Monday, August 26, 2013

Review: Charming - "A vampire and a blonde walked into a bar..."

Charming (Pax Arcana, #1)Charming by Elliott James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

John Charming is a very interesting guy.
He is a bartender in a shabby small town in rural Virginia called Clayburg.
He is on the run from an order of Knights.
He has serious wolfy unresolved issues...
His life is about to get very VERY complicated (much more than it is already).

Charming, your story was fun to read! I was pleased with this book.

In sum, this was a book about a supernatural guy who is hiding from an order of Knights who wants to destroy him. He works as a bartender at a lonely pub, and lives a daily boring life with a stolen identity. However, a vampire and a beautiful woman walk one night during his shift in his bar, which causes havoc and adventure in his life.

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What got me into reading this story:
I was intrigued by the curious cover of this book: a red cross in Charming's shirt and his badass attitude.

What I liked:
The complexity of this world. I have to admit that it has been a while since I've read a book in which things are set up so detailed, clear and natural from the beginning.

The 'Pax Arcana'- basically the spell that makes us lowly humans unaware of all the magical and supernatural beings that are all around us. There is virtually an explanation and answer for every-single supernatural issue or question that might arise from this whole P.A. spell.

The set of characters! Stanislav, Choo, Parth and Molly. I really liked how vampires are portrayed here. They are scary cunning monsters with zero interest in humans beyond making a meal out of them muahahaha

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All the action scenes were beautifully described.

The titles on each chapter were so funny!

The plot & pace was very entertaining.

The narrative in which it is told: we get a scoop on things happening in the story, the background story and some stuff that John wishes it would happen... but nope, it won't. It never gets dull.

What I found Meh:
Sig's behaviour... I simply did not enjoy her... She is strong and intense, but for the life of me I did not feel any sympathy towards her. I wish John meets someone different I might volunteer.

I have mixed feelings about the detailed descriptions. On one hand, I enjoyed knowing so much about all the stuff that was happening, but on the other, there were times that it was a bit too much! For example, I'm in the middle of a big fight with a half-snake guy and then lots and lots and lots of explanations on why, who and what... I might have wanted more showing on this book rather than telling.
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What I disliked:
The abrupt ending... *crickets* after all that time invested in reading all those descriptions, explanations and what not, bam - THE END.... really??? I felt that there should have been a better closure. Yeah, I know this is the first of a series and, believe me, I've read a whole bunch of series, but this cut felt too abrupt,maybe the author run out of time or something. It really does not feel consistent with the pacing of the whole book.

Will I continue with this series:

I received this book from its publishers, Orbit Books/Hachette Book Group for an early reading and review through NetGalley. Thank you for allowing me the wonderful chance to read this story in advance!

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