Series: Night Owls #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Ace on 25 February 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Antique Reading Roadshow
Is a book ever worth risking your life for? I’m pretty hardcore when it comes to reading books but I would definitely baulk at this. Elly Garrett on the other hand is willing to do everything to keep a book from falling into the claws of the Creeps (a weird blend of supes). They murdered her only family and came after those who offered her refuge. The vampire Valerie McTeague gets drawn into the fracas when the book winds up at her bookshop, Night Owl and her employees are threatened.
I really appreciated how well rounded the female characters were and they really stole the book with their detailed back stories. Valerie is haunted by a disastrous Creep raid where she lost all of her crew and turned her back on vampire society. Chaz, her Renfield, is keen to support her in anyway he can but she prefers to keep her own council. Val is fairly principled for a vampire and refuses to drink off Chaz even when she desperately needed blood. Elly is a much rougher character and is only comfortable when she is killing Creeps. We get snatches of a softer side when she interacts with her foster brother Cavale but these moments usually trigger bad memories. Her foster father fashioned her into killing machine and breaking out of that mold is practically impossible.
Most of the men in this novel act as secondary characters. Chaz’s humour brought some much needed light to the grim circumstances and Cavale’s use of runes gave the book another dimension. Justin, Val’s employee, goes through the biggest transformation after he interacts with the book but I didn’t get as much of a handle on him. He served as a useful plot device to move the story along and a chance for Roy to explain the world she had created.
The book fell down a little bit for me in two places – the abrupt changes between the characters’ perspectives and the world building. I was really interested in the world and wanted a little more detail to flesh things out, especially when it came to the Creeps who for some reason were also called Jackals.
This book had a decidedly retro urban fantasy feel about it with the lack of a romance and a crew of light taking down the bad guys. If you are in the mood for a book that pays homage to the old school, this might be just the book for you.