Wednesday, January 21, 2015

*Book Review* Owl and the Japanese Circus (The Adventures of Owl #1) by Kristi Charish

Series: The Adventures of Owl # 1
Format: E-Book, 320 pages
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Pocket Star
Source: NetGalley 
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides. 

*My Review*
For some reason, or the other, I had a hard time putting into words how I felt about reading Kristi Charish's new series The Adventures of Owl which delayed posting my review. Her first novel, Owl and the Japanese Circus, introduces us to Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief Alix Hiboux aka Owl. Owl is a story that blends urban fantasy, with aspects of Indiana Jones, and a whole new look into supernatural beings that you've probably never come across before. 

Owl has a few rules that she's tried to follow: Never meet any clients in person. Authenticity of her merchandise is guaranteed. Services are provided are non-negotiable, and never, ever will she work with Supernaturals. Like all good things, Owl's rules take a side step into the bizarre after she's flown to meet Ryuu Kurosawa in Las Vegas. 

Kurosawa is a dangerous red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists that Owl find and translate an ancient scroll and in return, he will get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. For Owl, who doesn't have that many friends due to her own insecurities and travels the world with an Egyptian Mau Cat named Captain, this journey is a rude awakening into how little she really does know about the supernatural world and her ability to tell the difference.

Believing that her friends (Nadya and Rynn) are entirely human, reality forces her to rethink everything after a stunning revelation by someone she cares about. Owl finds herself not only facing dragons and vampires, but naga's and oricho's and succubi as well. Owl travels from Japan, to Bali in search of the lost scroll that has caught the attention of other dangerous parties as well, including the vampires from Paris whom she pissed off.

Owl, as a character, has lots of issues, and makes really bad choices. She's obsessed with Corona beer. She gets her ass kicked more times than not. Not truly understanding the supernatural world, or how to identify a supernatural standing right next to her, gives Owl a decided disadvantage over others. Unlike Owl, her best friend Nadya can tell the difference, and thus ends up up to her ears in Owl's little adventure.

Another curious aspect of Owl, is that she's a RPG gamer who plays World Quest. Let me say that I have nothing against gamers or the fact that some clues to how to finding the scroll are discovered while she's playing the game. BUT, I think that perhaps the story could have been cut back by a few thousand words or so, and got to the point of what exactly Carpe really is instead of leaving us with a curious ending. 

In reality, I think I liked Captain a whole lot better at times than Owl. Although, carrying a cat around where ever you go is a bit on the strange side even for me who takes my cat on rides with me! Captain really loves his vampires. No, really, he truly does. Need an immediately radar detector to tell you when vampires are around? Just have Captain tag along with you! I also loved the fact that Captain rescues Owl from several dangerous situations. 

I'm glad to see that I'm not in the minority when it comes to Owl and Rynn's supposed romance. I see a character in Rynn who oversteps his boundaries often. I see a character in Owl who is a very puzzling, and truly doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut and more often than not, finds Rynn saving her bacon from the fire. Readers often times mention chemistry in a relationship. I just don't see it.

I truly do believe that this series has a whole lot of potential to come, and yes, I will be looking forward to seeing what happens to Owl and gang in the next installment. I think that there is a whole lot of room for character growth, and Owl's relationship with Kurosawa and Lady Siyu is far from being settled.

Follow Me: @GizmosReviews | Goodreads

1 comment:

  1. This one's on my TBR now - it sounds interesting enough to give it a try, and I've been looking for more paranormal books with Asian influences (I've been studying the Japanese and Mandarin languages). Thanks for sharing your thoughts!