Lesser - A Villainous Urban Fantasy

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follow url This is also my favorite type of hero. Sep 04, Villains are my favorite! They are always doing something interesting. I'm partial to the super-competent, super-slick villains. Kind of like Nicodemus from the Dresden Files. Sep 13, I wouldn't say I have a particular type of villain that I like, but there's certain traits I look for, no matter what their motivations are. They have to be understandable, even if that understanding is that their actions are born of a cohesive mental illness, or sociopathic greed. I don't buy the big, unambiguously evil and powerful in all ways kind of thing.

Of course, people who write those sorts of villains into their stories tend to have other storytelling quirks that lose me as well. So maybe the villains are more a symptom of the other ideas that bug me, rather than something that I inherently dislike for its own lack of merits. Dec 06, Understanding the motivation of a Villain is highly desirable to me. Mostly this means the Villain needs to think they are doing the right thing even if their ethical reasoning is skewed. If the Villain is not human then it opens interesting possibilities. Maybe they embody or personify a natural force or character of the universe I suppose my absolute favourite is the Redeemed Villain though.

If it can be done believably Not by the erotic attraction of a doormat woman Villains with a motivation other than "I'm a villain because I'm evil". Not that intrisic evil can't exist, but I always find that when that's all there is to a villain, it's less interesting. Dec 07, I like the villains who operate in the gray zone of morals and ethics. The ones who made a conscious choice at some point to commit a horrible act and accept the label of "evil". In their heads, they may see themselves as righteous, but they have no illusions about what they are willing to do.

These kinds of villains are more terrifying for me because so they are believable and more human. They weren't born evil and aren't evil "just because" but rather they slowly drifted into who they are and now they embrace it. All the Fallen in the Dresden books come to mind. In those books as is many the Fae who are evil are evil by nature, which is not as interesting to me.

Basically - evil by choice, not by nature, is what I'm after. I know there are other examples of this. I will consult my library I like them when they are super smart and powerful with a ruthless edge while they may momentarily feel guilty most is it is all about achieving their mission. Good looking and hard to resist!

Dec 08, Thanks for the suggestion Gaynell. I have been trying with read some Nadine Singh She is from my country. Per thing us a bit of a negative for me but your suggestion has tipped the balance. Where would you recommend I start to work toward the book you suggested? Feb 13, Villains who are more like forces of nature than human beings like Sauron or King Haggard in The Last Unicorn Villains who are distinctly worse than the heroes, so it matters which side wins.

Oh, I should add: You want to gloat? Then do it when everything's already in motion or almost done. Of course, it's demanding on the author, who has to work out HOW exactly the "good guys" can win after that. Kurt Busiek did a nice Astro City where the villain didn't gloat himself -- he sat on his duff in the courtroom, having let himself be captured, while the prosecution laid out his nefarious and deeply intelligent plan.

Ain't no way nobody's going to say it wasn't that hard after that. Or in The Incredibles. What is more natural than Syndrome monologuing to Mr. He doesn't want money. Feb 15, I agree with Ysabel, nothing worse than a villain who gloats.

Horror Zombies the most horrifying death imaginable

Although I can't help but feel that might be the fault of the writer who's desperately trying to tie up some plot points before the end! I like villains who are smart there is nothing worse than an incompetent villain and somehow oddly likable. Limitless magic tends to lead to Deus ex Machina or literal Hand Wave resolutions where everything that has gone wrong can be undone with a flick of the wrist - readers tend to find that boring and a bit of a simplistic cheat.

If magic or the supernatural cannot be defeated by non-magical means, or can only be defeated with magic, you need to explain why your wizards or other beings haven't taken over the setting. For more extensive thoughts on this, we highly recommend checking out episodes 14 and 15 of the Writing Excuses podcast, which discuss in depth the use of magic as a plot device.

