I hate potholes. ~ Opening from Owl and the Japanese Circus
Pocket Star, 2015
Fantasy (Urban); 433 pgs
Source: I purchased my own copy of this book.
Owl was once an archaeology student whose career as an archaeologist was ruined before she even gotten her degree. She has since made a name for herself stealing antiquities. She is very good at her job, but sometimes trouble follows. Most recently that trouble was upsetting the French Vampire contingency who are now trying to track her down. Owl is living in her Winnebago with her cat, Captain, the two of them on the run.
Unfortunately, she was not able to hide her whereabouts well enough because the next thing she knows, Owl is on a helicopter to Las Vegas where she meets up with a dragon who makes a rather irresistible proposition. If Owl wants to survive, she doesn’t have much choice but to say yes. The trail it leads her down is not only extremely dangerous, but also has her having to deal with the one thing she wishes to avoid: the supernatural. As if the job itself wasn’t bad enough, it seems a very powerful vampire with vengeance on the mind is not only out to get Owl but the object she has been tasked to retrieve.
Owl is joined for a good part of the novel by two of her friends, a fellow former archaeology student who owns a hostess bar and club in Tokyo and the guy she’s afraid to get close to but who proves to be invaluable in backing her up. Then there is my favorite, her cat Captain, who is indispensable, especially against vampires.
Owl and the Japanese Circus is the first in a series, although much has happened in Owl’s life already that gives her an especially interesting backstory. Add to that the mess she is currently in . . . This was a fun book to read. I loved the various references to mythology and the supernatural peppered throughout the novel. The idea of the supernatural living under the radar of us average humans is nothing new, of course, but there is something alluring about it just the same. I think the tie into archaeology especially pulled me in.
As much fun as I had reading this action-packed novel (because there really was A LOT of action packed in!), the novel did seem on the long side. There was so much to take in, not to mention all the twists. I found myself wishing the chapters had been a bit shorter. But that is probably more a convenience issue on my part.
I liked Owl for the most part, but she really seemed to have a knack for jumping into situations without looking—or thinking—first. Her friends complain about this all the time since she always seems to land herself in some pretty bad situations, not all of which she can get herself out of without their help. Instead of this being a learning point for her—her friends come to admit this is one of the qualities that make her so great at being her. I’m not sure I agree.
I can take Owl’s character though if I get more Rin, Naida, and, of course, Captain. Author Kristi Charish does such a great job with the world building overall that I am eager to see where she goes with this series.