Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

March 17th, 2015 Kimberly Review 53 Comments

17th Mar
Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish
Owl and the Japanese Circus
by Kristi Charish
Series: The Adventures of Owl #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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 advisers 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 by Kristi Charish, is the first novel in the urban fantasy series The Adventures of Owl.  Mythology, vampires, dragons, demons, elves and more combined with a spunky thief as our heroine had this novel providing one heck of a ride.

Caffeinated Breakdown of Owl and the Japanese Circus

The world: The tale takes place mostly at the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas, but Charish also takes us to Tokyo and Bali. Our heroine had a bad run in dealing with vampires and has one rule, “No supernatural jobs.” Of course, life does not workout that way, especially if you have Owl’s luck.  Charish’s world is filled with unique creatures from naga to radish demons. Owl along with her unique cat reluctantly take on a case for a dragon.


Owl is such a unique character. I rather imagine her to be like the character, Claudia Donovan from the hit TV show Warehouse 13. At this time, I believe she is 100% human, and is an archaeologist turned thief. She can read oodles of dead languages and understand them just do not ask her to speak them. She works literally by the seat of her pants diving head first into situations. I find it hilarious that she cannot detect supernatural creatures without the aid of her cat. She is also a gamer and loves to escape into World Quest. Trust issues, and years of living off the grid in her Winnebago have not helped, but I liked her, laughed at the precarious situations she found herself in and hope we see growth as the series progresses.

Nayda is Owl’s best friend.  She owns a nightclub and  is skilled at deciphering code. I like Nayda and love that she holds Owl accountable and pushes her.

Owl met Ryann previously through Nayda and they formed a friendship. I enjoyed how the author developed Ryann. She delivered one surprise after the other. The man is sexy, mysterious and a good listener..a quality I adore.

Mr. Kurosawa is the red dragon who hires Owl to retrieve and translate an artifact in exchange for something Owl cannot resist. Between the dragon and his seconds in command, I was spellbound.

Alexander is a vampire who tangles with Owl. I absolutely adore their interactions. Snark meets flirtation and their conversations made me giggle. Despite being enemies their relationship is laced with mutual respect. I want more.

Captain is a Mau cat and Owl’s sidekick and companion. She has trained him to hunt vampires. This was fun, and the tricks Owl taught him made me laugh as he helped her out of jams. My only issue is the logistics of carrying his carrier around. Idk, put him in a knap-sack or something.

There are so many side characters that added to the tale, and the list of supernatural creatures we encounter was delicious. I never knew what we would come across next. What is the bartender or the girl on the train?

Romance: We witnesses a relationship grow from friendship to more despite Owl’s fears. This relationship is filled with snark, friendship and wicked banter. It developed slowly and is one that will continue to develop. There are some twists, and a few bump but they really made things interesting. From the chemistry to the banter, I look forward to more.

Plot: For the first book in a new series I felt the author did an excellent job of fleshing out the world and characters all while delivering an exciting case. The story was action-packed from dig sites to battles in the casino. I didn’t want to set Owl and the Japanese Circus down and was consumed by thoughts of it when I did.  While I still have some unanswered questions, the ending has me excited for the next installment.

Conclusion: I thoroughly enjoyed Owl and the Japanese Circus and look forward to more adventures with these characters. For me this was a refreshing urban fantasy filled with unique characters and unlimited possibilities. Owl and the City of Angels the next book in the series is set to release in the summer of 2015. *Hoot-Hoot*

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

53 Responses to “Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish”

  1. Liza Barrett

    I’ve gone back and forth on this one, but I think I’m going to officially add it to my TBR; it sounds like a lot of fun!

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    I like the sound of everything about this book – from the world building to the characters to the romance. Hopefully I can find some time to fit it into my schedule. 🙂

  3. Lauren

    I wish I had a cat who could detect paranormal creatures! Owl sounds like a pretty cool heroine, I’d like to meet her! Lovely review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Right. But seriously I think animals sense things. Like when the dog looks in a corner at nothing and barks or the cat’s hair stands up and it hisses at nothing *shivers*

  4. Christy

    I have this! I grabbed it awhile back and now I need to read it. I’m kind of excited for it.

