Monday, February 16, 2015

Kristi Charish: Owl and the Japanese Circus

In her debut novel Kristi Charish takes the readers to the secret world of the antiquities procurement and theft:

 Owl is an ex-archaeology grad student but don't let the ex part full you, she has turned her skills into one of the best international antiquities thief in the world. She never meets with her clients face to face, she always gets money up front and she absolutely will not work with paranormal creatures. After completing a job her current higher wants a meeting face to face, and she is not in any position to say no. She also learns that not only has she learned that the jobs she was doing for Mr. Kurosawa, were for a paranormal creature, she learns she has been working for a Dragon and this Dragon is about to make an offer that Owl cannot refuse, it could lead to her having a normal life again. Owl heads around the world in search of ancient scrolls that have the ability to change the world.

For me this was just an okay debut novel, I mean there is a Dragon in it and if there is a Dragon in UF for some reason I am drawn to read the book. I think maybe this is due to them being an under used creature in the UF setting that makes me hope that this UF/paranormal read will be something unique and different. It was nice to also see vampires in this book (and they were not all the beautiful ect kind) but it was nice that they took a back seat to some of the other creature that are not as common and some I have never heard of before, which I am always on the search for.

I'm not 100% sure about the world that Charish created. It is mainly about keeping the paranormal/fantasy creatures a secret from human society, and it appears that those humans who discover them, mainly through archeology sites, are basically told you know nothing and by the way we are going to ruin your career as well. I mean if they wanted to keep these people silent, I can think of a few better ways to achieve this. And the over seeing body of all this is the International Archaeology Association (IAA) is supposed to be this powerful association. Granted we do not have any interaction with the IAA in this novel other than Owl telling something about her past experiences, but I personally just find it hard to believe.

I didn't like the addition of the World Quest aspect to the book. I never found that it or Carpe added anything to the story and was waiting for the connection between that world and the real world to combine but they never really do (other than the tombs in the World Quest world are made based upon the real life ones so natural Owl has been to many of them and knows their secrets).

I did not really like Owl as a main character and don't know why her friends stay by her . She is beyond reckless when it comes to her life and even that of her friends and I don't think she knows how to make a plan. I have no idea how she became a "respectable" antiquities thief, in this book she seems to wreck more than one ancient artifact and disturb some others. She had no finesse it seemed to get anything done and was too busy flying by the seat of her pants than to care about anything else.. To me it seemed more like Nayda is the smarter one and who had her life together and seemed just as brave as Owl. I guess I just wished that Owl had some of Nayda's qualities.

I could have done without Rynn as a character and did not think that his relationship with Owl added anything to the story as she was forever ditching him to do things her own way. However, their relationship did take a backseat for the most part in the book and while I could get behind Rynn as a friend for Owl, I just don't think that the book needed a romance interest.

My favourite thing in the book is Captain. Yep Owl's cat lol. He had his own personality and who doesn't love a cat that can take down a Vampire by himself. Seems like a cat I would like to have, you know just in case.

This was an okay debut novel for me and I felt like Charish really wrapped up the book in the end so there was not much of a cliffhanger that makes me desperate to read the next book in the series. It is one of those reads that if I move onto the next book good, if not I don't think I will be overall disappointment as to not knowing where Owl goes from here, and I guess that in itself sums up my feelings about this book.

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