If you're giving your main characters any kind of supernatural powers, then you may find it interesting to explore how they may be Cursed with Awesome or Blessed with Suck. Whilst this can present an interesting opportunity to explore how magical powers would work and what effects they would have on those possessing them in a "realistic" context, try to avoid making it an overly-convenient crutch for angst, and maintain a balance between the awesomeness of the abilities and the suckiness of the consequences of possessing them.

Most fantasy is sometimes Wish Fulfillment - many readers will approach your text wishing that they could do the things that your characters can do, and if you have constructed a situation where your character possesses amazing and enviable skills and abilities with few negative drawbacks, and yet spends all their time whining about them , this will risk irritating your reader.

In a similar vein, Wangsty immortals including vampires are dime-a-dozen - just check out Who Wants to Live Forever? Explain where your monsters come from. Despite many Urban Fantasies being filled with vampires , dragons , werewolves , and more, few stories makes an attempt to explain where these creatures come from.

They just pop out fully formed like Athena from Zeus' head. Since Urban Fantasies are supposed to take place in the real world, you need to explain how your creatures fit into evolution and natural history. Not only does this make your creatures seem more realistic, but it provides excellent opportunity for plot growth. Are vampires souped up bats using magic to disguise themselves as human?

Are they just humans infected with a symbiotic microorganism? Or is the mortal theory of evolution flawed or completely wrong? How about one of your characters is involved with Fantastic Science and can explain how the supernatural-gene thing works? Potential Ways to Play. Supernatural plot elements are often used as a metaphor for something more mundane. The plot of the original Frankenstein novel can be seen as a metaphor for childbirth - isn't the idea of creating something evil a terrifying prospect? Buffy the Vampire Slayer was originally based upon the idea that High School is hellish, by filling Sunnydale High with real demons that themselves often represented fears such as peer pressure and relationships.

Be creative, this is a very flexible way of enriching your story. Don't make it too Anvilicious , and keep in mind that Genre Savvy readers will recognize what you're doing. A lot of urban fantasy focuses on the True Companions , such as Buffy and Hellboy ; Supernatural and Charmed focus on families. The characterization is often a much-loved feature about this sort of show, as the Masquerade tends to force the few who are in the know about the world's magical secrets in together.

Perhaps your story could explore working relationships that are magically influenced, such as a hospital or veterinary practice for magical beings, a secret post office for magical messages, a special branch of the army for those with Psychic Powers or a sanitarium for werewolves? Or perhaps you can play with this expectation What about using magic for crime? What potions would you brew if you wanted to rob a bank? Could an incubus walk into a shop and charm the girl at the checkout into giving over all the money in the till?

If you could see the future, would you become addicted to gambling, or avoid it as boringly predictable? Do vampires show up on security cameras? Consider turning the story around, and telling it from the perspective of a character who can't use or completely understand magic observing another character who can use it very well, thank you. The story can degenerate into a sort of "find the Kryptonite" sequence, while the non-magic-using heroes try to figure out what the evil magic-user cannot do, but it can be a useful visualization and writing exercise.

While it's tempting to pit magic and science against each other , you can do more to pull readers who, by and large, come from a background where they know at least a little bit about science, as opposed to almost nothing at all about magic into the story by using one to influence the other. For example, one of the Dresden Files novels has Harry casting a very large, classic fireball spell, but incorporating the laws of thermodynamics to produce a sheet of nearly frictionless ice as a side-effect of the fireball spell. Magic also doesn't have to be all dusty tomes, Latin spells and arcane rituals.

Consider Post-Modern Magik - how might modern technologies and practices be incorporated into magic and fantasy? The hideous monster might have been immune to all weapons that existed hundreds of years ago, but does that mean it's Immune to Bullets? Perhaps the dark rituals needed to summon the Elder Gods from their ancient tomb might be found on Google? Do the vampires wear stakeproof torso armor?

Do vampire hunters wear neck protectors? Start with a garden variety Changeling Fantasy then subvert it. Perhaps even taking it upon themselves to defend them from the various supernasties , Mooks , and Big Bads that inhabit the universe. Bonus points if the protagonist has a Super Powered Evil Side persona that results from their family or species' heritage , or if the protagonist was whisked away from their biological parents because they are the harbringer of doom.

