Charming by Elliott James

September 20, 2013 Review 1

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Charming by Elliott JamesCharming by Elliott James
Series: Pax Arcana #1
Published by Orbit on September 24, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
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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 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 was a surprisingly fun book to read. Don’t go into this one expecting a paranormal romance, no matter what the cover may make you think (I know, I judge books by their covers all the time and this one definitely made me think borderline paranormal romance). There is a lot of paranormal elements, which is to be expected in an urban fantasy novel. However the romance? On the slimmer side. Charming is, well, was, a Knight Templar. And he comes from a long line of Knight Templar. The Charming line to be precise. Yes, those Charmings. The ones who saved the princesses in all those fairy tales. Except then Charming got turned into one of the creatures the Knights are supposed to destroy, he got kicked out, and now he’s on the run from them. All he wants to do is tend bar and keep his nose clean though. And then a hot blond walks into his bar. Followed by a vampire. Poor Charming just can’t catch a break.

While the characters are not as well developed as I would have liked, this didn’t bug me at all. Mostly because I spent far too much of my time giggling over the banter, the chapter headers, and the like. While the action is fun, and the pacing is decent, it’s the banter that sold me on this book. There is a lot of information packed into this book on how to kill monsters, etcetera, but it all comes together in the end and it works really well.

This book had a lot of predictable parts, of course Charming is going to fall for the hot blonde, he’s going to save the day, and things are going to work out in the end. However, while the book is predictable, the voice it’s told in is unique enough to keep this interesting, and that combined with the banter and wit made this one a fairly solid four in my books. I really enjoyed reading it, I didn’t have to think a lot, and more than anything else it was a lot of fun to read. I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series.

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