I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
eARC: 304 pages
Publisher: Ace, Penguin
Release Date: 2014-02-25
Series: Night Owls #1
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository
Night Owls bookstore is the one spot on campus open late enough to help out even the most practiced slacker. The employees’ penchant for fighting the evil creatures of the night is just a perk... Valerie McTeague’s business model is simple: provide the students of Edgewood College with a late-night study haven and stay as far away as possible from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren. She’s experienced that life, and the price she paid was far too high for her to ever want to return.
Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural beings known as Creeps or Jackals. But she always had her mentor and foster father by her side—until he gave his life protecting a book that the Creeps desperately want to get their hands on. When the book gets stashed at Night Owls for safekeeping, those Val holds nearest and dearest are put in mortal peril. Now Val and Elly will have to team up, along with a mismatched crew of humans, vampires, and lesbian succubi, to stop the Jackals from getting their claws on the book and unleashing unnamed horrors...
The life of seven unlikely people will change forever the day Father Value, Jackal (aka Creeps) hunter, dies on a mission. He died to protect a mystical book and his partner, Elly, will risk her life – and the one of many others- trying to keep it out of Creeps’ hands. Will she succeed or will his death be in vain?
I dove into Night Owls hoping for a good old urban fantasy, and while the genre is accurate, I’m afraid to say I wasn’t impressed. This review will be very hard for me to write because I usually mention the things I liked and things I disliked about the book, but in this case, I didn’t like nor dislike the novel, it kind of left me unaffected. While this isn’t a bad novel, I just didn’t feel passionate, or even involved in any of the proceedings. I didn’t even care who lived or died, which is sad.
I think one of the main reason I didn’t feel connected is the lack of a clear main characters. Reading the synopsis now I realize Valerie and Elly were suppose to be the main characters, but it was far from clear. Valerie (a vampire), Chaz (her human Renfield), Elly (Creeps Hunter) & Cavale (former Creeps Hunter) share, it seemed to me, equal parts of the main spotlight. On top of this, Justin (human) and Sunny & Lia (succubi) bring up the rear with secondary roles. All of these characters sharing the scene, fighting for our attention, just made it hard for me to connect with any of them in particular and it didn’t help with my lack of caring. Not only are they many, none of them are particularly amazing.
The plot was correct if not particularly engrossing. We followed a rather linear line of action, without many surprises, but the fighting scenes were well delivered. Unfortunately, the solution to their problem was so simple in the end, it was simply ridiculous. Miss Roy should’ve thought harder to find something complex enough to justify the trouble they all went through.
I think the best aspect of this novel was the lore because it featured a type of characters I hadn’t encountered before: Jackals/Creeps. They are some kind of cannibal (because they eat human flesh) shape shifters who smell like rotten flesh. They have abilities and weaknesses similar to your traditional vampires (sunlight, silver, etc), but they kind of look like wolves when turning and some of them have special skills.
All that being said, I did finish reading this novel without dragging my feet too much, so it wasn’t a bad novel, it just didn’t stir any passion from me whatsoever, so I didn’t like it either. As far as I know, this was Lauren’s first book and I think she has potential, so even though I won’t keep reading this series, I won’t disregard anything she writes in the future either. I would suggest you read an excerpt (I couldn’t find one for you sorry!) before you decide the buy the book, and see if you think you might like it.