write the book that is in her head. We all have different pictures in our heads of the way we think the story should go. I think it is wonderful how so many of you feel so attached to the characters and feel such ownership of the story. However, in the end, it still has to be Carrie’s story.

    And I think it is a wonderful story with a great deal of depth and thought!

  13. Debbie W. Says:

    Well said, Mom … & not just because you’re Carrie’s mom, either. 🙂

    Recently I started listening to the audio books of a YA series written by a friend. Hearing the characters read by someone else was kinda weird at first (especially the male characters read by a female), but I found it gave me a different perspective on some parts of these books … books that I’ve already read & re-read a zillion times. My point is that each of us “hears” the story uniquely. Carrie shares that story with us, but we each “ingest” it differently. I, for one, love to re-read her books as I find something new to think about each time.

    Overall, the story is an ~amazing~ one. It still moves forward the story arc about the Long Game while giving us another glimpse into the various lives of other, NEW werewolves. And most importantly, it continues to show the growth of the main characters (Kitty, Ben & Cormac). While I did find it a bit odd to think there’s this woman “trapped within” Cormac’s body, I’m also looking forward to seeing how this influences him in the next books. (Can’t wait for his story in “Dark & Stormy Knights, BTW!!)

    Thanks, Carrie, for all your hard work & overcoming your insecurities enough to share your creative mind with us! 😀

  14. EA Solinas Says:

    I really enjoyed this book, especially since it shows some genuine thought being put into the series. A lot of urban fantasy authors who have weres/vampires/etc being “outed” to the regular human populace don’t seem to think about how normal humans would use it — I’ve thought for a long time that the military would IMMEDIATELY want to use lycanthropy for their own gain. So I was delighted to see that you apparently had the same thoughts, and really explored the repercussions and mistakes that would come from such an experiment.

    I was a bit weirded out by the new Cormac subplot, though. It felt a bit out-of-nowhere. But the Speedy-Mart wizard plot was pretty cool and suitably mysterious.


  15. Koie Says:

    I just finished the book today and I think it is one of the best ones yet. I think it was a nice change of pace that this story seemed to deal specifically with Kitty and her world of werewolves as opposed to Kitty having to deal with the whole-wide-world of the supernatural.

    When does the next one come out?! I already can’t wait 😀

  16. Debbie W. Says:

    Just so you know, Carrie, I saw “Discord’s Apple” out in a Dallas area B&N today in the newly released SF section!!! I’d have grabbed it up but I’ve got it pre-ordered so I’ll just have to be patient. (Deferring gratification is *not* one of my strengths.) They also had “Kitty Goes to War” up at the front of the store in a special display of new paperbacks!!!

    BTW, I *did* find my original copy of Kitty #8 today (after I’d bought a 2nd one) so I’m giving it to my niece, who’s also hooked on your series.

  17. Nonny Says:

    I got it yesterday at Miramar MCX, will take this one slow. I’m impressed with the reading list you posted above, and glad to see improvement in helping at risk veterans.

  18. SilverRoseWolf Says:

    It got here on Saturday!
    I’m still reading a factual book right now {“Forgotten Voices of D-Day”}, so have to decide whether to stop that one or wait, and I’m having to avoid other people’s comments so as not spoil anything 🙂

    I too had wondered if the title refered to the situation with Roman, but I think the actual plot is going to be far better ~ maybe because I’ve always had a soft-spot for things involving the Armed Forces.

    I read the last link “Final Salute”, and despite knowing a little about this stuff already, I needed a lot of tissues.
    I haven’t looked at the other links yet, but I know we have a high amount of soldiers with PTSD here in Britain too. Apparently, many of those who made it back from the Falklands {1982} have since commited suicide. We know a lot about that conflict, so one can only imagine how intense it is for the troops returning from Iraq & Afganistan 😦

  19. carriev Says:

    “Ashes to Ashes” did an episode with a Falklands soldier with PTSD. Very interesting, because of course Alex knew all about it but Gene and Co. not so much.

  20. Steph Says:

    I just got the book today. As a Colorado Springs native I was tickled to see that it’s about soldiers at Ft Carson. Walking around at the downtown bars at night I’ve often thought many of them may be warewolves…

  21. Kia Says:

    Ahhh I feel so behind! I just found the Kitty series and am only on Kitty Raises Hell. However, I will be going to the book signing in Albuquerque in 2 days. I am super excited, it will be my first. Maybe I can power read until then and be caught up. Thanks Carrie for writing a superb series!

  22. SilverRoseWolf Says:

    Finally read it last night! Took me about 4 hours {roughly 1:50am – 6:00am, allowing for bathroom breaks!}, because I just couldn’t put it down ~ I *needed* to know what happened.

    I think everyone got the ending they deserved {even if it’s not what they may have wanted}, though I’m curious about where you’re heading with Cormac now… It wasn’t just Kitty and Ben who felt something’s ‘off’ with him ~ I felt a part of him was missing, which got me wondering just what happened to him in prison.

    I am *so* looking forward to Kitty #9!

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