Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Bookish Thoughts: Charming by Elliott James

There's a reason that we refer to being in love as being enchanted. ~  Opening of Charming


Charming by Elliott James
Orbit, 2014
Fantasy (Urban); 390 pgs
Source: NetGalley
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 crossbow 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?

Urban fantasy is one of my not-so-guilty pleasures, and I was eager to dive into Charming after it won my May TBR List Poll. It isn't a fairy tale--so if you are expecting anything related to Cinderella, you will be disappointed. There are minor references to the fairy tale, along with others, but that's as close as it comes.

John Charming comes from a long line of Knights, similar to that of the Knights of Templar. Their job is to keep magic in the shadows, away from those who know nothing about it. Known as monster hunters, witch-finders, and dragon slayers, they are a force to be reckoned with. John becomes one of the hunted through no fault of his own, however, and is forced to go on the run. He makes a new life for himself in a small town, working as a bartender in a local pub.

Then Sig, a tall blonde woman who is obviously not human, walks into the pub followed by a vampire, and John realizes it might be time to move on. Sig has other ideas though, and soon John finds himself joining her and her friends in investigating why so many people are going missing. He promises himself he'll stay just long enough to get the job done.

John isn't quick to trust anyone, which is understandable given his past. I liked him right away and would want him on my side in a fight. He is extremely resourceful and not at all full of himself. He is clearly grappling with his past, who he is and who--or what--he is becoming. It makes him question himself and everything he's learned over the years. I also really liked Sig's character. Strong and good in a fight, she holds her own well.

The author clearly has a sense of humor, and, as a result, the narrator, John Charming does too. Charming is high in action, fast-paced, and was an entertaining book to read. The world author Elliott James has created may have some familiar features, but it also has many of its own. There is a bit of romance, and a definite mystery to make this urban fantasy novel a fun read. I found myself reading it in every free moment I had one Sunday, and finished it that same night. I look forward to reading more in this series.


To learn more about Elliott James and his work, please visit the author's websiteHe can also be found on Goodreads and Twitter.


© 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

22 comments:

  1. I've been contemplating exploring more urban fantasy. This sounds like a good read.

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    1. Stephanie - It was entertaining. I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try. :-)

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  2. I'm not sure I've ever read any urban fantasy (unless Cinder counts) but I've been wanting to expand my range. I love the possibilities I get just with the name John Charming and I absolutely love that the author really infuses some humor here. I also love that you read this basically in a day. That's super high praise! I'll definitely have to look for this one.

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    1. Katherine - John Charming is a great name for a character. :-) It was a super quick read and I enjoyed it.

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  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I liked the way it riffed off other genres and kept it fast and funny. :)

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    1. Jenclair - It certainly held my attention. Have you read the next book in the series?

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  4. This sounds like a fun read and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. Now I've to check out this series!

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    1. Melody - I need to look into getting the second book. I hope you enjoy it if you do decide to try it!

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  5. I totally want to read this book! (I just have to finish four other library books first. Or is it five?) :)

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    1. Lark - It's worth reading, I think. I hope you enjoy it. And your library books. :-)

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  6. Glad you enjoyed Charming so much, it does sound like fun. It's been a long time since I have read this genre.

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    1. Naida - It's been fun to binge a little on urban fantasy recently. :-)

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  7. Urban fantasy with humor, a fast pace, and a hero named Charming? Count me in! I'm adding it to my TBR list.

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    1. Lark - I hope you enjoy this one if you read it. It was a fun one. :-)

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  8. Your excellent review has piqued my curiosity, Wendy! Besides, urban fantasy is definitely one of my favorite genres, and this one sure looks like it doesn't disappoint!

    I really like the use of the Prince Charming thing for this story. So "Charming" is the last name, huh? Cute! :)

    I think I had seen this novel on your blog before, and I have also seen it on a couple of other blogs. I'm adding it to my Goodreads shelves right away!!

    Thanks for the terrific review!! <3 :)

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    1. Maria - Thank you! I hope you do give this on a try, Maria. I'm anxious to get my hands on the next in the series and see what happens to Mr. Charming next.

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  9. I am right there with you, I love me some good Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance. This sounds like just the type of book I would love, so I'm going to have to add it to my TBR. Great review!

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    1. Laura - You're in for a treat with this one! I hope you like it if you read it.

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  10. This one sounds intriguing with the Knights who try to keep magic in the shadows. And John sounds like an interesting character, with how he is now hunted and has to figure out who he is. I am glad you enjoyed this one!

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    1. Lola - I thought it was an interesting take on the world. I look forward to reading the next one. :-)

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  11. I really enjoyed this one too- it's one I first read when beginning to read urban fantasy (as a genre). John is one of my favorite urban fantasy heroes- perhaps for the aforementioned reason. Sadly, I haven't gotten around to the next books in the series- I'll have to amend that soon.
    ~Litha Nelle

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    1. Litha Nelle - He's a great character, I agree. :-) Hopefully we can get around to reading the next books soon.

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