Ex-archaeology student turned international antiquities thief—though she'd be loathe to admit to the thief part—Alix Hiboux, better known as Owl, has only one rule: No supernatural jobs... EVER! Unfortunately, she has no choice but to accept a job offer from Mr. Kurosawa, the red dragon who owns the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. As luck would have it, he also promises to get rid of the pack of vampires that have been on her tail for the last year, a benefit Owl certainly can't overlook.
From Japan to Bali and back to Vegas, Owl hunts down the clues she needs to find the requested scroll for the dragon. With a little help from her best friend Nadya, along with a sexy mercenary, Owl bumbles her way through various dig sites, where trouble is never more than a step behind her. But will she be able to deliver the coveted treasure before her enemies catch up to her?
I truly enjoyed this great start to an exciting new urban fantasy series. As a character, Owl is extremely likeable. She's very headstrong, but also quite impetuous and even a bit frustrating at times. While she definitely knows her stuff when it comes to archeology, she lacks the forethought to plan properly and continuously places herself and her friends in danger with her short-sighted decisions. How she's managed to survive as long as she has is beyond me. It's a lucky thing Rynn is around to save her ass! Or perhaps she's got nine lives like her cat! ;)
Speaking of cats, I've never been much of a cat person but I have to say that Captain rocks! An extremely smart Egyptian Mau that's bred to hunt vampires, Captain has managed to save Owl's hide just as much as Rynn has. He can open windows, sneak through air ducts to get where he needs to be, and even understand and retrieve things for Owl. He's a wonderful companion for her and really adds a lot to the story.
With an assortment of supernaturals thrown into the mix, from nagas to nymps and everything in between, this was an exciting, action-packed read, and I look forward to adding this new urban fantasy series to my must read list. Going forward, my only criticism is that I sincerely hope Owl will take time to learn from past mistakes, as it's hard to imagine her being around much longer at the rate she's going. A few fighting lessons from Rynn could go a long way too.
Owl and the Japanese Circus will be released on January 13, 2015, but is available for pre-order at Amazon now. If you're a fan of urban fantasy with strong female characters, and particularly if you're interested in archeology, then I strongly recommend you check this one out!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Pocket Star Books, for providing me with a pre-release copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.