Review: Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish


Owl and the Japanese Circus
by Kristi Charish
Series: The Adventures of Owl #1
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Simon & Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: e-ARC (Release Date: January 13, 2015)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
432 pages
Grade: B-
Synopsis: Fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Linda Hamilton will flock to the kick-ass world of Owl, a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world.

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.


  • The book has a great beginning. It sucks you in right away.
  • When I got the book I wasn’t sure what the title was going to mean…especially the Japanese Circus. Was it a circus? In Japan? But after reading a few pages I could totally see this as a casino in Las Vegas owned by a dragon!
  • Captain is a great vampire fighter.
  • I like the video gaming aspects of the book.
  • The idea of archeology and ancient sites being a hot-bed of supernatural beings makes lots of sense!
  • I think Ms. Charish does a good job with the world building.
  • The parts about studying archaeology, being a grad student and running into problems with her professors and program was funny and kind of sad.
  • I like the mix of fantasy (vampires, dragons, nagas and many more) with real world (archaeology, working day-to-day, playing World Quest).
  • I like dragons in my fantasy, but realistically a dragon is a scary predator. In this book he is!
  • I like the ending. It opens up all sorts of things for the next book.


  • Owl continues to do the same things which get her in trouble over and over.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to see why Nadya and Rynn remain friends with Owl.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • On NetGalley I requested this book based on the title and the cover and then the synopsis. I’m very glad I did.
  • This is a debut book and I really enjoy reading new authors. The book isn’t perfect, but it shows promise to become a very good series.
  • I’m looking forward to the next book in the series which should come out in the Summer of 2015.
  • I can see how this might be categorized urban fantasy–it has a lot of the characteristics–but I’m just calling it fantasy since the action takes place in many parts of the world.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog
  • COYER Winter Reading Challenge–hosted by Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun and Michelle @ Because Reading