Charming by Elliott James – Pax Arcana #1

Posted 21 October, 2013 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review / 14 Comments

Charming by Elliott James  – Pax Arcana #1Charming by Elliott James
Series: Pax Arcana #1
Published by Orbit on September 24th 2013
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
4.5 Stars

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?

This is one of these instances  where I love being a Book Blogger, or rather being a Book Blog Reader with Bloggers I trust deeply. When Tabs from “My Shelf Confessions” review “Charming” we ended up chatting on twitter about it and I knew I was going to read it!

Fantastical Urban Fantasy with a  charming male hero!

I love Urban Fantasy and all things paranormal, so I don’t know why I haven’t picked “Charming” up earlier. I saw it on NetGalley but then didn’t give it a second glance! But, it does sound fantastic! A world full of paranormal creatures like werewolves, Vampires and magic and a knights! John Charming is a knight who is unique among his kind. Sadly, this makes him an outsider to be hunted and he’s left being lonely insetad of doing what he was always supposed to do: Saving humans from paranormal creatues. When a beautiful and super strong stranger Sig enters his life, be begins finally taking part among the living and helps her solve a case of some rouge Vampires.

Unique and highly entertaining narrative

John Charming tells us his story, and he directly speaks to us in this tale. I love these kind of narrative even though it not always works out, it most definitely works out highly entertaining in “Charming”. I loved John’s humor and way of seeing the world and explaining the world to us. And… there is a lot of backstory he tells us about and I believe this could be tiering for some readers. It wasn’t for me though. Just sometimes, maybe in the middle of a fight he halts and explains us where his sword comes from and why it#s so special. Again, I didn’t mind even though it sometimes disruppted the pace a little.

Still, I loved the funny way John spoke to us and .. he’s widely entertaining:)

Outstanding Heroine comes to rescue our charming Boy!

Not that John is not a hero and kick ass himself, but he’s lost due to some tragedy in his life and he’s been alone for so long, that he wasn’t used to be around people who know him and not just the facade he keeps. Sig is an amazing person. She’s a very special paranormal creature and she’s wonderful strong both in body and also her mind is strong! I loved her, she was kick ass and didn’t let John leave to be alone again. She fought him, she fought for him to be again part of a community.

“And I like you. Beneath all the anger and coping mechanism, you’re also brave. And loyal. And kind. And funny. And strong-willed” Sig to John

They were perfect for each other, the chemistry great – but their romance was very slow progressing and makes me excited for the next book!

Some Quotes

I know this because I come from a long line of dragon slayers, witch finders, and self-righteous asshats.” 

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

“You play with fire, you get burned. You play with intimacy, you get awkward” 

Bewitched Rating

Rating 4.5

Bottom Line

Charming by Elliott James is an exciting debut and a kick ass addition to the Urban Fantasy genre. “Charming” is told in a unique and outstanding narrative that will  hook you up and win you over completely (like me). It comes also with a vast and colorful cast of characters that I am looking forward exploring more in the upcoming books! This, is a wonderful strong debut and fans of this genre should definitely add this book to their list.  It reminds me a little of The Iron Druid Chronicles and I hope it will become one of my favorite series!



Additional Info

Even though this series is labled Adult, it can be read as New Adult too. The romance is sizzling but not explicit, so this series can appeal to many kind of Readers! I will definitely recommend it also to my male colleagues who always look for recommendations from me!
Eliott James has also a bunch of short stories and Pre-Quels out. So if you want to learn more about John and this world and these stories might be a good idea to try!
Fall Clearing 2013 _ Today 

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14 Responses to “Charming by Elliott James – Pax Arcana #1”

  1. I am so glad you loved it as much as I did!! Wasn’t Jon so funny? I adored his sense of humor! And those supporting characters were so great. I cannot wait for more. I have those short stories and I plan to devour them soon. I was even lucky enough to get an interview with Elliott James – coming soon! Thanks for giving me a shout out my dear! Again I’m so glad you decided to give it a try! I can’t wait for us to both read the next one!!
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    Danny 10/21/2013

    Squeals! I would also love to Interview him! I tried finding his webpage but couldn’t narrow him down. He’s an elusive writer!

    Thanks again Tabs for making me read it!
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  2. I started this one when I was cranky and John’s attitude and snark just irritated me. But I’ve always planned on going back to it (those reading slumps can be real beyotches, yanno?). And yay for a heroine who rescues the hero.
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    Danny 10/21/2013

    Oh yes I know all about a Reading slump and sometimes this can ruin a pretty good book, just because you are not in the mood! Hope you pick it up again and like it more:)
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  3. OH, YAY!!!! I saw this all over BEA but hadn’t seen too many reviews yet. I love that you loved it, Danny! It makes me want to run home, tear my copy off the shelf and dive in. I can’t wait to read it now! Awesome review!

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    Danny 10/21/2013

    Ahh really it was at BEA? I haven’t seen it – or I just overlooked it as I was not entirely interested before I read a review from Tabs.
    But then, some people were annoyed by the narrative – but I found it refreshing and great! Hope you are going to like it!
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  4. Kristie @ Lost in Ever After

    This looks like a great read! I’ve seen this book floating around. Just downloaded it from Netgalley! Thanks for the awesome review.

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  5. I’m dying to read this! I was turned down on Edelweiss for an ARC:( but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m excited about this book. Great review!
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    Danny 10/21/2013

    I would have bought it, but saw it was still on NetGalley! Seriously, get a copy – it’s sooooo worth it!
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  6. I wasn’t sure about reading this book. I read a lot of reviews that stated this book wasn’t that good so I stayed away from it but maybe that wasn’t the right decision.

    Thanks for the great review, glad you liked it so much.
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