Thursday, October 8, 2015

Review: Owl and the City of Angels by Kristi Charish

Owl and the City of Angels
(The Adventures of Owl #2)
Kristi Charish
Release: October 5, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
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...

Review by Rose Red:

This is going to come as no surprise but I enjoyed the hell out of this book! I have wanted to read the next book in this series since I read the first book, Owl and the Japanese Circus. I am so happy to say that the story is even better in this book! And I really enjoyed the first book! Seriously! This series is so awesome! But what makes this book shine even more brightly than the first is that the introduction to the supernatural world and its eclectic assortment of paranormal creatures was already done. Which let this book focus more on the mystery and thrilling side of Owl's adventures and expanding our view of the supernatural world instead of having to take the time to introduce us to everything. This book was a serious trip.

Owl is back and working on acquiring various artifacts for her dragon boss,
Mr. Kurosawa. Everything seems to be fine until Owl finds out that someone is impersonating her and stealing objects in her name and selling them to the highest bidder. When some dangerous artifacts make it into a private collection, her boss and his associates don't believe that Owl is not the one behind it. To clear her name. Owl must now steal them back and hand them over to Mr. Kurosawa

I've written this review three different times now and I can't seem to write one without spoilery gushing. So, I'm going to do something a little different today. I'm going to tell you the five reasons you need to read Owl and the City of Angels. Ready? 

Five Reasons To Read Owl and the City of Angels

Owl is Not Your Normal Urban Fantasy Heroine
I feel like I say this a lot when it comes to heroines in urban fantasy but that's because they are all unique in their own way. And Owl is definitely one of the most unique. To put it bluntly, like so many of the supernaturals who come in contact with Owl, she's a trainwreck. She's imperfect, more than a little reckless, selfish, a tad bit greedy, and really is an all-around terrible people person. There are moments in both books where you just want to give her a good smack upside the head because she's not the most likable character. But she's also intelligent, kind-hearted, and loyal. And she's snarky!

While I hope that we see a lot more character growth come Owl's way, I kind of like her how she is. I care about her. A lot. I didn't realize how much until she did something stupid and I started yelling at the book. She's come a long way since the first book and is growing as a character albeit slowly. She still has many flaws but I kind of like that about her. Bravo, Kristi Charish! Bravo! You made me care about a very flawed character I wouldn't normally like. *slow claps*

It's Indiana Jones Meets Tomb Raider With A Hint Of The Mummy Thrown In
Seriously. This book is so awesome! It's like it took all of my favorite things about the aforementioned movies and made them play nice together. Let me tell you, it worked! It worked so well! The story is seriously non-stop action from the beginning to the end. Owl definitely has a talent for getting into trouble and she does quite an excellent job of getting herself into tons of new trouble in this book. 

This series may be full of action and sinister plots, but there are also plenty of hilarious moments that lighten up some of the serious situations Owl gets herself into especially since she really doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut. The dialogue and snark is on point! Seriously! There are SO many great one-liners in here! I may have already started quoting a few in real life. Some of my favorite was:

"Yeah, and the guy in the Mexican whorehouse is just visiting his sister."

There Be Monsters Here. SO Many Different Monsters!
The one thing that I have absolutely adored from the first about these books is the intriguing and diverse cast of supernatural characters in this series. Seriously. There's been an incubus, a naga, vengeful ghosts, a skinwalker, mummies, sirens, vampires, elves, and even a dragon. Not only are there diverse paranormal creatures and monsters, but Charish turns some of our preconceived notions about these guys on their head and it is glorious! She made the creatures her own while keeping them familiar. Like Owl, I didn't see some of it coming like with one of the mummies she runs across:

“Son of a bitch… mummies weren’t suppose to swim.” 

I Have A Soft Spot For Archaeology And Buried Treasure
I grew up watching the Indiana Jones movies with my Dad and I was obsessed. Kid Rose Red even dressed up as Indiana Jones for Halloween. Twice. Then my Dad took me to see The Mummy and it quickly became my favorite movie. I became obsessed with lost and ancient civilizations and folklore. Kid Rose Red read (and loved) a whole book on the rites adolescents went through in the ancient American civilizations once they hit puberty. I dove head first into mythology and dreamed about finding Atlantis and Valhalla and any mythological weapon/treasure I could found in a book. 

So when I say that my favorite thing about these books are the archaeology/tomb raiding scenes, I really mean it. Owl's quest for artifacts allows the setting of the book to change frequently which adds a lot of variety to the story and what was essentially a series of quest steps. Along the way, she meets various other supernatural races as she raided archaeological sites and tried to solve the mystery of the artifacts she was searching for. I was never bored while reading this book and I can't wait to see what other treasures and artifacts Owl hunts for next!

You Get More Bang For Your Buck
This is not something I usually comment on but it's something I really appreciate about the Owl books. And that's how long these books are! On average, the urban fantasy books I read are around 350ish pages but usually have no more than that. The Owl books both clock in at 400+ pages each and I love it! We get more time with the characters and for the plot and mystery to develop. Personally, I never thought about the length of the book while reading which is not normal for me with books over 400 pages. I was hooked from page one and I never was bored. In fact, it seems like it was over all too soon even with the extra pages. Honestly. I wish we'd get more urban fantasy books that have similar page counts to these books. 

I would highly recommend picking these books up! They're fun and fast-paced and bring something unique to the urban fantasy genre. And soon they will even be available as audiobooks! I'm super excited about that because I plan to reread this series many times in the future and audiobooks will make that so much easier.

Don't Miss Our Stop On The Blog Tour
Make sure to stop by tomorrow as we will be part of the Owl and the City of Angels blog tour! Believe me! You don't want to miss this post!

Recommended for fans of: 
Getting Wilde by Jenn Stark
Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

  4.5 / 5 Stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

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