First in a series
By Lauren M. Roy
Available now from Ace (Penguin Random House)
I didn't get very far through the blurb for NIGHT OWLS before I knew I had to read it. Vampire bookstore owner? Yes, please. (I was ultimately a little disappointed that there wasn't more bookstore-ing.)
NIGHT OWLS has a fairly expansive cast. There's Valerie, the vampire bookstore owner, and her Renfield and another bookstore employee. There's Elly, a Creep-hunter out to avenge her mentor, and her estranged brother. (And a few allies.) You see, in the world of NIGHT OWLS there's more than one kind of human-eating monster. The Creeps are dying off, but they might've found a way to reproduce. It's up to the five good guys and their friends to stop them.
The large cast kept me from falling entirely in love. They were appealing character types, but there were so many main characters to be sold on at once. (Especially when almost all of them have at least a little mysterious past to be revealed.) I would've preferred a tighter focus in NIGHT OWLS, perhaps just on Valerie and Elly, to be expanded in the future books of the series.
NIGHT OWLS does introduce an appealing world. The Creeps are being led by a new, mysterious smart Creep. Valerie is being sucked by into vampire politics - and Elly might be getting sucked in too. There wasn't anything that particularly struck me in NIGHT OWLS; it's fairly standard urban fantasy fare. At the same time, it's not a string of bad cliches.
NIGHT OWLS doesn't reinvent the genre, but if you want a book about a vampire bookstore owner, it's the only one I know.