Something is rotten in the state of Wisconsin. Werewolf packs are being united and absorbed into an army of super soldiers by a mysterious figure who speaks like an angel and fights like a demon. And every Knight Templar - keepers of the magical peace between mankind and magickind - who tries to get close to this big bad wolf winds up dead. No knight can infiltrate a group whose members can smell a human from a mile away...no knight except one.
John Charming. Ex knight. Current werewolf. Hunted by the men who trained him, he now might be their only salvation. But animal instincts are rising up to claim John more powerfully than ever before, and he must decide if this new leader of wolves is a madman or a messiah.
©2014 Elliott James LLC (P)2014 Tantor
Reviewing Romance & Urban Fantasy
The team of Elliott James and Roger Wayne was not a one hit wonder with me. I enjoyed DARING almost as much as CHARMING. There was only a 1/2 star difference in the ratings between the two books. Why? DARING was a little slow in a couple of places and that's really the only reason for the lower rating.
I can't wait for book 3, FEARLESS to release August 11, 2015.
But in the mean time I'll read more about John Charming in the short stories that take place before CHARMING.
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
I was left with mixed feelings when I finished CHARMING a few months ago; I liked John’s character, Roger Wayne’s narration, and the author’s quirky writing style, but the love interest, and info dumps were definite cons. However, when I read DARING’s blurb and discovered that the werewolves were going to be front-and-center in round two, I just knew that this series deserved a second chance. And, even though I didn’t love this installment either, it was more along the lines of what I’ve come to expect from Urban Fantasy, and my issues with this one were vastly different that its predecessor, so at least it was a step in the right direction. The story was darker, the humour more subdued, and I did struggle to see the links between the four parts, but it all came together in the end which made this novel marginally better than its predecessor.
The prelude was a hoot, James shared a list of the ‘top ten things that people who didn’t read the first book really ought to know’ which served as a good recap while also turning a boring necessity into a fun intro. The opening section was my favourite because it not only explored John’s past as a Knight, but provided some much needed clarification about his insta-attraction to Sig, and set the tone for the rest of the story. The second part was somewhat of a mixed bag; I liked learning more about this universe’s werewolves, although certain aspects were a little overly touchy feely for me—too much zen, not enough predator. The final two were the meatier pieces with plenty of action, unanticipated twists, and an ah-ha ending. The world-building was also greatly muted which made this installment more about the journey than the magical rules which was a welcomed tweak.
DARING was nowhere near as funny as book 1, but given the nature of this tale, it fit. That’s not to say that I still didn’t crack a couple of smiles while listening because I did, however the overall tone was much heavier. I was disappointed that the majority of the secondary characters that the protagonist formed connections with previously were for the most part MIA, although they were replaced with new ones, so at least the author found a way to fill that void. Sig’s role was minimal which made me exceedingly happy because she was my main problem with CHARMING, so I liked that the Valkyrie was pushed to the back burner for the time being. John’s POV continued to delight and entertain; I loved how he talked directly to the reader, and his keen wit and sarcastic dialogue are the main reasons why I am diggin’ this series so much.
As expected, the narrator delivered another winning performance which was why I had no qualms about pre-ordering this audiobook. His voice is well-suited for James’ writing style, and he absolutely nailed Charming’s first person POV. The hero gets his butt handed to him on multiple occasions, and Roger Wayne helped to add authenticity to that fact by slurring his words as though he himself had gotten punched in the teeth. He also showed adaptability as a narrator by taking a step back from the first installment’s snark, and adopting the more somber tone that this tale demanded. It normally takes me a week on average to listen to nine+ hours, but in this case my listening time was cut in half thanks in large part to Wayne.
DARING is proof that werewolves make everything better!
The reader's performance is great as before, but the story made a pretty big leap from the last one. Charming is fine, but not seeing the rest of the monster hunters for most of the book is pretty lame.
Tell us about yourself!
If you enjoy the Dresden files and or the Iron Druid Chronicles then this series is not only recommended, It is a moral imperative to purchase this entire series and then send me a Thank you card for writing this review.
I rarely give 5 stars across the board but Elliot James writes in the same Genre as his previously mentioned peers but is like them in another way, he as just original as they are in a genre that is rarely original and a bit overdone but this is TRULY AWESOME.
His writing style is absolutely amazing, the sarcasm and witty retorts along with a great story line to boot is rarely paralleled; I remember actually Laughing out loud in a couple of instances. Pay attention to the chapter names and how the book is sectioned as well, just more
In this genre, I think Mr. Charming is my new hero...His Character is a blend between Harry Dresden and Atticus O'Sullivan with the piping hot 6 foot blond Valkerie bombshell with an attitude along with a plethora of oddball character's that are a riot as well, All while kicking but and taking names. What some of the characters lack in depth, they make up for in charm...pun intended.
This series is a must have, PERIOD!!!!!!!!
NOT FOR CHILDREN AT ALL!!!!
Roger Wayne does such a great job that I could not imagine anyone else standing for the next 10 books......hint hint, Mr James; For all that is good in the world, please continue to keep writing this series....Amazing.
"I am just your average AVID Audible listener that enjoys close to 500 Audible books in my Library"
G. David H. Esquire
When Charming has a flashbacks on how he became a knight.
Mr. Wayne does a does a great job yet again.
This is not a book I wanted to listen in one sitting, but it was a book I finished in three days.
We learn more about Charming the early years. The story line in this book points to a very interesting future for Charming and friends.
No time to read...Plenty of time to listen
This series in general is ranked pretty high if you are into urban fantasy books.
Pax Arcana is pretty similar to the Monster Hunter International series as both have male and female leads, monsters, and some cheesy romance scenes.
This part of the book is pretty same narration wise. He is still snarky and sarcastic.
There is a lot more deaths in this part of the book then compared to the the predecessor.
Daring is continued off right away from the previous book Charming. In this story the audience gets a little more feedback on John's past and struggles as well as some of the workings of the Knight's Templar and why they want John dead so bad. If you are hoping for Sig and John's romance to continue in this book it will but you have to wait... a long time.
I liked the first book so much I bought whole series and although I ca recommend the first book as worthwhile ...this one if you have nothing else to read but I don't feel the next one is worth it as it is mostly sitting around listening to a lot of swearing and bickering and self recrimination....no thanks
The story structure is erratic as the author tries to set up his big plot-twist-filled finish, and it felt confusing and random for a while.
A lot of the action sequences rely on detailed, blow-by-blow descriptions of martial arts moves, which were sometimes hard to visualize and usually too laboriously technical.
The character ensemble is almost totally different, which was disappointing. The new ensemble was populated by largely uninteresting characters who all had similar abilities.
The puns often felt forced.
The author still uses his thesaurus to avoid the word "said" in dialogue.
The reader was still excellent, though. Despite the forced puns, most of the humor was quite good. I was engaged and interested the whole time, even when I was confused. We explored John's backstory a lot--and I mean a LOT--and gained some interesting insights into both how messed up he is and how he's managed to NOT be even MORE messed up.
So, on the whole, a positive experience. I will likely read the next in the series and hope the author learns from experience.
Fast paced action.
The story line was and is different .
This line of books are very detailed
This is an enjoyable series, a great narrator, and although the plot is a little predictable, I'll read the rest of the available books!
Report Inappropriate Content