Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Early Review: Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

Owl and the Japanese Circus
(The Adventures of Owl #1)
Kristi Charish
Release: January 13, 2015
Links: Amazon Goodreads
Summary: Fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Linda Hamilton will flock to the kick-ass world of Owl, a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world.

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.
Review: This book was a fun ride and was different enough to set itself apart in a genre full of stereotypes. I’ll have to admit; at the beginning I was struck by the resemblance it had to Indiana Jones. Not because of the amazing character charisma; actually, Owl has very limited people skills. More because the plot sped along with so many entertaining events, I didn’t mind some of the things that usually bother me.

Owl is a familiar stereotype. She's an outsider who keeps everyone at arms’ length and focuses on the financial rewards of her work. Personally, I ran into a couple of moments where I found myself disliking Owl, but the writing and plot pulled me through. I ended up liking Owl as a protagonist. She was sarcastic and smart. By the end of the story, she had experienced some necessary and logical character growth, and even had people who called her out on her decisions. 

The story itself was intriguing with a interesting cast of supernatural characters: an incubus, a naga, vengeful ghosts, vampires and even a dragon. I thought it was an interesting world and the story kept me hooked. The archeological sequences were fun, and the setting changed enough to provide variety in what was essentially a series of quest steps. Along the way, she met various other supernatural races, and tried to solve the mystery of the artifact she was searching for. There was action, some romance, and lots of historical sites. I was never bored while reading this.

I ended up quite liking this book. Owl was a unique, fun, and sometimes reckless heroine. The side characters were varied and surprising. I loved the historical aspect of this book, and thought the friendship and romance were good. This book was definitely a good start to a new series! 

Recommended for fans of: Geeky heroes, unique supernatural world building

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley


Read the first chapter of Owl and the Japanese Circus here.
Check out our Author Q&A with Kristi Charish and enter the giveaway here.

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