Night Owls – Lauren M. Roy | PLUS A GIVEAWAY

Scroll to the bottom for GIVEAWAY details.

About the Book

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

304 pages (paperback)
Published on February 25, 2014
Published by Ace
Author’s webpage

This book was sent for me to review by the publisher. 

I’ve been learning a lot about myself recently. One thing I’ve learned is that I don’t really dislike the subgenres I think I dislike as much as I think I dislike them. Case and point, Night Owls, an urban fantasy filled with all sorts of tropey baddies like vampires, werewolf-esque creatures, succubi and the like, set in our modern world, and reeking of all things urban fantasy.

The weird part? I actually really enjoyed it! In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I plowed through it in a matter of hours and found myself slightly upset that I didn’t have more to devour.

The first thing that I want to make perfectly clear here is that there is little to no romance involved in this book, and for that reason alone I feel like tracking down the author so I can kiss her. The impressive part is that Night Owls is better for the lack of romantic tension. Readers will be able to focus on the fast paced story so much easier, without any real distractions. Night Owls is unashamedly what it is, and I absolutely loved that about it.

Secondly, Night Owls is a very fast read. This book weighs in just shy of 300 pages, and moves so quickly that the 300 pages will absolutely fly by. The plot is fairly tight and moves in one solid direction rather than flitting around, like I was afraid of. None of the characters do stupid things for no apparent reason, which is another pet peeve of mine that seems to happen in short/quick books more often than I like. In fact, for being such a fast read, Night Owls is surprisingly tight.

The college town that the book takes place in is well realized, and seems very lifelike, as though I could go visit this place sometime. That’s part of the magic of it. Night Owls takes place in one of those college towns that we’ve all been to – you know, the kind of place that thrives purely because there is a school in the middle of it. It’s sleepy and small, and gives the book a sense of intimacy that I really enjoyed. By the time I was done reading the book, I felt as though I knew the setting as well as I knew my own house.

That sort of familiar feeling extends to the main characters, too. The book is told from the perspective of a few main people (Though Val and Elly were the most memorable for me), and they are well fleshed out with unique voices. The ragtag secondary characters are just as rich and entertaining as the main character perspectives. Each character has his or her own motivations and drives for doing what they are doing, and all of their pasts are rather fascinating. Plus, I have to give this book some props for having the kind of bookstore I’d die to work in be featured prominently in the book.

Night Owls is a solid debut, and a book I enjoyed a lot more than I expected. It has none of the urban fantasy clichés that makes me roll my eyes. In fact, Roy seems to make a point of taking those clichés and sort of poking fun at them. The supernatural creatures are an interesting mix of scary (believe it or not) and humorous. The succubi, especially, added some welcome comedic relief to Night Owls. However, some readers might find the mix of scary/humorous to be a bit lopsided, or occasionally out of place.

As I mentioned above, Night Owls is a fast read, and the short length of it might be its one and only real flaw. It has to be hard for Roy to flesh out her characters and her world in the detailed way I like in such a short amount of time. For the length of the book, I think she does a wonderful job, but I couldn’t help but want a few more details for the world. Though the characters were well developed, some of their behaviors seemed contradictory, or lacked a background to make complete sense to the reader.

In the grand scope of things, these complaints are small and don’t overshadow the rest of the book. Night Owls is an absolutely stunning urban fantasy debut. I loved the blend of reality and fantasy. Roy managed to make this book both serious and fun at the same time, and peppered it with memorable characters that make an impact. The ending nicely resolved the various threads of the plot, and left enough open to make readers anxious for more. Night Owls is fresh and fun and a great blend of old and new.

 

4/5 stars

 

And, in a grand twist of fate (or something) I am currently running a GIVEAWAY for this book. I am giving away two copies to residents of the US and CANADA only (sorry, rest of the world).

To enter, leave a comment under this post. A week from today (so March 18, 2014) I will randomly choose two winners. Winners have two days (48 hours) to reply to my email. If you don’t reply, another winner will be chosen.

Best luck!

14 Responses

  • It is only because of my blog hopping tht I have become aware of some of the better UF out there, for instance I just finished the first two Fortitude Scott books and loved them. I see the same people who raved about that series rec this one, so I want to add it.

    I have also found the UF sub genre I ignored so long is perfect for audio books due to the smaller page count. But I still wouldn’t mind winning this one =)

  • Myra Fox

    Great review.

    I am puzzled by all the romance novels masquerading as urban fantasy. It has made me read lots of book blogs to read up on reviews.

    I depend on reviewers like you to help me decide where to spend my book budget.

    Thanks.

  • Angela

    If it is wasn’t for reviews like yours I would probably not pick up this book or several others that I have enjoyed.

    And it’s nice to see that maybe the tide in urban fantasy is finally turning back away from the supernatural romances that made me give up on so many series and even the genre.

  • Avyi

    If it wasn’t for your review…I would not have even considered this book.

  • Funny you should mention liking genres (or books from genres) that you previous said you disliked, because I’ve been finding the same thing with some genres lately myself. I realized at the end of last year that as much as I say I don’t tend to like urban fantasy, many of my favourite books of 2013 were urban fantasy novels. It made me take a look at some of my claims about myself and made me want to give some things another chance.

    Fortunately, I’m finding more and more urban fantasy that suites my tastes, which is awesome, because it lets me broaden my horizons while still giving me good entertainment!

  • JillA

    Sounds interesting, and I do love urban fantasy! Please enter me in the contest. I don’t love it all,

  • Brittney

    This sounds like an interesting book. I’ve added it, along with numerous others, to my to-read pile because of you! Thanks for all the reviews!

  • Yey! I agree, I loved that there wasn’t a romance, it wasn’t until I got to the end and thought about it that I realized that and was like, whoa, that makes me so happy :D. I liked that it pulled in the multiple POV thing that epic fantasy is so well known for since I think it really helped develop the story ;-). Also, not entering myself since I already have a copy 🙂

  • Jim andriano

    I am amazed the the # of books you read and review.

  • Ruth

    I would absolutely love to have a copy of this as I’m currently amassing books to read for a long post-op recovery. This sounds like just the sort of story to take my mind off of everything.

  • Joy F

    Sounds good, thanks for the review.

  • Cheryl Holsonbake

    I periodically enjoy books in the vampire/wearwolf-ish category. But like you, I often find romancey stuff distracting. So, since you haven’t led me astray yet, I’d love to be in the drawing.

  • Gavin

    This sounds like a good read — I’ll throw my name into the draw.

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