Consider even the setting. Particularly in works set in the modern day, many creators set their works in major urban centres like New York, Paris, London, Sydney, etc; the obvious advantage here is that these are immensely large, influential and powerful urban centres with large areas and populations convenient for mystical creatures to hide in plain sight and which, owing to cultural and social prominence, are easily recogniseable and iconic.

However, for ironic value you could consider setting your story in a city or locale that the reader might not expect, particularly if it is a smaller city or one with a less glamourous or more mundane reputation. This is especially effective if you live in a smaller place like this and can draw effectively on local landmarks and areas — think about the world outside your window as well.

Take a city, remove the peaceful, cosmopolitan, globalized aspects with McDonald's and Internet , and put your city into the aftermath of a war, global crisis or a similar event. What would happen if your protagonists had to cope not just with vampires and fairies, but also had to cope with the Wall Street Crash of , the London Blitz, the Siege of Leningrad, the Los Angeles Riots or something similar going on at the same time?

When the story focuses on magic that the protagonists of your story can use, the magic must have rules. Maybe the magical process requires a lot of concentration on the order of running PERL code in your head , maybe it requires them to injure themselves or otherwise sacrifice something to power it. Your best bet is to use magic as a symbol for a form of power money, influence, knowledge, etc. For example, magical energy might be gathered in particular ways like earning money on a job and can be stolen if the holder isn't careful; how would a magical "stock market" or "bank" work?

If there is no Masquerade and magic is out in the open, think about the kind of effects magic would have on established society, including law enforcement, art, technology , and culture overall. Would magical proficiency be a common skill, something to be envied, or the profession of the elite. Or perhaps you'd explore the effects magic would have on society the way Watchmen explores the effects superheroes would have on society. Milieu is very important in all kinds of fantasy and science fiction; society is an important part of milieu.

Try mixing fantasy elements with aspects of urban culture. Emma Bull was the first to combine elves with rock bands and now we have the Elvish Presley trope. How about having different werewolf clans opening salons for different hairstyles? Or telepaths having their own mental social network, with a "close friends" feature whose deeper thoughts and memories they can access? I wanted to give him a big kick in the balls.

And that sword he's holding on the cover, is nothing like the sword he uses in the book. He uses a Katana, not a bloody hunting sword. I really enjoyed the way John struggled with his supernatural side. The mating rituals and things that he found himself doing without even realizing it were quite entertaining. I have already put the next book on hold at the library and will be continuing as soon as I can get it in my hands.

View all 20 comments. I have had this book on my to-read list for a couple of years now. I'm not sure why I never started it, except that I'm always a little worried about starting new Urban Fantasy books because I've been disappointed so many times. But I've been on a bit of a shelf-cleaning-binge lately, trying to get through some of the stuff that I keep wanting to read and kept putting off for whatever reason and this was top of the list of series that I wanted to dive into.

Then I read the seven prequel short-st I have had this book on my to-read list for a couple of years now. Then I read the seven prequel short-stories and was intrigued. Although, apparently, it was resolved as some time or another, because there's no reference to it here either. And, also, I'd love to read a short-story prequel about the events that happened in Alaska that are mentioned in this book I'm not one of those readers that inserts themselves into the main character, living the story through them, like I know some readers do and there's not anything wrong with that, it's just not how I read.

I've always been the reader that experiences the book like it's a movie, or something that I'm experiencing over the shoulders of the main character. Which is why I'm not sure why, in general, Urban Fantasy books with male main characters don't tend to work as well for me. Don't shoot me, but I'm not a fan of Harry Dresden. This might actually be the reason why, despite how much I wanted to dive into this series and love it, I delayed.

