Charming by Elliott James ~ Review

Charming by Elliott James ~ ReviewAuthor: Elliott James
Title: Charming
Series: Pax Arcana #1
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 400
Release Date: 2013-09-24
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Sharp, sarcastic, and efficiently lethal, John Charming would feel right at home having drinks with Dean Winchester and Harry Dresden. If you're looking for a new urban fantasy series to pick up, CHARMING is a guaranteed page-turner.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, John Charming was one of the best--until a curse made him one of the abominations the Knights were sworn to hunt.That was a lifetime ago. Now, John tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. That is, until a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar... CHARMING is the first novel in a new urban fantasy series which gives a new twist to the Prince Charming tale. Short Fiction in the Pax Arcana world: Charmed I'm SureDon't Go Chasing WaterfallsPushing LuckSurreal EstateDog-Gone
Format: Paperback
Also by this author: Daring, Fearless

This was my second time reading Charming by Elliott James. It’s the first book in his Pax Arcana urban fantasy series, which came out in 2013. It is about an ex-Templar who is half werewolf. He meets a valkyrie and they work together to stop an evil vampire.

I’ve been trying to go back to a lot of books I read prior to starting the blog. Eventually, all the books I have read will have reviews. It’s a process that I don’t expect to be done quickly.

Perhaps I would have gone on to read book two, because book three is coming out this year, but our public library doesn’t have it. Anyway, I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it overall, and I would read the next one if given the opportunity, but I think this book could have been a little better.

Things I liked:

  • conversational and sarcastic tone
  • well-planned and unique mythology
  • complex world; it seems like the author thought of everything
  • action well-described, especially fight scenes
  • clean and simple writing style, not flowery
  • sometimes it’s funny
  • interesting secondary characters

Things I didn’t like:

  • main character didn’t seem invested in the story’s problem until closer to the end of the book
  • the author stops to tell the reader about the mythology, which drags on for a while; it could have been given in smaller doses
  • sometimes the information being given seems irrelevant and superfluous
  • overuse of capital letters–if the sentence says “she screamed,” I don’t need the caps like a text message

As you can see, my dislikes were outweighed by my likes. I think it is definitely a book worth reading if you haven’t yet. You may not have the same dislikes as I had.




About Elliott James

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. Irrationally convinced that cellphone technology was inserted into human culture by aliens who want to turn us into easily tracked herd beasts, Elliott has one anyhow but keeps it in a locked tinfoil covered box which he will sometimes sit and stare at mistrustfully for hours. Okay, that was a lie. Elliott lies a lot; in fact, he decided to become a writer so that he could get paid for it.

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