Charming (Pax Arcana Series #1)

Charming (Pax Arcana Series #1)

by Elliott James

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Charming 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished the book. Well done Mr James. I would recommend this to anyone who loves Jim Butcher's Dresden files.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really, really enjoyed this book, after reading it the same day it came out. While the cover may look almost a little campy, the story is great. A well thought out plot, twists and turns, as well as the dangerous, romantic aspect. One of the best things about this, was the character's voice. The fact that the author had the character involved with both 'worlds' (the Pax Arcana/Humans' Reality) made for a lot of development, just with the character belonging to both, but not belonging at all to either. Also, I think I've developed an author crush, just out of the sheer hilarity of his own responses to serious questions in the 'extras'. Anyone who enjoyed Kate Griffin, Ilona Andrews, or Zelzany will probably find a joyful read here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this, and I love the protagonist; he is a great character that I was rooting for. I'm looking forward to more books in this series. It reminded me of Jim Butcher's works.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! Looking forward to more!
Bubwolf More than 1 year ago
In a glutted urban fantasy market, where every book starts to sound the same, Charming stands out. The mystery and the dry wit of the protagonist make this a worthy read.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Charming by Elliott James Book One of the Pax Arcana series Publisher: Orbit Publication Date: September 24, 2013 Rating: 3 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley Summary (from Goodreads): 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? What I Liked: Read the summary. Doesn't this book just SOUND awesome?! Paranormal fiction with a tiny bit of history involved... I was all over this one on NetGalley. And look at the COVER! That wonderful, long sword, curling typography, and smoky background just make a fabulous cover. Am I right?! I must say, the action of the book lived up to the awesome cover. There was plenty of action, but also, plenty of calculation and strategy. Those are some of the things I love about John - he's shred and intelligent and rarely do his instincts lead him astray. John has a quiet job as a bartender. He's on the down-low, not bothering anyone, minding his own business. But then, a rogue vampire and a hot non-human female walk into his bar... and things get weird. The vampire is one of many, following the lead of a queen bee vampire. The non-human female is tracking them.  Turns out, the non-human female is a Valkyrie. Also, John is attracted to her, and vice versa. But she has a boyfriend, an astral traveler (I think that's what they're called?), and he's got a bad, NASTY attitude. Sig, the female, is part of a team, with her boyfriend, his two nephews, and a man whose name I cannot remember. It takes a little convincing, but John agrees to help them - after he makes sure they know that he has to disappear after the hunt. The boyfriend hates John, the other guy (I think his name is Choo) likes John, Sig likes John. So, you can imagine the car rides, when they are out hunting.  The book is in John's POV (first person), which was nice. There are no alternations in POV - it's just John. So, we get a lot of drivel and info-dumping, but it fits John. Sort of.  I like the historical/mythological parts of this book. John is a "Charming", and he hunts the bad guys. We have vampires, Valkyries, astral travelers, humans, werewolves and more weird creatures.  The romance is hilarious. John and Sig don't really get together, at any point in the book. Well, there is the scene at the grocery store. But Sig stays with her boyfriend (whose name I can't remember) because she feels guilty, but in the end, she and John are sort of a couple. Not really, though. The end resolves the vampire nest problem. And John figures things out about himself. It's not the end for John and Sig,which is good, I suppose, because their relationship is really messy at the end of the book. But, the end of this book is great! What I Did Not Like: Hmm, I mentioned that there is a lot of drivel and info-dumping. I also said that that was okay because it fits John. But honestly, there were a lot of points in the book where I was just like, SKIP! Or SKIM! I mean, if there are whole paragraphs after whole paragraphs, I'm likely to skip some of the information and details, and move on to where there is dialogue. Unfortunately, that's about fifty-fifty, in this book. John isn't always surrounded by people. Much of the book, he is alone. Hence, the drivel. So basically, there were points in this book where I just couldn't handle the boredom. But I muscled through this one, and I finished it. Believe me, that wasn't always the thought in my mind - to finish this one. In terms of the romance... while I liked that John and Sig didn't really have much of a physical relationship, I didn't like that it was all kind of unresolved in the end. I know there will be more books in this series, but really?! I'm not really liking the ambiguity. Would I Recommend It: I was REALLY excited about this one, and to be honest, I was let down a little, but I still would recommend it. It's a great action-filled book, with a little romance, but it's also a bit confusing, a bit dry, and a bit boring. Still, it was worth the read. Rating: 3 stars. I haven't decided yet if I want to read any of the future books in this series, but I'm sorry that I read this book!