Because I didn't want to be disappointed by it when I didn't love the main character. But I love John Charming. He's the perfect blend of broken, cocky, smart, and sarcastic that I love. He tends to brood, a bit, which I admit I kind of dig in my characters. And he's got an over-developed sense of responsibility, which I always love because what's in his best interest isn't always what he's going to do - and it's not just the geas that's making that choice for him. But it's not really a surprise that a male author can write a believable, realistic male character.

What really sold me on the characters was Sig, and to a lesser degree, Molly. I admit I have a weakness for the particular supernatural being that Sig is and I'm pre-disposed to like them, but that's not why I enjoyed Sig so much. She's a heroine that I can get behind. She's smart, a leader, strong as all hell, doesn't need to be rescued, and blunt.

She has her code and values, and they're important to her. But that doesn't mean she can't change and recognize that sometimes sticking to something just for the sake of it isn't always the best plan. I'm really looking forward to seeing her character growth in the next book s. I've always kind of been a sucker for the 'team' device in a story. And when you get together a team of disparate personalities there's plenty of opportunity for conflict without it seeming terribly contrived.

And I look forward to that in the future as well. There was one part that was terribly cliche. Because of course Sig is in a relationship and there's this intense attraction between her an John. I suspected what was going to happen with that particular thread the moment that it was revealed, and I'm a little disappointed that it went down the way it did.

I would have liked a bit more surprise and maybe a twist to the traditional resolution. But now that it is resolved, it doesn't bother me, either. Because at least that is resolved. I would have hated it even more if it had dragged on forever and ever. It's really a minor complaint, in an otherwise brilliant read.

The world is what I'm most interested and looking forward to exploring more. It's one of those worlds that lives just on the edge of our real world. The one that could almost, actually, really, exist. Maybe it does in an alternate universe. Maybe it does right now. Maybe the Pax Arcana is a real thing And that's what I love. Just enough realism and possibility to make it work for me. Who knows, after all, what's real and what's fantasy. This was a nearly perfect book for me. It had a ton of kick-ass action, lots of dry humor with a healthy dose of sarcasm, characters with an astonishing amount of depth and diversity, a world that feels both real and fantastic, and a plot that grabbed my attention.

This is the kind of book and series that I've been waiting for - and here it was waiting for me to just pick it up off of my shelf. Review also available at The Book Eaters 30 June View all 18 comments. However, the former appears to have been resolved, and even though I have reached my limit on books that feature this type of lore, the Norse mythology was light enough to be tolerable.

A number of reviewers mentioned that having the narrator speak directly to the reader was a little weird; I on the other hand did not have this problem thanks to the audiobook. Dvornik and Charming are two bad ass characters, so the fact that they are fighting over Sig like a couple of school boys struck me as ridiculous. And, at times I found that the vampire hunt became secondary to the romantic drama which caused me to lose interest in the story. Roger Wayne was an instant hit with this listener; I loved everything about his delivery and tone, and how I felt like he was talking to ME because of the first person POV.

His narration flowed well, and I liked all of his character voices. I liked this book more than I thought I was going too. Especially when I could see that the author was pushing the main character into a relationship with a woman that was already seeing somebody. Oh, and not in just everyday standards, he is a manipulative evil bastard. So the background romance was interesting and not the angsty moon eyed crap that is in a lot of books since Twilight.

So I am curious about book two in this series, I want see where the author goes with the story. On a complete random none I also want to say that each character was not unlike a character from Scooby Doo? I wonder if this was intentional or just tropes in play. Aug 24, Jacob Proffitt rated it it was amazing Shelves: I really enjoyed this book.

It has shades of Jim Butcher in terms of tone and having a cast of disparate, alternately-talented characters who end up having to work together towards a common goal. John Charming has been on the run from his former trainers for decades, ever since he started manifesting symptoms of being infected with lycanthropy. That has made things complicated and he's become used to running first and asking questions later if at all.

