Night Owls (A Night Owls Novel Book 1) By Lauren M. Roy
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…
Welcome to the first Reading After Dark of 2015! When I picked up Night Owls at a local independent bookstore I was excited. A paranormal with a bookstore/bookseller element that is set in a collegiate atmosphere? I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it seemed promising. The story is very intricate, with lots of interesting characters and their own unique backstories. I appreciated the mix of supernatural characters, including lesser explored creatures such as succubi. I was also surprised to see not only humans, but vampires, working as hunters against a common enemy: Jackals/Creeps.
It’s a good time to mention that the interchanging of the name for these creatures was a bit confusing for me. Sometimes I had to remind myself that they were the same thing and not a different entity. This isn’t the kind of story that gives you all the answers at once. It effective raises questions and then keeps you interested until you reach the answers. The plot was a little drawn out in places, but it was usually for a character’s introspection or to provide the reader with useful information, so I didn’t mind that much.
When the action picks up you almost scramble to keep up with it. There were moments where I had to reread to figure out how the conclusion was reached. The magic, along with the explanation and execution was also rewarding. Everything in this world is well thought out, rich in detail, full of history and nearly flawless in it’s execution. Again, I think that in certain places this hindered the plot, making it lag, but I appreciated the attention to detail at the same time.
Our main characters are Val and Elly. I didn’t connect with Elly as much as Val, Elly (by her own admission) being a little difficult to get close to. I think it makes her more realistic, having those types of flaws, and I hope that as the series goes forward she develops more as a character. With Val, I enjoyed that even though she was a vampire, she wasn’t exactly what we were used to from that archetype. The secondary characters had just as much dimension to them and I felt that sometimes they eclipsed the primary ones. There is also switching of viewpoint between everyone in the group and though it could’ve easily been problematic, I think that it created a good flow of events and helped to keep each character connected.
By the end of the book the story arch seems complete, while simultaneously setting up a lot of momentum for the overall arch of the series. Sure, there were a few questions raised but it felt like a far cry from an outright cliffhanger. I think that if you like paranormal, but you want something that is newer and different from everything else out there than Night Owls is for you. There isn’t anything I’ve read that I could directly compare it to and I think Lauren Roy works hard to create a world that is distinct and all her own.