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

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

15 thoughts on “Review: Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish”

  1. I’m a dragon fan and like you, I think mixing fantasy with archaeology is a fantastic idea. I’m less keen on a heroine who doesn’t learn and keeps making the same mistakes. Good review. 🙂


  2. I love combining fantasy with archaeology. It just makes so much sense! While it doesn’t sound perfect it does sound like a lot of fun. I’ll have to look for this one. Thanks for sharing.


  3. “Sometimes it’s hard to see why Nadya and Rynn remain friends with Owl.”

    LOL, my thoughts exactly. Owl’s fun and there’s never a boring moment with her, but I would have lost my patience with her long ago.


  4. I got this when it showed up free on Amazon for a few days, based on the blurb and cover. I’m so glad you liked it! Heaven knows when I’ll get around to reading it, but I definitely want to squeeze it in somewhen!


    1. I hope you like it, Lark. And I agree that it’s so hard to squeeze all the books in–and you manage to read more books than I do! Even if I was able to read a book a day I wouldn’t get to read all the books I own and/or want to read.


      1. You and me both! If I stopped adding stuff to my TBR list, ignored my “someday” list, and read nothing but books that are now on my TBR, it would take me about 5 years to get through them all. I think I have some serious pruning to do…


        1. I know, Lark! My TBR list is so long plus I have books I bought a few years ago that now I don’t even want to read and forget why I bought. 😦


  5. EVERYONE has been reading this one, I need to get my grabby hands on it. It seems like a lot of UF books (or even fantasy novels with a UF feel) start off with the protagonist being pretty rough around the edges. Hopefully Owl smartens up a bit by book two!


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