Format: E-Galley, 432 pages
Release Date: October 5, 2015
Publisher: Pocket Star
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy
The wild second adventure for unforgettable antiquities thief Owl—a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world—from the pen of rising urban fantasy star Kristi Charish. For fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep, Jenn Bennett, and the like.
Alix Hiboux, better known as Owl, international antiquities thief for hire, is settling into her new contract job for Vegas mogul Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon with a penchant for ancient, supernatural artifacts. And now he has his sights set on some treasures of the mysterious Syrian City of the Dead that are sitting in a recluse’s private collection.
There’s just one wrinkle. To stop the resurrection of an undead army that could wreak havoc on Los Angeles, Owl must break into a heavily guarded archaeological sight in one of the most volatile regions in the world. A detour through Libya and a run-in with Somali pirates sends the clock ticking hastily toward total paranormal disaster.
Meanwhile, Alexander and the Paris vampires have stopped stalking Owl’s apartment, but they have by no means forgotten their death grudge against her. To top everything off, Owl finds out the hard way that there is nothing heavenly about the City of Angels.
Owl and the City of Angels is the second installment in the Adventures of Owl series by author Kristi Charish. The series follows the escapades of Alix Hiboux, an internationally known antiquities thief known as the OWL, as well as a former archaeologist student who was screwed over by her supposed peers. Alix has been compared to this generations Indiana Jones because of her adventures around the world and her ability to get into and out of places before anyone knows she was there. You can absolutely compare her character to Lara Croft of the Tomb Raider game empire also. She's got the same kind of skill set, and she's brilliant at finding traps and getting out alive.
Three months have passed since Alix agreed to a 3 year contract working for Mr. Kurosawa (Red Dragon), and his second in command Lady Siyu (Naga) collecting dangerous artifacts. Personally, I thought it was a bad mistake, especially considering how dangerous BOTH of her bosses are. Alix doesn't work alone, mostly. She has her best friend Nadya Voldynova, her supposed Incubus boyfriend Rynn, who now works security for her boss, and Captain, her adorably awesome cat/mau who just loves vampires and never leaves her side. I guess I should mention Alix's World Quest partner/Elf Carpe Diem as well since we get our first look into who he really is.
As this story opens, Alix is in deep kimchee after deciding to go after two artifacts back to back instead of just one as she was told. Not only does she have to face a mummy that can swim, but the IAA (International Archaeology Association) wants to capture her for thievery that she did not commit. Someone unknown to Owl has been impersonating her and stealing artifacts from around the world, including the Syrian City of the Dead, and her boss wants Alix to prove that she's innocent or else. One such theft allowed cursed items to be sold to a buyer, and it is up to Alix to get the objects back so that she can clear her name.
Alix is a fun character who sometimes goes just a bit overload. Her bestie and partner believe she's a train wreck just waiting to happen. I agree somewhat, but I do believe that Alix should be allowed some leeway without having to answer to everyone. Alix once had a motto that she would never work for a supernatural...ever. Now her motto is "Can't trust fucking supernaturals, anywhere!" Owl and the City of Angels is a wild ride from start to finish. Alix does a whole lot of traveling in order to clear her name, and find out who has been using her name to cause trouble. She travels from Africa, to the Middle East, with a stops in Vegas and Los Angeles to stop a madman from unleashing zombies on the city.
I have to admit that I am a sucker for all things that deal with archaeology. Perhaps it's because I played a whole lot of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider games when I was younger, and yes, I watched every single Indiana Jones movie ever made. I imagined that I would one day go off on my own adventure, and find priceless, never before seen artifacts to keep out of the hands of Islamic Terrorists who are destroying historical sights right before our eyes. The main thing I like about Alix, is that she's human dealing with supernatural elements that are way, way out of her league. She can't defeat them, so, she has to be a bit elusive on her feet in order to stay alive. I liked that there is a certain aspect to the IAA's involvement that might be a good thing for Alix.
I want to say that I like when Alix and Carpe get together and play World Quest, but I have some issues with how much time it takes up. First, I don't trust Carpe at all. I think that his obsession with a certain book took too much time to resolve. Second, I do think that the uniqueness of a character playing a game with actual maps of actual archaeological sights is a cool idea but wonder why we need to follow along with Alix as she plays the game. Third, did I mention I don't trust Carpe? I don't trust that he has feelings for her. I don't want a triangle of doom in this series. I want the issues Alix and Rynn are having resolved first.
The third installment in this series is called Owl and the Electric Samurai which I am presuming will be released in 2016. I definitely look forward to Owl's next adventure, and hope that Charish goes even bigger in danger, suspense, and action next time around.
**I received this book for free from (Publisher) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**