Review – Owl and the Japanese Circus
  • Posted:
  • June 9, 2015

owl and the japanese circus

Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish came to my attention when I believed it was published only in Canada. I was intrigued by the premise and briefly debated having my brother-in-law pick it up for me in Windsor. Some time later, I learned that it was also being published in the states and it quickly became one of my most wanted books of 2015. Fast forward some months (and one move) past the release date and I finally sat down with it.

Alix Hiboux is a former archaeologist grad student now specializing in the theft and resale of ancient artifacts. She goes by the handle of Owl professionally. When not on the run from international vampires or dodging centuries old booby traps, she wiles away her time on an MMORP game called World Quest. One day on the road a man named Oricho seeks her out for his boss Kurosawa, a Las Vegas hotel mogul. Owl reluctantly meets with Kurosawa at the Japanese Circus, his lavish hotel. Kurosawa is a red dragon in disguise. Having recently delivered a prized silver egg into his possession he now wants her to locate its missing contents, an ancient scroll. After offering her a price too good to ignore, Owl agrees to undertake his task. In a display of power he immediately gets the vampires to stop chasing her as part of the payment.

Acquiring the help of her old friends Nadya and Rynn, a man who has feelings for her, Owl travels to Bali on the quest to find the scroll. Along the way she encounters a host of supernatural creatures despite her personal avowal to stay away from them. But it’s all in a day’s work for Owl and company who deals with both Supernatural and Human artifacts as a matter of course.

Owl is a fun character to follow around. She is snarky and smart and gets into all sorts of scrapes. Her closest relationship is with her pet Mau cat, captain, and he lends all sorts of humour to impossible situations. Nadya is also a fun side character particularly as she bounces off of Owl. The two have a great dynamic that fuels much of the characterization.

Owl’s romance with Rynn is a big part of the book, or rather her reluctance to have one with him. Owl is much more of a loner by nature, preferring her interactions to have space between them. This adds a push-and-pull aspect to her love life and makes her a more realistic person overall. She’s easy to identify with, particularly if you are not the girliest of girl readers.

Throughout her adventures there is a believable amount of strain and tension, a realistic edge that makes the fantastic seem plausible. However, I found this book to be a touch long, particularly as she was running hither and yon tracking leads and chasing the dream. That said, I wouldn’t remove anything from the book as it all came together in the end. It just felt a little stretched. I’m sure this is one of those books that I will remember fondly in the future as I desperately long for the sequel but, for now, it’s as fresh as can be. It felt long, so I am saying that now to remind myself in the future that I once had problems with that aspect.

Overall though, this is a great start to what I am sure will be an awesome series. I look forward to reading the sequel in a year.

4 out of 5 stars.

– BP

– Follow the Reader –






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2015-06-09 23:06:53 Reply

The cover art makes me think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, out with her stake!