Charming {Pax Arcana Book 1}


Charming {Pax Arcana Book 1}

By: Elliot James

(Urban Fantasy)

366 pages


I give this book a solid like, but I didn’t love it, for a couple of reasons. Three reasons to be precise.

Ohhhh, so this book is about vampires…

I had been hoping for something more than the age old vampires and werewolves thing. To be fair, the back of the book did mention something like “a vampire and a hot blonde walk into a bar” so maybe I should have paid more attention to that. While the story does involve some cool lesser known supernatural beings, it was really about hunting vampires. I think it would have been more interesting if the lesser known beings had been more prominent in the story. Everything is so vampires and werewolves these days that it starts to feel predictable.

On the subject of Prince Charming…

Well, that’s the thing…see, there wasn’t a very strong link to the Prince Charming aspect of things. Sure it’s his last name and he is supposedly a descendent of theirs but that’s where it ends. I was expecting it to feature more in the story than it did. It’s mentioned in the beginning and the end but that’s about it. I wanted John Charming to be more directly linked to those ancestors and really he’s more involved with the Knights Templar than anything else. I found that to be rather disappointing since “Charming” was plastered all over the cover of the book, and that was mainly why I picked it up.

Charming and the hot blonde…

Something about his love interest being the athletic blonde woman just seemed obvious and I didn’t love how she was so physically tough, but so emotionally weak. I’m not saying it’s wrong, I just didn’t love it.


Complaints aside, I liked the humor and irreverence, especially in the chapter titles. It moved quickly enough and I don’t recall any serious lulls. I absolutely loved Molly’s character and would have been happier if someone more like her had been set up as Charming’s love interest. She’s meek and scared, due to a traumatic experience with poltergeists, but she is so brave in how she handles it, especially her use of Christmas things to keep her feeling safe and happy. Her character seemed more interestingly complex to me than Sig (that would be the blonde).

In the end it was an enjoyable enough read, but I was hoping for more. Will I read future books in this series? Honestly I’m not sure. The next one focuses on werewolves and I’m not all that interested in that particular topic at the moment. I’ve got a lot of books on my list so there is a good chance this series will get pushed to the bottom. But if you’re looking for some light, irreverent, urban fantasy, don’t mind a cliche or two, and are into werewolves and vampires  then you’d probably enjoy it. Until next time…

Happy Reading!


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