Friday, June 26, 2015


by Elliott James

Summary 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 crossbows 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?

Thoughts on the Book

I got this book as an ARC from BEA a few years back and finally got around to reading it.  It wasn't at all what I thought it would be, I was expecting some sort of fairy tale retelling, it wasn't that at all.

My Review

This story is about a half-werewolf knight who meets a Valkyrie and they end up working together with a small group of other humans, psychics, and a Naga to eliminate a dangerous vampire hive.   

This book was a lot of fun. It was told from John's point of view, which was interesting.  He's not your typical protagonist.  I love how he would be relating events, dialog especially, then all of a sudden you're like no way he/she said that! Then John immediately follows it up with something like "well, that's what I wanted to say" or "well, that's what she meant, but she really just glared at me".

There were twists and turns, some unexpected, some completely expected but you couldn't believe the character was actually that dumb to go through with it.  There was a lot of lore mixed into the story, and some interesting other supernatural creatures.  It was just enough of a taste of the world to get you sucked in and wanting to know more about other creatures, not so typical creatures like vampires.

I also loved some of the pop culture references too.  They weren't obvious at all, but if you were in the know they were pretty great.  At one point John referenced Vampire Diaries and their use of vervain against vampires.  He said that they called it that instead of its proper name of verbena, but that's not entirely correct, the French for verbena is vervain, it wasn't a name change for the show.  There were a couple other things here and there that I knew to be incorrect (like how the Vietnamese war tunnels actually look - they did not describe them correctly at all, and the verbena/vervain thing) but it didn't take away from the story.  And to be fair, normal people wouldn't pick up on those.  I mean seriously, how many western tourists have ventured to Vietnam to crawl through one of the Viet Kong's tunnels?  Not many (if you are in any way shape or form claustrophobic I don't recommend it! The tunnels that they enlarged for the Russians barely fit a normal sized westerner, and they're twice the size of the normal untouched tunnels).  And how many Vampire Diary fans actually looked up what vervain was?  I'm guessing I'm one of the few complete nerds who even cared what it was to go through the trouble.

All in all I give this book an 8/10.  Great story, great characters, some non-believable parts, and it took a little bit to really get into it.

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