Monday, January 5, 2015

Charming (Pax Arcana #1)

Author: Elliott James
Goodreads rating: 3.75
Pages: 366
Format: ARC from BEA13
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 — 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?

"I gave him my best skeptical look, which, if you haven't caught on by now, is pretty damn skeptical. I disbelieved what he was saying so hard that I probably created an alternate universe where it wasn't true."

This is an example of a book where I like the author and his writing style more than anything else in the book. This review contains some mild spoilers. Be on the look out for ******* where I will mark where spoilers start :)

The writing and the narrative of the main character, John, is sassy, witty and sarcastic and I love that when it comes to characters. If the character can make me chuckle within the first few pages, usually that's a good sign that I will like the book. However, with this book, I don't necessarily know if it's my cup of tea yet. It's interesting, don't get me wrong, I love the kind of paranormal mystery books, but for some reason this book didn't keep me wanting more. This is more of a personal preference and shouldn't be taken as a sign to not read it. This can be a great book for paranormal/mystery fans, especially those of you who like Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files.

The world that the author sets up is also pretty interesting. We are actually living with the monsters that we think are legends and some magic called the Pax Arcana is keeping us from truly seeing them. It is up the The Knights to keep the Pax and get rid of any monsters who risk breaking it. Pretty cool, and the monster hunter thing reminds me of Supernatural a little bit.

But now we have John Charming (yes the name is familiar from all those fairy tale books, but this book is no fairy tale. Doesn't even connect much to fairy tales. If you are expecting Prince Charming, look somewhere else). John is a Knight with a slight problem. He's also a werewolf. And the Knights, who hunt things like werewolves, don't take kindly to one of their own being what they consider a monster. So John is on his own for the most part and meets up with another band of misfits to take out a vampire hive. Overall, not a bad plot. Now it may sound kind of... well predictable, but rest assured there are some nice plot twists. And also some romancey stuff for those of you who dig that.

I think my main issue was it took me a long time to get connected with the characters. By the middle/end of the book, there was a bond and that, coupled with my love for the author's writing style and humor, will keep me reading the series for at least a little while.

****** SPOILERS ****************
Overall, this quote pretty much sums up the book....

"Once upon a time there was a.... well, call him a knight. He used to be one, and he still kills monsters. And he met a .... well.... call her a princess. After all, in the old sagas, a lot of Valkyries were the daughters of kings. All kinds of crazy and dangerous things occurred that should have killed the knight and the princess or made them hate each other, but that didn't happen. And they lived."

****** END SPOILERS *************

This was a book that took me a little while to get into, and once I got into it, I still didn't devour and adore the book. It was interesting and I will probably continue to read for no other reason side from I really like the author's style :) Will also be eager to other books by him.

The Court's Decision:

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