[Review] Owl and the Japanese CircusMonday, January 12, 2015
Title: Owl and the Japanese Circus
Author: Kristi Charish
Series: The Adventures of Owl #1
Genre: Adult, Action Adventure, Archaeology
Format: Paperback, 432 pages
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source:ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads
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.
What makes a great adventure story? A great main character, and to have that character be a young woman made Owl and the Japanese Circus that much better for me. This book has it all, action, adventure, a strong female main character (with flaws) and a pinch of the paranormal. And by pinch I mean a lot but for me it didn't seem to be that much until I stopped and thought about it. But more on that later. Lets focus on Owl, our main character. She was an amazing heroine to read. She was fierce, and strong and extremely independent. But what I think I loved that most was that she was not perfect. She still needed help from her friends, she was horrible at dealing with her feelings for a certain character, and she made a lot of mistakes.
Owl's relationships in this book drive the plot forward more than the mystery and adventure. I honestly think I was more interested in the human factor than solving the mystery. I loved Owls friendship with Nadya. It was so complex with issue in trust and honesty rocking them back and forth at every turn. Nadya was such a great character to contradict Owl because Nadya was steady and trustworthy and had an incredible ability to hack into any computer, which came in very handy at times during this story. I also really liked Owls relationship or lack thereof with Rynn. Rynn is a soth of side note in this book. Most people wont like him because he really doesn't do much...yet. I can see this character having many books, so if the author writes more for Owl I hope that Rynn gets a bigger role because he brings out the best in Owl, and most of the time she doesn't even know its happening. I know many people didn't like Rynn since they were more interested in the adventure part of the story but I really liked him and his relationship with Owl. It was extremely slow moving but it made sense for her character and it was as realistic as it could have been written.
Ok, now onto the book itself and the story. This book is first and foremost an action adventure story, with Owl trying to find a lost artifact for a very powerful Casino owner. What I think I loved was that the author did not shy away from what this book will be compared to...Indiana Jones. There are so many similarities that you really cant avoid it. That is why most people are saying this is the Indiana Jane of Fiction. The author embraced her predecessor and brought in great anecdotes from the movies that just made this book so much more hilarious to read. Earlier I said that this book read like a light paranormal book, and that is because this book read like a straight adventure book. I never felt overwhelmed with creatures or anything like that. I just felt like this was the way the world was, and it felt no different to me than a contemporary read. The author did an amazing job making it seem like Vampires and Dragons were normal, and that creatures that take possession of someone else s skin was normal. This is what made this book so fantastic. I will admit there were some instances in the middle where the story became a bit dry and I wanted more action to happen, but overall this book was a pleasure to read from start to finish. I will definitely read more from this author in the future, and I hope that she writes more about Owl because shes bad ass and deserves more adventures!