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
I’m always on the look out for new urban fantasy to devour and Night Owls fit the bill quite nicely. At 296 pages, it was an extremely quick but enjoyable read. If it wasn’t action then there was still always something interesting going on. Plus did you notice it features a book store!? How could that not be a win win for any avid reader? Moving on…
Val is a bookstore owner that just happens to be a vampire and Elly is a young woman on the run from Jackals who recently murdered the only father she has ever known. What do they have to do with each other? A book of course, and a very nasty one at that. These two ladies are the main perspectives that the book description gives but we also get to read things from the perspective of Val’s human Renfield, Chaz. He is her supposed servant, works at the bookstore she owns and is pretty much her best friend.
We see three types of supernaturals in Night Owls. Vampires, Jackals (aka werewolves – but they aren’t referred to as werewolves at all) and succubi. The way the author does vampires looks to be pretty standard, blood sucking, able to effect the minds of victims, some slight shape shifting, sleeps during the day, etc. The Jackals are a much darker take on werewolves than I’ve seen done anytime recently. They stink of rot and they can’t go out in the sun either, which I’ve never seen done before, and they also can look human but it seems like most probably have a hard time with that. They are pretty icky creatures, stinky and nasty, and hey the worst party they EAT people! They find virgins to be especially tasty. So of course they seem downright evil (course maybe they are misunderstood? – I don’t think so). They are also referred to as Creeps in the book which I really didn’t like. I just don’t think the name ‘creeps’ worked well. Jackals was a much better way to refer to them and yet sometimes they were called one or the other depending on the character that was referring to them. And quite frankly the term ‘creeps’ just made it sound really juvenile. That might have been fitting since it was the younger girl Elly that referred to them that way. They are definitely the bad guys of this book and at times are made to be rather scary, but then sometimes at moments they were almost poked fun at and that would take away from the scary atmosphere around them. I think things would have been better served if they had more of that scary edge. The succubi lend a hand and I loved the addition of their characters because they really added a nice comedy touch. I think that aspect was great and would have been enough, coupled with the banter of the other characters to lighten things up. They were really one of my favorite parts.
All of the characters were pretty solid and the three perspectives well done. I do think there were a few things that could have been a bit more clear. Due to the length we we might have missed out on some world building but on the other hand without those things you could zip through the book in probably about 4 hours. Depending on the type of reader you are that could be a good or bad thing. I do have one point that bugged me just a smidge about Val, not about her character / personality, but about how unclear her abilities were based on a one on one fight in the beginning with her and a Jackal and then later in the book she’s tearing through a bunch of them with ease. So that rankled me a bit as inconsistent. I think if that were made clear it wouldn’t have bothered me at all.
There was a whole lot in Night Owls to like and I will definitely be reading on. I think this series is going to only get better in the next book and I’m looking forward to reading about all of these characters again. I see some very interesting possibilities developing for them.