Then he runs into Sig and her band of cheer I really enjoyed this book. Then he runs into Sig and her band of cheerful okay, desperate and a little freaked-out warriors and finds himself re-evaluating his current life patterns as he helps them deal with a particularly nasty vampire nest growing in their town. I enjoyed the world-building in this book, along with the individual characters. Things held together remarkably well in a way that made sense without being too hand-wavy. Organizations and institutions worked and had enough justification and background to be interesting though mostly off-stage at the point of this novel.

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And I enjoyed the humor, even if some of it was kicking the low-hanging fruit a bit. The chapter titles were particularly pun-ish, but I like that kind of thing. Feel free to judge me But mostly, I enjoyed the characters. Molly, Chauncey, even the soviet bloc contingent all had their own motivations and reasons for being where they were and for working together. And I liked that Sig was the glue that held them together when John was the viewpoint character. So many of these novels would have relegated her to a more sidekick role as John has more experience, training, and, frankly, survivability in the battles they face.

Plus, he's the hero, right? But it was Sig's team and she really is the glue that holds them together and I like how that played out during the course of the novel--particularly how her trusting nature and sometimes outright naivety informed both their strength and their weakness. In the end, I found the book a delight and look forward to the next.

I want to see how John reconciles the various factors complicating his life--and see if he can begin building lasting relationships that are based on more than convenience, shared danger, or hormones. Jun 03, Ash Wednesday rated it liked it Recommends it for: Recommended to Ash Wednesday by: Buddy Read with Stacia Stacia Stacia. I haven't read a lot of fantasy books written by male authors because it feels a bit intimidating to me the potential for nerdspeak is too great and I don't know how much my plebeian mind can handle. But after reading 14 barely a month ago, I think I'm starting to sense a common thread, one I'm eager to put to the te 3.

But after reading 14 barely a month ago, I think I'm starting to sense a common thread, one I'm eager to put to the test in the next male-penned fantasy read no not you GRRMartin, you go back and finish your series first. Charming is told from the POV of its protagonist, John Charming and if that doesn't perk your interest at first glance, maybe the premise will. In the world imagined by Elliott James, we are protected from the supernatural plane by the Pax Arcana, think an impenetrable wall that separates us from the paranormal: The integrity of the Pax is looked after by the Knights Templar who are not only bound by a spell gaea to hunt and eliminate any supernatural being that poses a threat to its function, but also trains men to further their cause.

I'm a bit fuzzy on how these men are chosen but one of these men is John Charming, from the long illustrious line of Charmings of lore.

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Yeah those may or may not be his not so great grand-daddies I'm marginally sure not Simba though. With less crazy eyes and none of the glass slippers, kiss of life BS but more on the dragon slaying, monsters hunting and witch killing tradition. But in a cruel twist of fate, John becomes one such monster making him the hunted by his brethren, leading him to live the life of a fugitive, working as a bartender in a pub in nowheresville, keeping his head down. Until a six-foot blonde woman and a vampire walks in his life… which also meant an exterminator, a detective, an Episcopalian priestess and a couple of vampire hunters walk in to his life.

What I loved about this book is that John was a snarky little smartass that made the story, more often than not, readable and genuinely entertaining. I could easily throw him in the douchebag pile but for some reason I don't think he belongs with Daemon, Dante, Dex and Drew, not because his name is John but mostly because he didn't come across as arrogant to me. He was just a wiseass with a good enough backstory to make the reader care for him.

He's also a brilliant narrator, most of the time, cleverly phrasing his accounts and recollections when he doesn't venture into Dane Cook territory of funny which is NOT. I really enjoyed reading his banter with all of the characters but I liked his dialogues with Sig best. Whether they are giving each other shit, teaming up to give someone else crap or Sig just handling John was loads of fun. As a heroine she was a bit of a slow grower on me because I thought her strengths could very well be her weakness in that she had no vulnerability whatsoever.

