Jackie's Reviews > Charming

Charming by Elliott James
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Book Info

Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: September 24th 2013 by Orbit
original title Charming
ISBN 0316253391 (ISBN13: 9780316253390)
edition language English
series Pax Arcana #1
Source:Netgalley EARC

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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 chain mail and crossbows to kevlar and shotguns, he was one of the best. That is — until he became the abomination the Knights were sworn to hunt.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, he tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. One that shouldn't change just because a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar... Right?

My Thoughts

The first book in a new series always has a learning curve for the reader, both to get to know the characters and their standing in the story and learning how the world works that the author uses as his setting.

Author James Elliot dumps a lot of information concerning the "Pax Arcana" and the reason why it works the way it does, this quickly catches one up to speed on not only why humankind seems impervious to the supernaturals within their communities but also why beings like John exist and what their role has been since such things were recorded.

This is a true tale of fantasy, set in modern times it allows you to easily feel comfortable within the scenes settings while at the same time it also makes no claim to it's characters being real but rather realistic in their personas.

The plot of good versus evil is offset by a very cleverly constructed method of delivering information as needed when action takes place by explaining what is going on while it is happening, of course this can be at times a bit off putting to some because truthfully it is kind of surreal to learn the why in the middle of a fight scene but it worked for me at any rate.

John Charming, otherwise known as Trevor A. Barnes, is not your everyday average bartender. One of a long line of "monster hunters", now living in obscure exile as a means to keep himself from his former brethren's radar, John is a likable smartass who you cannot help but enjoy as he swaggers across the pages in a bigger-than-life manner that was totally in keeping with an Urban Fantasy male lead!

As best I can tell this is not one of the copycat tales of supernatural beings as the author has his own ideas that he shares with a style and flair that make every fact seem to be more real than what we have been taught in the more common lore handed down from book to book for many years now. I thoroughly enjoyed that particular aspect for it's originality as well as it's believability.

If one is okay with "first book in a series" world and character building taken a bit to an extreme than you need to give this one a try, the first person narrative which keeps John Charming front and center is very easily followed and his character above all is just really fun to spend time with. My only hope is that in the next book more time is spent sticking to one storyline and making it as tight as his writing seems to indicate the author has the capability of doing.

[EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]

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Reading Progress

July 15, 2013 – Shelved
July 15, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
July 15, 2013 – Shelved as: arc-galley-copy
July 15, 2013 – Shelved as: netgalley-e-book
July 15, 2013 – Shelved as: e-book-edition-for-review
September 9, 2013 – Started Reading
September 9, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
September 13, 2013 –
page 40
September 13, 2013 –
page 209
57.1% "Too many interruptions to reading and now have to finish tomorrow because sandman is calling."
September 14, 2013 – Shelved as: read-for-review-2013
September 14, 2013 – Shelved as: read-in-2013
September 14, 2013 –
page 400
September 14, 2013 – Finished Reading
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: 1st-book-in-pax-arcana-series
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: action
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: adventure
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: fairytale-characters
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: legend
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: mystery
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: mythology
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: romance
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: supernatural-beings
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: valkyrie
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: vampires
January 23, 2016 – Shelved as: werewolves

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