scman More than 1 year ago
Good read while you're waiting for a favorite.
FireHorse More than 1 year ago
Elliot James has crafted a solid first novel in this series, taking familiar elements and giving them fresh life. Charming is an enjoyable twist on the "Prince Charming" myth with the Knights Templar thrown in for good measure. James' characters are likeable and mostly believable. The story has a few flaws, but they don't really detract from an otherwise enjoyable and easy to read adventure. I look forward to the next installment in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Monster hunter stories are a dime a dozen. I bought this book on a lark, out of sheer boredom, then I couldn't put it down! I read it in one 12 1/2 hour midnite shift at work (shhh, don't tell! It was an incredibly slow night and someone had rolled up the streets all over the county, and nothing was happening). This book, the style, the character's, the story itself, just drew me in and wouldn't let me go. Kinda makes me wonder if there is some kind of secret spell on the data bytes that compels the reader to continue reading! There is tons of monster lore, and The Pax Arcana is very inventive, but that is not what kept me reading. The title character, John Charming, is very engaging. A damaged sort of hero with all kinds of issues, but a hero, none the less. And not your typical 'reluctant hero' that so many stories of this genre shovel at you (you know the type, the poor innocent average joe that gets roped in to saving the world). He is unrepentant, in your face, snide, smokin' hot, beyond capable, with one of the sharpest wits I have come across in a while, and...well...charming! I will be buying anything this fellow writes from now on, but I have to say, I want more of John Charming!
Eloise_In_Paris More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It’s the first in the series and the debut novel from this author (although he has written a few short stories about John that can be found in ebook form). It’s a fun read. However it is not a fast read. Don’t get me wrong the story doesn’t lag, but there is a ton of information given about this world and it’s rules. For some this could be a information overload, to me it was perfect. Everything John encountered was explained in a fun witty way. The reasoning behind that is even explained at the end of the book. Also we got all of the main characters background’s. James makes everyone’s and everything’s motives clear. That was a refreshing change. John Charming is 76, but he looks 27. He has the wisdom and patience of a senior citizen, but his wit and attitude are that of a 20 something (although some of his references reveal his age). He like a cool Grandpa who knows that the kids are up to without looking like one. Sig was a okay romantic interest. She’s strong, smart, and a badass but her attachment to her psycho boyfriend Stanislov was annoying. The rest of the Scooby Gang was fun and the main villain was three dimensional. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
JackieBCentralTexasJB More than 1 year ago
Read from September 09 to 14, 2013 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 Book Buy Links  AMAZON  B&N  BOOK SYNOPSIS 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]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Witty author, great humor, good story. Who can ask for more?
Buukie More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad I found this Author. His stories are a little reminiscent of Jim Butcher but his own unique style shines through. Fun and engaging. A Must read. Do yourself and your friends a favor and read and share Elliott James.
PollyBennett More than 1 year ago
Great book! Loved every word. Mr. James is now one of my favorite authors!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I passed this series by because of the tacky cover and the titile that suggested a paranornal romance. It turned out to be a really good Dresden knockoff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not done with this the first book in the series. But this series grabs onto you midair while the driver (Charming) continues down the road at warp speed, giving you a front seat to the wildest adventures ever. I am having a BLAST, as I'm sure you will too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
New and humourous take on the paranormal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Join my camp to fight against the light bringers. Look for Van
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You dont need to know anything but my namr and pack im in haladis
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want so much more.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Fun read. You can't help but love the main character. He's sexy, funny, smart, brave and caring. Will definately be reading the rest of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago