Thursday, January 8, 2015

ARC Review: Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

Owl and the Japanese Circus
Author: Kristi Charish
Publication: Gallery Books; Canadian Origin edition (January 13, 2015)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: I have been trying to figure out what I thought about this story for a while. I really enjoyed the world building. I liked the idea of supernaturals living among us but unknown to most of us. I especially liked the idea of dragons. I liked that the main character was a student archaeologist who turned into an antiquities thief after she was done wrong to by her university.

However, I had some problems with the main character's character. To say Owl was impulsive would be an understatement. She also seemed to me to be careless of the people around her and careless of the consequences of her actions. She admits that she isn't good with people and she has an almost complete inability to see the supernaturals surrounding her. Luckily, she has one good friend Nadya though she does her best to ruin that friendship by her failure to trust and share what she knows.

Her love interest is a man named Rynn she meets in a Japanese bar. The relationship starts as a business deal; she buys drinks and he listens to her story. It is one of her few human interactions. But, when Rynn indicates that he likes her, she is very suspicious and untrusting. She gets even more suspicious when Rynn is hired to protect her and she learns something he has neglected to mention.

The plot was interesting. Owl has done something that has made a group of vampires want to kill her. She's been on the run for a year in her Winnebago with her Mau cat when a dragon makes a deal. In exchange for Owl locating a missing scroll for him, he will get the vampires off her trail. Owl doesn't want to agree but a smart person doesn't say no to a dragon and those vampires keep getting closer.

This sets Owl, her cat Captain, and Rynn off on a tour of ancients monuments in Bali where she runs into old enemies, new enemies and the assorted nagu. The story was action-packed as Owl careens from one disaster to the next.

This was a fun story. I look forward to Owl's next adventures.

Favorite Quote:
Nadya swore in Russian. "You don't attract trouble, Owl, you dive into it like the shallow end of a swimming pool."

No arguing there.
I got this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.


  1. Owl is definitely a challenging sort of heroine - damaged, careless, and far beyond impetuous. I admit, some of her choices irked me as well, but I have to give Charish credit for being consistent with the character and following through on those traits.

  2. Thanks for the warning about Owl's behavior, that tends to irritate me when characters behave that way.


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