The wild second adventure for unforgettable antiquities thief Owl—a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world—from the pen of rising urban fantasy star Kristi Charish. For fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep, Jenn Bennett, and the like.
Alix Hiboux, better known as Owl, international antiquities thief for hire, is settling into her new contract job for Vegas mogul Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon with a penchant for ancient, supernatural artifacts. And now he has his sights set on some treasures of the mysterious Syrian City of the Dead that are sitting in a recluse’s private collection.
There’s just one wrinkle. To stop the resurrection of an undead army that could wreak havoc on Los Angeles, Owl must break into a heavily guarded archaeological sight in one of the most volatile regions in the world. A detour through Libya and a run-in with Somali pirates sends the clock ticking hastily toward total paranormal disaster.
Meanwhile, Alexander and the Paris vampires have stopped stalking Owl’s apartment, but they have by no means forgotten their death grudge against her. To top everything off, Owl finds out the hard way that there is nothing heavenly about the City of Angels…
Okay, let’s just get this out of the way: I’m still not a fan of the naming conventions of the series (kind of generic, the locales in the title play significant roles, but are never the main players in the story) nor the cover art (as generic urban fantasy as you can get) and both do a disservice to fact that this is one one of the better new urban fantasy series to come along in quite some time. I suppose I should throw a comment in there about the summary too. It’s not exactly deceptive, but it hardly gets the plot right either as events in the summary are opposite of how they are in the book, or emphasize plot elements that are kind of minor in the book. It’s definitely one of those summaries that I’d just take with a grain of salt is all.
Now that that is out of the way, I still really enjoy this series. I like how tomb raiding still plays a focus of the book. I like how the unseen politics of the world -from the supernatural angel and the IAA angel – are deepening. Charish does a good idea of teasing what’s to come, and because we’re outsiders like Alix, we remain in the dark and it makes nice motivation to keep reading. I like the main set up of the book: someone is masquerading as Owl and stealing cursed antiquities. I fully admit I was surprised by the reveal of the villain, but it was the good kind of surprise, one that makes sense in the world and doesn’t feel cheap. I’m also enjoying how Alix is showing some growth here too. She’s still reckless, she still needs to work on her relationship skills, but she’s trying now. She’s starting to see how her actions impact those around her, too. But make no mistake: she’s still quick to act rashly and let her mouth get away with her. She’s still very much Alix, but she’s not stagnant. Finally, I liked that I really bought into the idea that Alix was in danger this book. Oh sure, I knew that she wouldn’t be by the books end (this is a series after all), but still. I bought into it, and I don’t always when it comes to open-ended urban fantasy, so good job indeed.
Overall, I’m enjoying this series quite a bit and looking forward to her further adventures.
Verdict: Buy It
Available: October 5