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Daring (Pax Arcana) Paperback – September 23, 2014
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"The Pax Arcana books are seriously good reads. Action, humor, and heart with unexpected twists and turns. If you are (like me) waiting for the next Butcher or Hearne--pick up Elliott James. Then you can bite your nails waiting for the next James, too."―Patricia Briggs, New York Times #1 bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series
"Second stellar entry in [the] Pax Arcana series.... James should be on your must-read list!"―RT Book Reviews on Daring
"Loved it! Charming is a giant gift basket of mythology and lore delivered by a brilliant new voice in urban fantasy. Elliott James tells stories that are action-packed, often amusing, and always entertaining."―Kevin Hearne, author of Hounded on Charming
"I loved this book from start to finish. Exciting and innovative, Charming is a great introduction to a world I look forward to spending a lot more time in."―New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire on Charming
"James's world is rich and complex and well worth diving into."―Richard Kadrey on Charming
"In a saturated literary realm, James's tale stands out for the gritty, believable world he builds...This is masculine urban fantasy in the vein of Jim Butcher and Mark del Franco."―Booklist on Charming
"This debut introduces a self-deprecating, wisecracking, and honorable-to-a-fault hero who can stand up to such established protagonists as Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden and Seanan McGuire's October Daye. Combining action and romance -- with an emphasis on action -- this is a top-notch new series opener for lovers of urban fantasy."―Library Journal (Starred review) on Charming
"Grab some snacks and settle back as splendid debut author James serves up a Prince Charming tale yanked sideways...James's reluctant hero faces threats and danger with a smart-ass attitude that keeps the narrative fast-paced, edgy and amusing. Mark this name down -- you will undoubtedly be seeing more from James!"―RT Book Reviews on Charming
About the Author
An army brat and gypsy scholar, ELLIOTT JAMES is currently living in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwest Virginia. An avid reader since the age of three (or that's what his family swears anyhow), he has an abiding interest in mythology, martial arts, live music, hiking, and used bookstores.
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Top Customer Reviews
The 2nd book in the Pax Arcana series. John is still being chased by the Knights and knows the only way to keep his friends safe, now that he has some, is to give himself up and try to make a deal with them. However, his plan runs into problems when Sig contacts the new Werewolf pack in North America that has made itself well known to the Knights and not in a good way. In exchange for their help, Sig has promised that John will undergo their initiation and give a good try at joining the pack. The Knights love the idea of John being on the inside and John must decide where his loyalties actually lie.
John continues to stay basically true to his own moral code which is confusing but somehow fairly consistent even in the midst of some truly crazy stuff. Of course, Sig comes back in the 3rd act after telling John she needed time to get her head on straight. It's not but it was thoroughly predictable that she would be back. On the whole, it was trying to do twists and turns but they were pretty well telegraphed and nothing really surprised me. I do like the characters and it wasn't a bad story but I felt like it suffered from trying too hard with no success.
The first book reminds me of a favorite TV show. Like the first season, you meet and fall in love with quirky characters and the interesting world of the Pax Arcana. In summary, book one is basically John Charming and his merry Scooby Doo group kicking butt and killing monster. In volume one the flavored monsters of the day are vampires.
All the short stories take place before Book 1 and after John has been kicked out of the Club knighthood. John is a sensitive, caring person who can't help himself. He is out there defending the humans race from all the things that go bump in the night. Each short story features a new monster. The short stories add to john's mythos and are worth you time and dime.
Daring, Book 2, however, is a different story. It reminds me of that time in a TV show were the producers and writers don't listen to their fans and start adding new story lines, new characters and complicated underlying conspiracies. The fan asks itself, Why? Why ruin a good thing? I was just beginning to get into this show! "Daring' briefly touches upon the characters from the first book and then introduces us to a handful of new characters, that although seem interesting as they are wolves and knights, are not at all likable and seemed to get killed off indiscriminately.
If you are a fan, this second book seems to be a necessary part of your collection as it provides a detailed account John's back story.... growing up and training as a knight. Thankfully the preview of the third book featured in the back hints of the return of the original Scooby-Doo monster-bashing group that we have come to know and love. So I'm sticking with it.
And there were plenty of twists and turns. I didn't see them all coming, but neither did John. The ending left plenty of room for the next book.
I particularly liked the recap at the start; it was sassy and made me laugh. The line that made me snort this time was "Chai was a very literal and serious werewolf, which sort of sounds like the first sentence of a children’s story, but I can’t help that."
If you like urban fantasies, you can start here without too much trouble, but you'd be better off to start with Charming.
The main character, John Charming, knight/werewolf, is struggling with his identity when circumstances gives him time both with the knights and a werewolf pack. It was well told with touches of sarcasm and wit, and action and adventure. The chapter titles are once again witty and humorous. I found that when I finished a chapter I would go back and read the title again to catch it's meaning anew.
I'm looking forward to reading the rest in this series along with the short stories Elliott James has written. If you like paranormal/urban fantasy, give this series a try. Highly recommended.
I like the protagonist, but quite frankly at this point I'm reading for the Templars. Mr. James has an unmatched ability to portray a sympathetic antagonist. I'm disappointed by the protagonist's actions and the actions of the Templars. The fact that I can't figure out which one to blame gives me tremendous sympathy into the conundrums that each face.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Will finish series.Read more
FYI: If you haven't already please read Charming (Pax Arcana), the first book in the series.Read more