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Urban Fantasy Review: Charming by Elliott James

Charming by Elliott James (Pax Arcana #1)

Egalley thanks to Orbit

Synopsis 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?

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository US/UK


* * *
Charming would have been a much better book if it hasn't been trying so hard.

It was like having to listen to Atticus without Oberon and their wicked sense of humour. It just wasn't working for me. Add to Charming's transgressions quite a lot of info dumps, and it took me over a month just to finish it.

Plotwise Charming has a great potential. There is this whole ragtag team of monster hunters who I just can't help but compare to something Joss Whedon could have created. Lesbian ex-priest Mary with her powerhouse of faith, Choo with his weed collection,  creepy sociopath Stanislav with his stern Croatian cousins, and Sig, blond, tall and gorgeous psychic Valkyrie - they were all worth getting to know.

Even John himself had his cool moments, and I especially liked his paranoia acquired courtesy of Knights Templar .

Overall, this was not a bad start of the series, but I don't think I'll be reading more as I was struggling with the writing style. Recommended for the fans of Kevin Hearne and James R. Tuck.

* * *
На прочитку этой книги у меня ушло больше месяца, ребятушки, за что я извиняюсь. Несмотря на неплохой сюжет, я никак не могла заинтересоваться писательским стилем автора.

Мне кажется, Эллиотт Джеймс уж слишком сильно старался всем понравиться. В итоге у него вышел некий вариант Аттикуса без Оберона и без характерного для Кевина Хеарна прекрасного чувства юмора. А сплошные страница за страницей разъяснений и пояснений что да как и почему книгу совсем добили.

С дрогой стороны, у сюжета был очень хороший потенциал и достойная Джосса Ведона команда охотников за монстрами: шикарная белокурая Валькирия-медиум, бывшая евангелистская проповедница лесбиянка Мэри, вечно курящий траву Чу, шизофреничный крестник Станислав со своими суровыми хорватскими кузенами и сам Джон Чармин - параноидальный до мозга костей гибрид вервульфа, за которым гоняются рыцари Тамплиеры.

Добавьте к этому старлетку-вампиршу с манией величия и циничные замечания Джона о том, кто из монстров как себя ведёт и почему, и книга должна была получиться хорошей. Однако, увы и ах! Подкачала куча ненужной информации постоянно вываливающейся на читателя и отсутствие чувства юмора у главных героев.

Я читать продолжение не буду, а вы судите сами. Рекомендую любителям Кевина Хеарна и Джеймса Р. Толка.


Melliane said...

I'm glad you finally liked it more than me

Unknown said...

Aww that sucks, K. I hope your next read will be better. <3

Aurian said...

Nice review, not sure I would like it though. "tries too hard".

Bea said...

Drat, I've been looking forward to this one.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I've been wanting to try this one, but I'm so over booked right now. I do want to get to it one day. :) Thank you!

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