by Kristi Charish
Series: The Adventures of Owl #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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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*