Release Day Review: Night Owls by Lauren M. Roy

, by Kt Clapsadl

Night Owls by Lauren M. Roy
Night Owls #1

Night Owls book store 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 from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren as possible. She’s lived that life, and the price she paid was far too high to ever want to return.

Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural werewolf-like 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 safe keeping, 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….

While I enjoyed Night Owls, I have to admit there was a good deal of frustration involved while reading this book. It suffers from very slow, yet extensive world building, something that unfortunately plagues many series starting books. Don't get me wrong I realize that these books have to introduce a whole new world to the reader, so there's a lot of set up involved, but the pacing more often than not seems to suffer in series openers, and that's exactly what happened here. I think a lot of those pacing issues were exasperated by the rotating third person perspectives. I just felt like I was in too many heads especially as the transitions were rather abrupt. First person narrative will always be my first love, but I don't necessarily mind third person , even rotating ones as long as there's only 2-3 total different voices in a book. In the case of Night Owls there were at least five, maybe more. I lost count. Granted it wasn't like I was ever confused as to whose head I was in, which is an impressive feat considering, it's just that I never really got the chance to settle into anyone and really enjoy things as it was constantly switching to the next person, making it really hard to connect with anyone.

Speaking of connection, I'm not shy about admitting that I really prefer there to be at least a hint of romance or at least the potential for some in my reading choices. Have I enjoyed Urban Fantasies without romance? Absolutely, but in those cases the rest of the book and/or character connection has to be incredibly strong to carry me without that romance element I love. Unfortunately that just wasn't the case here as there wasn't even a hint of romance (sure one character has a crush on another, but I honestly can't see it going anywhere.) and due to the rotation, I didn't grow attached to any of the characters.

Now that my complaints are out of the way, let's talk about why I did enjoy this book and despite the flaws, it earns a solid 5 from me. Remember me talking about the world building up there, how it was slow but heavy? Well despite the slowness, the world building probably was the best part of this book. I'm really fascinated with the different angles, factions, and species that are intertwined into this book. Between the Brotherhood, the Creeps/Jackals, the vamps, demons, and humans, there's a whole lot going on, yet it's woven together well. Add in the uniqueness, which is something that's not frequently able to be said about vampire novels, and it's a very intrigue and entertaining world. I do have high hopes for this series, as I'll largely admit I've felt rather mediocre to a lot of series opening books, and wound up loving the sequels immensely. So all in all, issues aside, Night Owls is a pretty decent start to a unique urban fantasy world that I'll be looking for more from.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     All Things Urban Fantasy
     Between Dreams and Reality
     The Nocturnal Library

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