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

January 12, 2015 Review 0

Early Review: Owl and the Japanese Circus (The Adventures of Owl #1) by Kristi CharishOwl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish
Series: The Adventures of Owl #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on January 13, 2014
Genres: Adult, Romantic, Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: Kissing, implied sex
Reviewed by: Kate
3 Stars

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.

OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS is a wonderfully smart, action-filled journey of a novel. Though I had some issues with the book, I still enjoyed the creative setting, the various side characters, and the fun storyline.

One thing that was really great about OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS was Owl and her friend Nadya’s relationship. Nadya is smart and stubborn, but I like how she sticks by Owl and is a full character in her own right. She’s just as crucial as Owl is to solving the mystery in the end, and I like how there isn’t the feeling of Owl being this miracle worker, but rather it’s clear she relies on her friends for assistance, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Owl tends toward the opposite of a Mary Sue character, pissing off nearly everyone she encounters, but the few friends she does have are great, and it’s only a little coincidental that they’re all really awesome and have great powers or smarts of their own.

One issue I had with OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS was the feeling that it was dragging near the middle. There was plenty of action, but it felt almost slow at times (I think those times for me were when Owl was playing video games). My other problem was with Owl herself. She fit the typical Urban Fantasy heroine mold, jumping into the fray without a second thought, except for the fact that unlike the typical UF heroine, she doesn’t have any special powers. She’s smart, sure, and confident, but she doesn’t have any magic or shape-changing abilities to back up her bravado. You’d think she’d be a little more cautious when approaching potentially dangerous situations.

Despite my issues, there is enough intrigue and drama to make me want to come back for more. I’m curious about the relationships and about the contact Owl takes at the end of the book, and the last sentence delivers a great cliffhanger without being too frustrating. I’m definitely curious about OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS, the next book in the Adventures of Owl series, due out later this year.

Series Titles:
  1. Owl and the Japanese Circus
  2. Owl and the City of Angels
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