Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish
Owl and the Japanese Circus appears to be the start of a fun new urban fantasy series. I’m looking forward to the next installment!
Publisher’s Description: 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 handbasket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.
I swear I was watching and Indiana Jones movie. I started the book and I could not put it down. Owl frustrated me with her attitude, but in the end I guess I understand her messed up brain. Was this a predictable story for you?
Not at all. Several times I thought I had it figured out, but then the story would go somewhere else. I was really upset when I thought for a while it was her best friend, Nadya, who was going to be the bad guy. I’m glad that one turned out not to be true.
I am amazed that Owl kept her friends. She blew them off time and again. I can’t imagine why Rynn didn’t cut his losses and just go. *shrug* Whatever. Anyway, I was totally being led along by my nose the whole time. I didn’t see any of the outcomes at all. The writing was really good and the story rocked. Who was your favorite character?
I agree, I couldn’t have put up with Owl very long were she my friend. She continually ignored their concern for her and acted very stupid. I think she survived from pure luck more than anything else. But, it made for a great story! I can’t say I had a favorite character, really. I thought Owl’s interaction with the smarmy vampire Alexander was fun.
That was very much fun. I think he enjoyed playing the game with her more than he let on. I really do think he was flirting with her. In his own way. I think that if he really didn’t want to interact with her, he’d never had answered the phone. I liked Owl’s ballsy attitude – standing up for herself even when it wasn’t in her best interest. I was glad you suggested this book – I must apologize, though. I thought you were getting me into something I was going to hate. The title really threw me off.
“I hate this espionage shit. That’s why I’m into antiquities. More money, and I get blindfolded a lot less.”
The good: Owl is a female Indiana Jones….oh, and she doesn’t like snakes either. The only thing different about Owl is that she is a thief selling relics and artifacts to the highest bidder. Indy never hunted for profit. She was blackballed from her profession and now makes whatever living she can. She finds booby traps, solves ancient puzzles, decodes old text and throw in a few supernatural creatures and you have the story. Archeology is a dull science with hard won achievements, but Owl’s adventures make the ride much more exciting. She has knowledge of all sorts of foreign places and takes “Captain” the cat along. Captain was my favorite character. Not that he is a cat, though. It was because of his versatility. He is vampire hunting cat. He is also a cat that will listen to commands. That’s a new one on me, for sure.
The bad: Owl, at times, can be a real jerk. She really does treat her friends badly. More like a servant than a friend. Her friends want her to be careful, stay safe and watch her back. She is wrapped up in the hunt for the relic that she blows them off time after time. There was a lot of death associated with the relic that Owl was assigned to retrieve. Assigned is a loose term as if she didn’t retrieve the relic, she would be eaten.
The ugly: There are some supernatural creatures that Owl encounters that are just plain scary. Vampires don’t sparkle and Dragons don’t fall head over heels in love with humans.
The take-away: This is a suck-you-in with tons of adventure. It was a book that kept me reading until the wee hours……and it wasn’t because of the scary monsters. I am looking forward to the next Owl story. I just hope she learns from her mistakes a little quicker. Rynn is a pretty good guy, I hope he doesn’t get fed up and leave..
What I liked: The first book of Owl and her friends is a fun read. Charis says she wrote Owl in the spirit of adventure movies like Indiana Jones and The Mummy. I like the mix of urban fantasy characters, especially the Japanese characters used in this book. I like that the characters are rarely what they seem, either; it kept me guessing. I had five different guesses for the plot before I was done with the book.
What I didn’t like: Owl gets in trouble with her friends because she goes off and does stupid things that could likely get her and other people killed. Even though her friends tell her not to–sometimes beg her not to–she just keeps doing stupid things. Even I got tired of her doing stupid things. I know that accepting the fact that she does stupid things is supposedly part of her friends’ acceptance of her, but I think she goes too far. She’s reckless and constantly ignoring those people she calls friends in this book, and I don’t think I could have put up with her.
Conclusion: Worth checking out for sure. I can see this becoming a favorite series if the stories stay good, so I’m giving it a 3.5. I’m looking forward to the next adventure, but I hope Owl starts listening to her friends, or they won’t be her friends for much longer.
If you like this book…