Night Owls by Lauren M. Roy
Series: Night Owls #1
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 .
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I originally received this review copy for Team Tynga’s Reviews but Tynga ended up reviewing it before I got my copy. Ah, the challenges of co-blogging! But now I get to post my thoughts here so it’s not as though it’s a total waste. Heck, I’d never say a book is a waste but I’m always happy that I write on two blogs when this type of situation arises.
Overall, NIGHT OWLS is a nice book. It wasn’t insta-love but I did find NIGHT OWLS to be an interesting and well-written urban fantasy novel.
One of the things that sets NIGHT OWLS apart from other novels is that the story is told in third person, from several characters’ points of view. We start with Elly, a Hunter on the run from the Creeps/Jackals, these monstrous and murderous critters who desperately want a book in her keeping. She’s just a regular human who’s in the monster fighting business, the result of being raised by Father Value, a man who fought evil his whole life. Elly is a sharp contrast to the other main character, Val, who’s a vampire and seasoned warrior. Val runs a bookstore with her Renfield, Chaz, who also gets a turn at being the narrator at certain points in the novel.
I quite liked Elly and Val, though I didn’t feel as strongly connected to them as I do with other narrators. I think this is because of the shifting points of view. But because I wasn’t as invested, I did find NIGHT OWLS a touch less engaging than I might have with only one main character. On the other hand, I don’t think Roy could have told the same story without having multiple points of view. And the story is quite strong. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plots, and the bits of history we learn about the different characters. Despite this, I still wasn’t completely enchanted by NIGHT OWLS, though I do believe it to be a well-constructed novel.
Generally, NIGHT OWLS seems to be positively reviewed, and it is a good book. It’s not my top book of 2014 but I enjoyed reading it and would be willing to try the next book in the series whenever it comes out.