But her own backstory was pretty solid despite my difficulty of imagining a six-foot tall blonde woman who doesn't look like Taydolf Swiftler Taylor Swift. I also appreciate that there's enough emotional backstory for each of the characters to merit some sympathy. My problem lay with the infodump. I don't mind the attempt to integrate a wide variety of mythologies in the story and I found the wikipedializing interesting in certain stretches with setting certain traditional beliefs straight or giving the proper backstory to the supernatural lore. What I did mind was how these were weaved in the story in such a way that it interrupted the flow of the narrative and thus messed with the flow of my joy and understanding of what the hell is going on.

So you get an intense scene where John's trying to keep himself alive form getting killed in a gnarly way He has to explain the merits of the creature's history, abilities and how to kill it before he actually kills it.

Romance plots in fantasy novels that are actually GOOD?

My interest waxed and waned so many times particularly on the first half of this book that at one point I've already decided on a 2-star rating just out of sheer annoyance. And no, that little thing at the end where view spoiler [he excuses the infodump as his contribution to helping us prepare for the inevitable breakdown of the Pax hide spoiler ] doesn't make it all okay.

The other thing that bothered me was the nerdy-cool overkill. I understand that due to the nature of the story, with John being trained to be a buffet assassin for all kinds of paranormal creatures, his skill-set has to be varied. But I can also imagine how his character was put together: I have gone blind from the coolness that froze my retinas!!! He's a motherchucking badass, we get it, trying too hard kind of negates the message.

This was actually counterproductive to how the plot progressed towards the end because the fight versus the vampires felt grossly skewed in Team Charming's favor that I sniffed out the plot twist a good few chapters before it happened. But proceed with caution AND extreme patience if you're like me who can't skim pages even if your life depended on it it's a curse I have to live with. View all 23 comments. A tiny buddy read with some MacHalos.

While I did find the world-building and overall story interesting - I missed having more characters I liked. I liked Charming for the whole book, but only warmed to one or two more characters at most. Overall it was a decent listen!

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Editorial Reviews. Review. "Thisis one of those books that defy all you've ever read about Lesser - A Villainous Urban Fantasy. M.T. Murphy · out of 5 stars . The Thirteenth Lord (Villainous Book 3). Kindle Edition. $ Lesser - A Villainous Urban Fantasy. Kindle Edition. $ Lucifera's Pet, A Villainous Urban.

Jun 29, Susana rated it did not like it Shelves: Originally posted at paperbackwonderland Arc provided by netgalley I tried!! But i just can't force myself to continue reading this!! And i really wanted to like this! Because the premise sounded really good I'll start with what i liked: So the guy's running for his life, while at the same time he's giving us some "classes" Hes just another one Yeah, i hated it! It made her sound a piece of furniture Because this could be so much more View all 9 comments. My first impression of this book -- and keep in mind this was before I knew anything at all about it -- was that it was going to be an urban fantasy targeted more towards female readers.

I suppose it was the reference to "Prince Charming" that did it.

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And the cover image featured a tall dark and handsome young man wielding a shiny silver sword emerging from a background of predomin My thanks to Netgalley and Orbit Books for providing me with an e-ARC of Charming in exchange for an honest review. And the cover image featured a tall dark and handsome young man wielding a shiny silver sword emerging from a background of predominantly light pastel teals and purples, the title rendered in pretty loopy scrollwork classical font.

Turns out, I was a little off-base. In actuality, found that Charming read more like an urban fantasy novel in the same vein as those in series starring male protagonists like The Dresden Files or the The Iron Druid Chronicles. More recently, I read Jim C. Hine's Libriomancer which also came to mind when I read this. And what do all the leading men in these series have in common? They all have these kick-ass supernatural powers, possess a sense of humor that falls slightly on the geek-side, are all great at battling vampires and other forces of darkness that threaten the human populace, and always come to fights armed with plenty of witty pop culture references.

Which is just a rambling, roundabout way of me trying to point out that readers who enjoy the genre should also feel right at home with this book and its main character John Charming. Trained by the modern day version of the Knights Templar, John comes from a long line of monster hunters and was one of their best fighters. But a werewolf attack on his mother right before he was born had resulted in John becoming a new type of strange hybrid, and the day he manifested his symptoms was the day his own people turned on him, labeling him an abomination that must be destroyed.

