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(Pax Arcana #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  6,619 ratings  ·  868 reviews
John Charming isn't your average Prince...

He comes from a line of Charmings — an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chainmail and crossbows to kevlar and shotguns, he was one of the best. That is —
Paperback, 366 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Orbit
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Edyta I think it's definitely near present. There are other references to Twilight and The Vampire Diaries which I found quite humorous. Just keep in mind t…moreI think it's definitely near present. There are other references to Twilight and The Vampire Diaries which I found quite humorous. Just keep in mind that he is older than he looks. He has been around a while, so the character has years of events to reference. (less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
● Yet another stellar group read courtesy of the MacHalos. We really rock this DNFing Buddy Reading thing ●

DNF at 33%. Because I've never been a soap opera fan.

Don't worry, my Little Barnacles, for this one is not going to take long. I'm exhausted, pissed off, tired of ready crappy books, and have wasted enough time with this one as it is.


Call me young and naïve, but when I pick an Urban Fantasy book up, I expect to read mostly about Urban Fantasy (weird, I know). NO, I do NOT want to read
Robin (Bridge Four)
Kindle Daily Deal on March 4, 2020 for $2.99 Here

I debated on 3.5 or 4 stars....but after a few days I still really liked this book so I'll split the difference call it a 3.75 and just round up to 4. I'll actually just throw in the extra 0.25 because of this one line

Popular young adult novels notwithstanding, vampires only sparkle when they burn.

John Charming hasn't really lived a charmed life so far. There have been no sleeping princess's to wake with a kiss or rescue from a dragon. No ques
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
*** 3.70 ***

A buddy read with the MacHalo Freaks group:-)

This was more fun than I expected! I always try to go into a book with no expectations, but having read many a mediocre books in the YA and UF genres, I always prepare for a bit of a disappointment... Thank goodness this was not the case here.

John Charming has trust issues and he has come by them honestly. After having the group of Knights who raised him attempt to kill him, having to constantly run and hide, having lost the woman he lov
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Actual rating: 3.5
There are tens of thousands of people, all around you, maybe hundreds of thousands, who at some point have experienced something that they can’t explain. And these people are silent. They are ashamed. They are afraid. They are convinced that they are the only ones, and so they say nothing. That is the real reason the Pax Arcana is so powerful. Rationality is king, and your emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.
This was a fast read, a well-explained but very traditional
3.5 stars

I've been in the mood for fun books lately, and this one certainly fit the bill.
I feel the need to address this awful cover.


Now maybe you can't see it very well, so I've taken the liberty of blowing it up for you just a bit. Although, I have to say, even blowing it up to that size doesn't do it justice. The picture below actually looks much cooler than the book I'm staring at right now.
For one thing, when you're holding the book, it looks like the dude's eyes are crossed. I even wen
Question to author: What made you decide to become an author?

The same things that make anyone want to become an author, really. A combination of crippling loneliness, habitual lying, greed, and delusions of grandeur.

Okay, I kind of love her now.
But, seriously, I thought this author was a guy because she wrote a great first person narrative from a male's POV. And, I really liked John Charming. He was funny, self-deprecating, sarcastic, and intelligent.

He's also a half-werewolf, but doesn't sh
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jun 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Kevin Hearne and Iron Druid
3.5 stars Don't let the cover fool you. This is not a girly romance book. This is fun Urban Fantasy all the way! Guys, you can come out of hiding!

Anyway...*cue dramatic sigh* We've probably all been where I'm at right now. I've managed to avoid it for a while, but I finally hit the dreaded reading-slash-reviewing slump. I'm going to chalk it up to summer coming to an end and me realizing that there's still a bunch of summer-type things I want to do which don't involve reading and reviewing. Here
Wow, I haven't been this surprised by a book in ages!

First, I have to admit that this is a 4.5 star book, not a 5 star one, but hell, more people need to read it and the rating has to grow!

I'll start with the not-5-star thing. The female character wasn't so great (or well, she was eclipsed by the guy).
Oh, but the guy! Have you ever found that perfect balance between sarcasm and intelligence that you absolutely love? Well, that's what I found here. I absolutely loved this guy! Not only was he a
Dino-Jess ✮ The Book Eating Dinosaur ✮
I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this.

John is a fun and witty dude. The world that he lives in is a little bit whack, but the story is told in such a way that the world building felt organic and natural and never like an info-dumping slap in the face.

The characters in this are excellent. Sig is awesome. I also really like Molly. And the banter in their little crew of misfits was wonderful.

