“When it comes to controlling human beings, there is no better instrument than lies. Because you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts.” — Michael Ende
Owl just can’t catch a break. She should have learned, from her run-ins with all that is supernatural in Owl and the Japanese Circus that, the more she learns about the supernatural, the more there is to learn. And the more she would regret breaking her one rule. It was so simple, really. Don’t mess with the supernatural. Well, that’s all blown to hell and back. And hell is exactly where she might end up this time. She had to go and open up that sarcophagus, hence pissing off the vampires. Bloody cockroaches. Then she had to get on the wrong side of a Naga and a dragon. Oh, and if that isn’t enough? Now it is curses and mummies. You just had to touch it, didn’t you? Just had to unwrap it and touch it. Sigh.
I said about Owl in my last review, “Owl is a damaged character. Her default reaction to, well, everything is to break and run for the hills. Sure, it can save your backside to run away. But sometimes, you are just running further into the fire. And sometimes, the people you believe you know are not the people you thought they were at all. For good, or for bad. And Owl needs to learn the difference, quickly, if she wants to live, and to grow into something more than a child in a grownup world. Owl definitely needs to grow as a person, and as a character.” And I have to say, she definitely does show personal and professional growth in “Owl and the City of Angels.” Oh, that isn’t to say she doesn’t still make dumb choices – she does. Hence the whole “mummies and curses” thing. But she is growing.
“Come to think of it, I’m amazed how much I’ve grown over the past few months. I’m becoming an interesting person. Not well adjusted, but someone who occasionally sees through the messes they create.”
Of course, Owl being Owl, she winds up in shit storms of monstrous proportions, but that is to be expected. And vacillates between funny – and just plain causing me to plant a face-palm.
“You are correct in your assessment of the City of the Dead. Keep in mind that even we supernaturals sometimes lose places for a reason.”
The story itself is as good as Japanese Circus. There is as much going on in this book, if not more, and as the cast of characters expands Owl begins to learn more about the supernatural, and more about herself as well. Old characters come back, both good and bad, and Owl becomes a pawn once more in the political power struggles of both the supernatural and of the IAA. Layers are peeled back, only to reveal more layers of rot and lies underneath. As always, this is an adventure heavy, Indiana Jane sort of tale, and Owl impresses me more and more with both her capability, her savvy, and her ability to piss everyone around her off in new and inventive ways. And the authors interest in, and knowledge of, archaeology really adds depth and dimension to the story. I am, of course, a geek at heart, and I found all sorts of things to highlight and look up later.
I can’t recommend this series highly enough for readers who like strong women characters who are still learning about themselves and about how to manage their pain and grow. Some wrongs are righted in this volume, though some even more horrible wrongs occur – one particular one which ripped my insides out. Captain, Owl’s Egyptian Mau partner is still a strong part of the story – who can’t love a cat who was bred specifically to attack and poison vampires with his teeth and claws? Awesome! The only bad part? I have to WAIT for the next volume! And from the epilogue? Oh, yeah. The waiting is gonna be very, very hard. Everyone wants to use Owl for their own plots and plans . . . and here is hoping that at least a couple of those people get exactly what is coming to them!!
I received Owl and the City of Angels from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. Kristi Charish has assured her place on my Auto-Read list. Very highly recommended!
About the Author
The second installment in the Owl series, OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS, is scheduled for release Oct 5th 2015. Her second urban fantasy series, KINCAID STRANGE (Random House Canada), about a voodoo practitioner living in Seattle, is scheduled for release mid 2016.
Kristi is also a scientist with a BSc and MSc from Simon Fraser University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. Her specialties are genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology, all of which she draws upon in her writing. She is represented by Carolyn Forde at Westwood Creative Artists.