[492]: Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

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GOODREADS SUMMARY | Simon & Schuster | ARC Paperback, 418 pp. | January 13th, 2015 | Adult Fiction | Urban Fantasy | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


Your eyes do not deceive you. I know seeing an Urban Fantasy book reviewed on this blog is a rarity, but it’s all a part of a grand scheme to expand my reading territory. Also, because this book was sent to me for review. Ha. Kidding aside, this book was a fantastic re-introduction to the genre, as it were. I loved every single nuances about Owl – even her impulsive behaviour that so often lead her into a whole world of trouble.

No digs for you!

Once upon a time, Owl had a promising career in archaeology. But an ethical decision to blow the whistle on her superiors left her blacklisted among her peers and colleagues. In an ironic twist of fate, the current state of her career is suspect, to say the least. She’s a hired thief, with supernatural beings for employers on a quest to find artifacts that bear importance to their kinds.

Fire-breathers, Blood-suckers, Venom-spitters.

Her recent assignment brings her face-to-face with the most dangerous creatures known to the supernatural world: dragons, vampires, and nagas. She needs to find a scroll bearing a magic spell that if translated and read properly, has the potential catastrophic destruction of an atomic bomb. Time is of the essence as a powerful vampire with a personal grudge against Owl is also on a quest for the same dangerous artifact. One obstacle after another, Owl, along with her friends will travel to Bali, and Vegas, and  California in search of this scroll. That is, if those after her life doesn’t get to her first.

Indiana Jane.

Owl tackled every legends and myths accompanying every artifact in learned expertise. I didn’t think it would be my thing, but her voice as a smart-ass, fearless treasure hunter helped. Think, Indiana Jones with very little sense of self-preservation. This girl didn’t know the meaning of ‘surrender’, and one who persistently ignore the social etiquettes when in the company of supernatural beings. She’s as stubborn as they come; one who induces a great need to wring someone’s neck…preferably hers.

Got Your Cheetos and Slurpee ready?

If you’re a RPG aficionado, you will find a kindred spirit with our girl. She plays a game throughout the book that, if you’re not careful, has a tendency to be confusing. I know I had my moments. In some instances, I found myself reading with glazed eyes.  I could’ve gone without it, to be honest. But I understand that it’s all a part of her characterization.

Low and Slow.

If you like romance, this one has a burgeoning one between Rynn, a mysterious bar tender who was a former mercenary, and Owl. A romance that will probably not reach fruition until…whenever the heck the author deems it timely. I have no problem with this. I was told that Urban Fantasy books tend to drag it out until the bitter end, so I’m expecting this.

Nice to Meet You!

So this is a fantastic beginning. Owl’s complete lack of respect for authority is what makes her commendable and frustrating in equal measure. But this is what makes this series all that much fun to read. She’ll take you to places you could only dare to dream of going and teach you a thing or two about myths and legends you won’t normally find in books.

  • I like the whole supernatural creatures thing and it’s cool that she worked a dragon in. I just wish she was one of those supernatural people! Sarcasm is always appreciated. I’m curious what the gaming references are now, but that’s a unique hobby for a action heroine to have. Romances in Urban Fantasy always seem to be extremely drawn out. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Yay! *doing happy dance* I’m so glad you enjoyed this as much as I did. I’m so excited for this series and loved the fact that she’s a gamer. Didn’t you just love all the cool settings and supernaturals?!
    Awesome review!!

  • I love UF, but for some reason wasn’t sure about this one. After reading friends reviews now, kinda kicking myself

  • I missed the opportunity I was given to review this, and now am I regretting it! Sounds so great 😀 I will get my hands on this one of these days, but until then, I’m glad to read reviews of it!

  • I’ve been seeing this title floating about. I’ll have to put it on my TBR. It has a great title!

  • There seems to be so much going on in this book. Love all the paranormal aspects and Owl sounds like a great character.

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    • She was. And you’ll never be bored with this series!

  • This book sounds so incredibly unique, definitely unlike anything I’ve heard of. It definitely has personality. I’m wondering if I will get the RPG references, I do play but not that much. Nice review!

    • Thanks, Alise. Not a dull moment while reading this one. I hope you’ll give it a go someday. 🙂

  • I’ve slowly become really into Urban Fantasy lately, so I sure as hell will be getting this one, no doubt about that! Plus, I’m an RPG gamer (although it’s been a while since I played one) and I don’t think I’ve read a heroine with the same passion and love. And come on, owls! Okay, maybe not literally, but, OWLS!

    Faye at The Social Potato

    • Then, you will enjoy this one, Faye. I’m not much into gaming myself, so I’m not familiar with the lingo they were using. Lol.

  • I haven’t heard of this book before but it honestly sounds amazing! Who doesn’t love a strong heroine who reminds you of Indiana Jones?;) Also all the supernatural creatures make me want to read this so badly! Great review!!- I love how you wrote it out!:)

    • Thanks! I hope you’ll give this book/series a try some day. Also, thanks for stopping by!

  • Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    I haven’t heard of this one before but the romance sounds like something I’ll definitely love! I clearly need to get my hands on some more urban fantasy.

    Lovely review, Joy <33

    • You and me both, Melanie. You and me both. 🙂

  • I adore UF, but I’ve never heard of this one. Owl sounds like she would be frustrating, but sometimes it takes a little bit to ease into the character and story with UF. I’ll have to check this one out a little further. Wonderful review, Joy. Maybe you’ll start reading more UF? 🙂

    • Oh you must, Rachel! This was such a fantastic start, and I’m dying to read the rest.

  • Yay 😀 Awesome review Joy. <3 I'm so glad you ended up loving this book 😀 You make it sound all kinds of exciting. <3 Hopefully I might want to read it one day, lol 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

    • You’re welcome, C. I hope you’ll give it a chance. 🙂 I know it’s not the type of book that you like, but that’s what I thought too at first. And here we are.

  • You’re the last blogger I ever expected to review this book! The author’s Canadian though, so maybe that had a little something to do with it? I like the RPG / archaeology pairing, and I’d anticipate nothing less than SLOW romance from an Urban Fantasy title. You’ve wet your palate, now go ahead, pick-up another UF.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    • Right? I could’ve sworn it was your blog that recommended this book before I had the inkling to read it! Lol. I’m actually going to be reading more UF in the near future, so you ladies at RR will be one of the ones I’ll look up to for reccs. 🙂

  • Yes, you liked it!

    The RPG threw me off too, part of me was expecting she’ll find her answers there. I guess the ending explained this little tidbit.

    You should read more UF

    • Exactly! I thought for sure she’ll be able to find the translation in that world, but in the end, Carpe was the only useful thing about that aspect. Also, am I the only one who’s totally creeped out by how all knowing Carpe is?

  • Oh yes, UF is notorious for the multi-book slow burn romance. It can be frustrating at times for a romance lover like myself who just wants a couple together already, but it’s almost always worth the wait in the end. I’ve heard such great things about this book, I can’t wait to give it a try:)

    • I feel the same way! But I didn’t mind it as much here. Honestly, Owl had so much to offer to romance readers and non-readers alike!

  • I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book so far. It sounds fantastic, especially the main character! And I actually love that the romance is slow. It’s my goal to read more UF this year, so I’m adding this to my list!
    Great review, Joy!

    • It’s one of my goals this year as well. I’m glad I started off with this book, because it really was a barrel of fun. 🙂

  • I love the huge blend of sups in this and so far all the reviews I have read have been pretty fantastic. I am so excited to read this one!
    Wonderful review Joy, I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

    • I hope you’ll have a fantastic weekend as well! And give this one a go, Ali!

  • Oh, I love urban fantasy, but mostly if the genre is mixed with pnr romance. I usually get bored if there’s only action and no romance at all. Glad you’re giving this genre another go and enjoying it. A rebel Indiana Jane definitely sounds fun!

    • This was such a rush to read, and like you, I tend to look for romance in a book. Which is why I’m pretty surprise that I enjoyed this one so much!

  • I love seeing all the variety of books that you tend to be reading Joy, I rarely pick up urban fantasy reads either, but I really do like the sound of Owl’s character and the romance actually sounds like something that I could deal with too. So thank you for putting this one on my radar Joy!

    • Awesome. I hope you’ll enjoy this one, Jas! It’s such a great introduction!

  • Yay! I’m so glad your first round (in a long time, anyway) with UF went well. I loved this too. Indiana Jane + Gamer + crazy cat, etc. = good times. As for romance, it’s six of one, half dozen of another for me–I hate the draw out, but once they’ve finally gotten together, I usually get bored, LOL. *shrugs* It’s good to know yourself 😉 Great review!

    • Oh man. That cat is one of the best things about this book! Seriously.

  • I feel like I am missing out, since everyone else have read this one now 😉

  • I am so glad you enjoyed this and that you are deciding to break into or branch out more. You are braver then I! I’m still fully immersed in my little Scifi and fantasy world. But yes Indiana Jane indeed! Sometimes I get annoyed with how UF drags out romances but I didn’t feel like it was dragged out here at all. Now Faith Hinter and her Jane Yellowrock books, talk about pulling your teeth out from romance aggravation!

    • Thanks for the heads up on those books. As much as I want to say I’m not a foremost romance reader at heart, I don’t think I can get through a book without one.

      • I personally rarely want to read a straight romance book but find that I do really enjoy romance to be an element of the book, I just don’t like when it overwhelms everything or when they put more angst in it then I think is realistic.

        ARGH the roof is being fixed and its messing with my blog post writing and reading…grrrrrrrrrrr

  • I’m glad you had a good time with another UF! I really enjoyed this one as well! It was fun to have so many places, to have some different kind on characters. I’m curious for more!

    • I had so much fun! I also like how fast thinking Owl is.