The start of the book was a little slow, but it really picked up steam as it went along and I could barely
I have had this book on my to-read list for a couple of years now. I'm not sure why I never started it, except that I'm always a little worried about starting new Urban Fantasy books because I've been disappointed so many times. But I've been on a bit of a shelf-cleaning-binge lately, trying to get through some of the stuff that I keep wanting to read and kept putting off for whatever reason and this was top of the list of series that I wanted to dive into. Then I read the seven prequel short-st ...more
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-2014, audio
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

I loved Elliott James’ PAX ARCANA universe, his first person POV writing style, and John, the male protagonist, but I had some major issues with the love triangle, info dumps, and the fact that the female lead was a Valkyrie. However, the former appears to have been resolved, and even though I have reached my limit on books that feature this type of lore, the Norse mythology was light enough to be tolerable. And, because of this, I will not hesitate to one-click DARING in
Jacob Proffitt
I really enjoyed this book. It has shades of Jim Butcher in terms of tone and having a cast of disparate, alternately-talented characters who end up having to work together towards a common goal.

John Charming has been on the run from his former trainers for decades, ever since he started manifesting symptoms of being infected with lycanthropy. That has made things complicated and he's become used to running first and asking questions later (if at all). Then he runs into Sig and her band of cheer
Apr 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, urban-fantasy
I liked this book more than I thought I was going too. Especially when I could see that the author was pushing the main character into a relationship with a woman that was already seeing somebody.

I am guessing the reasons that this didn’t bother me too much is the fact that the man she was seeing was a complete douche canoe. Oh, and not in just everyday standards, he is a manipulative evil bastard.

The other reason that it didn’t bother me too much was the fact that the main character was up fr
Ash Wednesday
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy readers who enjoy funny male POVs and world mythology
Recommended to Ash Wednesday by: Buddy Read with Stacia Stacia Stacia
"I stopped believing in 'happily ever after' a long time ago, Anna Marie," I said. "You don't know what I'm capable of."

This one's a bit of a tough call for me to rate.

I haven't read a lot of fantasy books written by male authors because it feels a bit intimidating to me (the potential for nerdspeak is too great and I don't know how much my plebeian mind can handle). But after reading 14 barely a month ago, I think I'm starting to sense a common thread, one I'm eager to put to the
alicat ♡➹♡
3.5 stars. A tiny buddy read with some MacHalos.

While I did find the world-building and overall story interesting - I missed having more characters I liked. I liked Charming for the whole book, but only warmed to one or two more characters at most.

Overall it was a decent listen!
Originally posted at paperbackwonderland

Arc provided by netgalley

I tried!! I really did!!
But i just can't force myself to continue reading this!! And i really wanted to like this! Because the premise sounded really good...unfortunately it didn't live up to the expectations.

I'll start with what i liked:
_The concept of the story, the idea of a "Charmings" bloodline, whose main occupation would be fighting monsters...
_Basically the first was funny. It was witty...and it was completel
Mogsy (MMOGC)
My thanks to Netgalley and Orbit Books for providing me with an e-ARC of Charming in exchange for an honest review. My first impression of this book -- and keep in mind this was before I knew anything at all about it -- was that it was going to be an urban fantasy targeted more towards female readers. I suppose it was the reference to "Prince Charming" that did it. And the cover image featured a tall dark and handsome young man wielding a shiny silver sword emerging from a background of predomin ...more
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ya-children
I started reading this as a buddy read here on GR with my friend M. Unfortunately, I think I lost her somewhere along the way. But not to worry, I ended up reading a book that I otherwise might not have read and M, you're still an awesome friend because this book was your suggestion for our buddy read.

I haven't read much in terms of paranormal books since the great Twilight fiasco. As in the books were gifted to me by my children and I read them. That pretty much cured me of any interest I may
Aug 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
DNF. Gave up on p83 when I realized I'd slipped into hate-reading. Life is too short and I have too many books to read for that.

Way, way too much exposition, like info-dumps within info-dumps within fight scenes. Transphobia and other sexism, both casual and "ironic" -- not aided by the fact that John and Sig meet each other while Sig is chasing a serial rapist (why is it always rape? can't you find another plot device?). Using world religions as a major part of worldbuilding while demonstrating
Samantha wickedshizuku Tolleson
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Urban Fantasy fans, Jim Butcher fans, Kevin Hearn fans, Simon R. Green fans
Recommended to Samantha wickedshizuku by: Stacia (the 2010 club)
Dear Mr. Elliott & my pretties,
 photo onepieceexcitement.jpg

Holy Crap this book was awesome. Is there going to be a Robot with a Docking option? Just the creature features will keep me coming back for more of this authors work. John Charming was hilarious and very witty. I liked the fast-paced plot.
(view spoiler)
10-15-2017 was the second time I read this, and I will pro
Maraya21 (The Reading Dragon)
3.5 Stars

🎆 My choice for a BR with my MacHalos

~~ Basically it was just me & Ali ~~ 🎆

My name is Charming. John Charming

John Charming is the Templar Knight equivalent of a Kinder Surprise egg that opens and pop goes the sarcastic fucking great warrior weasel wolf.

