Review: Night Owls by Lauren M Roy


May Contain Spoilers


While I love Urban Fantasy, I don’t often have the opportunity to read much of the genre because so many of the titles currently being released are part of a longer, multi-volume series, or, when a book comes along that I think is interesting, I just don’t have time to fit it into my jam-packed reading schedule.  I had seen several positive reviews for Night Owls, so I determined to make the time to read Lauren M Roy’s debut novel.  I’m so glad I did!  This is such a fun read, and it clicked for me within just the first few pages.  I couldn’t put it down and finished it in just a few hours.


Valerie is a battle weary vampire, who has settled down as far away from California and the terrible memories that still  haunt her ten years after a monster hunting mission gone bad.  Now the proprietor of a late night bookstore, Night Owls, she’s made herself comfortable in a small college town, making a new life, and new friends, for herself.  When Elly races into town, she destroys the peace that Val has built around herself.  After one of her most loyal customers is murdered, Val is determined to find out the reason for his death.  What she does is open a whole giant can of worms that threatens everything and everyone she loves.

Wow!  I loved the characters!  Val is a total badass, when she finally gives in and starts fighting the supernatural enemies plaguing her small town.  Elly is, too, but she has to rely on her wits and her training to get out of her scrapes.  She’s only human, after all, even if she has been taught since childhood how to track and neutralize Jackals, scary flesh eating monsters that prey on humans.  Cavale rocked, too!  I want him to have his own freaking book!  I wish he had had a larger role in the story – and don’t get me wrong, he had lots of page time, but I liked him so much I wanted to know more about him.  Val’s friend (he’s more like a vassal), Chaz was adorable, even though he has a lot to learn about fighting and slaying monsters. 

Things go to crap for Val after Justin, one of her employees, takes a peek inside the ancient book Professor Clearwater sends to her for safekeeping.  Justin’s been given strict instructions that no one is to open the book without Professor Clearwater there.  Oops!  Curiosity really does kill the cat! Kind of serves Justin right to trigger a ward on the book and have all of its magic jump right into him.  That is one complication that Val didn’t need, and when a pack of Jackals come to Night Owls, demanding the return of the book and its magic, she knows that they are in for the fight of their lives.

I am trying very hard not to gush about this read, but I can’t help myself.  It is FUN with all capital letters, and I can’t wait to read more by Roy.  The fight scenes are exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat, the paranormal characters are blast – I enjoyed being introduced to all of them, the good, the bad, and the indifferent to Val’s dire problem.  The story takes place over only a few days, but what a danger, adventure filled period that is!  Because Val is a vampire, her fatal flaw, as well as the Jackals, is that they can’t be out after sunrise.  That’s what makes loyal humans like Chaz so valuable.  There are many tasks that need to be completed during the daylight hours, so Val has a trusted agent take care of them.  When Chaz ends up a pawn in the quest for the magic in Justin’s head, Val becomes a very grumpy, and very anxious, vampire.  The Jackals will do anything to get back their book, and Val knows that there’s a deadline to rescuing Chaz.

If you are in the mood for a fast, action-packed read, filled with things that go bump in the night, look no further.  Night Owls is a blast, and I can’t wait for more adventures with Val, Elly, Chaz, and Cavale.

Grade:  B+/A-

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

About the book:

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…