Now John is on the run, hiding in rural Virginia with a new identity. He's rented a home near the woods and has taken up a bartending job in a college town, hoping to stay under the radar. Everything's copacetic, until two mysterious newcomers show up one night at the pub where John works, threatening the peaceful and quiet undercover life he has worked so long and so hard to maintain.

Like I said, if you love urban fantasy and especially the series I mentioned above, there's a really good chance you'll like this too. I think that's one of the reasons I took so quickly to Charming and its characters, because reading it was like returning to a place that feels comfortable and familiar. The problem with this, however, is that it can always act as a double-edged sword. While on a certain level a lot of the urban fantasy series I read may share a lot of similar traits and elements, my favorites are always those that stand out amidst the rest somehow, very often setting themselves apart through a unique idea or memorable features, say, like an alternate history or an interesting magic system.

As such, one issue I have with Charming is that I don't feel like it adds much to the genre. Many of the ideas I read here felt like the retreading old ground or that I've seen them elsewhere before. Somewhat related to this is also the sheer amount of info-dumping I noticed spread all throughout the novel.

I usually give first-in-a-series books like this a pass on this since world-building from scratch is a tough but necessary evil, but I've seen other authors pull this off much more subtly. Of course, this also just might be an indication of me having read too damn much UF; I'm sure someone just diving into the genre reading this book through fresh eyes might have a totally different experience and opinion on this than me.

Anyway, every hero needs a team, and John Charming's no different. As expected, we have the supporting cast here including a couple of your instantly recognizable archetypes "the hot leader chick that everybody has a crush on", "the genius techie guy with all the cool gadgets", "the smarter-than-he-looks cop", etc. The ones that stood out for me are Parth the naga scientist that brings with him a refreshing take on South Asian mythology, and Dvornik the jealous boyfriend who despite his hideous personality has a pretty interesting dynamic with Sig, the aforementioned hot girl. I have to say this made the resulting Sig-Dvornik-John love triangle pretty interesting to read about, and this is coming from someone not usually keen on romantic drama bogging down my action in UF.

Character-wise, I think my one disappointment was actually with John himself, and more specifically, it was his "Prince Charming" background and angle of the book that I wish had been more overt or explored further. After all, Prince Charming is a prominent but often underdeveloped figure in many classic and beloved fairy tales, and he rarely gets top billing like this. The blurb for this book and some of the other publicity materials for it appear to play up this point, which is why I was surprised there was not more of a link between John Charming and his ancestors and the Prince Charming of legend and fable.

It it weren't for the family name, there wouldn't have been much of a connection. All in all, a fun read. I had some mild issues with the main character and wished that the plot, lore and world were a bit more inventive and unique, but on the whole I enjoyed this and would be interested in reading more of the series. View all 7 comments. I started reading this as a buddy read here on GR with my friend M. Unfortunately, I think I lost her somewhere along the way. But not to worry, I ended up reading a book that I otherwise might not have read and M, you're still an awesome friend because this book was your suggestion for our buddy read.

I haven't read much in terms of paranormal books since the great Twilight fiasco. As in the books were gifted to me by my children and I read them. That pretty much cured me of any interest I may h I started reading this as a buddy read here on GR with my friend M.

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That pretty much cured me of any interest I may have had in regard to vampires or werewolves and I've never been a fan of zombies thankfully none were created in the making of this story. What this story did have that I really appreciated were some good old Knights Templar, now you have to understand these guys are special at my house because So I love stories that utilize this particular organization and their history.

John Charming, yes that's right our hero's name is John Charming and at times it's definitely a bit of a misnomer, is a Knights Templar unfortunately he's also considered to be an abomination in the eyes of this same group that trained him and taught him how to be one of their best monster hunters ever. So there you have it the beginning of the very basic foundation of this story. Knights Templars are modern day hunters of monsters, things that go bump in the night if you will, and our hero has been cast out of this group for being what they consider to be an abomination.

