I liked it. A lot.
Owl is a retriever of old artifacts or if you would like, a thief of cultural heritage. While this is a not-so-save line of business at the best of times Owl's work gets complicated by supernatural things like vampires, nagas, ghosts and now she's working for a dragon to retrieve some dangerous scroll.
Owl was a very likable character, it has been a while since I read one of those. Although she has symptoms of being the special snowflake we've all come to hate and despite her self proclaimed (and okay, I'll have to agree with her) less than desirable social skills she was a lot of fun to read. Not in the least because she's the reason why the side characters, who are equally fun and mysterious, are together in the first place. My personal favorite: Captain the cat, who's able to smell vampires and obviously runs the whole operation...
When Owl is hunting scrolls and other artifacts she's playing an online game together with another very interesting character, Carpe. Exactly who he is isn't clear at this point but I read that he will properly introduced (as a real character) in the next book. Something I'm already looking forward to.
Which brings me to the story, which was entertaining, but not as good as the characters. There were perhaps a bit too many people hunting Owl down for too many reasons, and the love subplot I could have done without (as usual). However, I was very pleasantly surprised by this novel and will certainly read the sequel. Someday, when I have the time.
Owl and the Japanese Circus is the first of The Adventures of Owl. The second book, Owl and the City of Angels has recently been published.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!