  5. Lupdilup

    Sounds like a great start Kimba. It looks like it got all the ingredients for a great UF series, and also to get on my list 🙂 I love snark between the protagonists, and the world sounds very unique.
    Thank you Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I almost didn’t get it because I wanted audio for it, but none will be coming..boo

  6. Faye

    I saw this one at our bookstore last week ^.^ I didn’t buy it thought because it was more than $20 and I really didn’t want to spend that much money on a book right now lol. I really like the premise though, and everything about it spells blockbuster awesome!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh wow..books are pricey there. I am hosting a giveaway in April with an chance to win a ebook for my international friends.

  7. Sarah

    *snort* love the hoots!! Aside from that, Owl really does sound like a well rounded, unique character. Sounds like I would utterly adore her. Why did I pass up reviewing and arc of this one? I’m kicking my tail now and wondering how I managed to be so flexible as to kick my tail sitting down. LOL Anyways, soooo want to read this!!

  8. Cat

    I may give this one another try. I had an early copy but just couldn’t get into it so I set it aside and haven’t tried reading it again since then. I’m glad you enjoyed it though.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was fun and I loved all the different supernatural creatures and digs.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I dd, even if I wanted to shoot her on occasion..so impulsive but she has room to grow and the balls to do it

  9. Candace

    I bought this when it first released and I’m so eager to read it! I’m even more eager now. This sounds right up my alley!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      i had Take Control as my excuse to dive in, and I am glad I did

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Hmm, I have probably watched it..I will have to look it up

  10. Ramona

    You loved it – woot! That’s all the nudge I need to buy this one. The blurb sounded really good, but I wanted a trusted reviewer to confirm it… Plus … vampire! Have I mentioned how I miss well written vamps? Another great review, Kimba, nicely done 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was fun, and different. The banter was delightful..enjoy

  11. Heidi

    It took me a tiny bit of time to settle into this one when I read it, but once I got my footing, I really liked it. Glad you did as well. I am looking forward to the next book.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It took me a minute too Heidi as I figured it out, we kind of go in cold, but yes I am excited to see how it develops.

  12. Micheline

    I really enjoyed this one too! Owl was a great heroine even though she got into some pretty serious messes. I adored Rynn and Nadya but especially the Captain of course ♥ He was so much fun 🙂 The variety of supernatural creatures was refreshing too! I can NOT wait for the sequel 😀 Awesome review Kim^^

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree it was nice seeing unique supernatural creatures. I loved the banter and yes Captain was cool.

  13. Debbie Haupt

    Kim I’ve been looking for a great paranormal series to investigate and I love the Gin Bianco Elemental Assassin series and I think this might be great.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Debbie, this is urban fantasy, but has wonderful paranormal elements.

  14. Sophia Rose

    I’ve seen conflicting reviews on this one, but everyone is unanimous in the delightful worldbuilding. Definitely on the wish list.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      If you keep in mind it is the first book and our character needs to grow, you will enjoy it. Just the supernatural creatures and vampire detecting cat made it a hoot,

  15. Nick

    I’ve seen this one around and I’m intrigued for sure. I especially love the setting and if we get to see Tokyo and Bali as well, then that’s amazing.
    I’ll have to look more into this, Kim.
    Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes and we spend time time in tomes…it was cool Nick

  16. kindlemom1

    So many people have loved this, I really should pick it up but I am trying to put a dent in my TBR pile, not add to it darn you! 😛

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was in mine, but yes you should add it as a reward once you clear 5 books 🙂

  17. Braine

    You know I love this one too! I love all the paranormals surrounding the very human, Owl. Very Lara Croft. Looking forward to the next one because elves!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      YES..Elves. I almost skipped this because I had the mind-set I wanted audio.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Urban Fantasy is by far my favorite audio listen. Have you tried Ilona Andrews? Try Clean Sweep on audio it is only about 8 hrs and hilarious.

  18. Jenny

    I can’t NOT read a book that has a vampire killing cat Kim. It’s impossible for me to pass up. This one also has a dragon, romance and snark which is a trio of things that scream READ ME JENNY! And so I must:)

  19. Red Iza

    Radish demon ?! That books is making it straight to my “next” shelf ( not because of the radish, because of your review !) 😉

  20. Melliane

    I really enjoyed this one as well even if sometimes I wanted to shake Owl because of her actions but it was fun and I loved to see different places. thanks for the review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, she reminded me of a young Rachael from the Hollows..lol