The thing that sets this story apart from so many others for me was the way the author merged the world of the paranormal with the world of the normal or as I said to my personal Knights Templar, the fact that the story explained the unbelievable using the believable. Yes at times details were stretched but if you're going to make me believe in all those things that go bump in the night a little stretching of the imagination is going to be needed on both sides of the story. James made it so easy and possible for my imagination to create his story to buy in to how his world could possibly exist and I really enjoyed it.

I hadn't really planned on reading this series beyond this book but I really enjoyed the world building and the character development that occurred in this first book and I'm sure that my natural curiosity won't let me stop at this point. I could easily imagine Harry Dresden and John Charming existing in the same world as a matter of fact I think a book with these two men fighting evil side by side would be pretty epic and probably incredibly entertaining.

John Charming John Charming is the Templar Knight equivalent of a Kinder Surprise egg that opens and pop goes the sarcastic fucking great warrior weasel wolf. As you have already realised - probably - John has entered the "Me Likey" part of my cave. He is sarcastic, humorous and he knows how to fight. He uses a katana sword and guns, throws bottles at miles per hours among other th 3.

He uses a katana sword and guns, throws bottles at miles per hours among other things and most important he has no issues about getting naked.

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A lot of urban fantasy focuses on the True Companions , such as Buffy and Hellboy ; Supernatural and Charmed focus on families. I don't remember if any of the important pairs include a mare. May 10, , This site uses cookies. Well, now the decision is in your hands!

He was like Yes you guessed right, I loved all the fighting scenery. It was simply written yet super effective without too much details drowning the fucking thing. The world was interesting as well. I recognized creatures I've read elsewhere and everything was explained agina without drowning us. The writing in general was real easy going. Best thing had to be the chapter titles though! The problem was the rest of the cast. Generally you have to like another soul within a book. Doesn't really matter who it is or why you like them as long as you do.

I liked John but no one else really and not for the lack of trying on my part. Not Sig, the supposed love interest, even though I do give her points on a couple of occasions. Not Molly, who has signs of being a character I could get behind if only she actually "showed up" more. Not Choo Choo who for the name alone should have been in the likes yet he wasn't sure or wouldn't decide where his character fell.

Not Cahill who was the stereotyped cop. Not the villain who was presented as genius and dangerous but was overwhelmingly Meh. John is a good hero with mucho potential. The rest of the cast is the reason this isn't a 4 star rating book, but for some of them there is hope yet. Some have compared John to Harry Dresden and I can admit that there is base for that. I saw it and noted it as well. John though is of course an infant to Harry but I would just love to throw those two in a room together. And add Kate Daniels in as well. Apr 06, Experiment BL rated it liked it Shelves: I almost rated the book a 2-stars had the positives not outweighed the negatives.

Astoundingly, the plot kept to a brisk pace. For example, Parth was the token geek character. What made him beyond a cliche was the fact that he was a naga, one of the most dangerous paranormal creatures, and thus powerful in his own right. I always hate it when geek characters are made stereotypically weak. Molly was the token priest character suffering a crisis of faith. I loved how she pretty much defied the stereotype of an intolerant, chauvinistic, kill-all-the-nonhumans- and humans sympathizing with nonhumans priest. Though the sides were black and white, which usually tugs on my suspension of disbelief, the development of the bad guys made them believable.

In other words, it took no effort for me to believe in the bad guys. One thing that did tug my suspension of disbelief and tugged hard was the character development of the hero, John Charming. Because of his very tragic, frequently detailed past, the guy was supposed to have major trust issues and major aversion to forming social ties. Yet the way he acted throughout the story was completely to the contrary. Fortunately, what saved the character for me was his foresight, his strong abilities and success in battles, the fact that he thought things through and thought cleverly, and most importantly, the fact that he confronted his issues head on.