As you have already realised - probably - John has entered the "Me Likey" part of my cave. He is sarcastic, humorous and he knows how to fight. He uses a katana sword and guns, throws bottles at 100 miles per hours (among other
Experiment BL626
I almost rated the book a 2-stars had the positives not outweighed the negatives.

+ the world building

Info-dumping thrived like weeds, and my patience neared bottom level after a couple chapters. Yet, because the info-dumping was relevant and interesting and didn’t interfere with the action scenes, it didn’t become as big an issue for me as it could have easily been. Astoundingly, the plot kept to a brisk pace.

I really liked how the book didn’t stick to a particular Western mythology for its worl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I passed this book at my local B & N about thirty times before curiosity killed the cat. It looked so good, but I've been hurt before and don't like to put myself out there. Finally, I gave in and invited Elliot James home, and woke up in the morning happy with my choice.

Urban Fantasy is a genre that can be iffy at times, you just don't know what you're going to get. I've picked up some titles, gone through the first to chapters and have turned away in disgust. I love Butcher's Harry Dresden nov
Marina Finlayson
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
John Charming comes from a long line of monster hunters. Once part of an order of knights whose job it is to stop supernatural creatures from making their presence known to humanity, he's now on the wanted list himself.

Reviled as a monster and on the run from his former colleagues, he's minding his business tending bar one night when a vampire walks in--followed by a gorgeous blonde, who's hunting the vampire but isn't human herself. When John gets involved, he finds himself part of a monster-hu
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
It was ok, but I don't think I'll follow the series. Longer review may come if I'll manage to motivate myself to write it :) Basically, there's nothing wrong with it. I guess it's just not for me, but I can understand why people like it so much. ...more
With a name like John Charming, one would need to develop a thick skin, because the opportunities to be the brunt of not-so-witty references to ‘Prince Charming’ could be endless, especially when you are immortal and in an alternate universe, you really are a descendant of THE Prince Charming. Be warned- Charming by Elliott James is not a twenty-first century fairy tale with sparkly fairies, magic wands or princesses waiting to be rescued, it is a dark urban fantasy filled with evil, attitude an ...more
Sep 05, 2013 rated it liked it
**3.5 stars**

I started Charming several months ago and stopped it halfway through. I was enjoying the narration by Roger Wayne tremendously but for some reason, the book wasn't clicking with me. There was just too much info dumping and I didn't get why John was so into Sig. But once I picked it up again, I enjoyed the latter half a lot and I'm looking forward to the 2nd book in the series.

I don't know what did it. Maybe that I stopped comparing it to the Iron Druid Chronicles - there are a lot o
Apr 28, 2016 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
MacHalo Buddy Read in a couple of weeks. But I'm going to cheat, because, good blurb. ...more
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Summary: A hot blonde, a vampire and a knight are hanging out at a bar… That sounds like a joke, but John Charming’s life is about to change. Tired of running away from those who are supposed to support him, John Charming is about to embark on a journey where he finally realizes he really isn’t as alone as he thought.

Review: It’s hard to break into the Urban Fantasy world for a new author, but Elliott James nailed it with Charming. In this world, magic is a secret from humans, but it won’t be fo
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Urban Fantasy ser...: January BOTM: CHARMING by Elliott James 19 25 Jan 18, 2017 07:47AM  
Good read overs all 1 9 Apr 05, 2015 08:22PM  
Urban Fantasy Afi...: January's Group Read- Charming 12 23 Jan 27, 2015 12:58PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Charming by Elliott James 2 3 Jul 29, 2013 12:09PM  

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An army brat and gypsy scholar, ELLIOTT JAMES is currently living in the blueridge mountains of southwest Virginia. An avid reader since the age of three (or that's what his family swears anyhow), he has an abiding interest in mythology, martial arts, live music, hiking, and used bookstores. ...more

Other books in the series

Pax Arcana (5 books)
  • Daring (Pax Arcana, #2)
  • Fearless (Pax Arcana, #3)
  • In Shining Armor (Pax Arcana, #4)
  • Legend Has It (Pax Arcana, #5)

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