The protagonist is Spike meets Tyrion meets Disney Prince
Earlier this year month I attended a panel where the head editors of the top SciFi/Fantasy imprints discussed “What’s Next” – what are the next great books in the genre. The one recommendation that really stuck out to me was a book called Charming by Elliott James. To try to paraphrase the description I was given:
Hundreds of years ago the Charming family made a covenant to help hide magic and magical creatures from the world – that’s why you see so many fairy tales featuring a guy named Charming. This book is about a modern day guy named John Charming. Unfortunately for him, he’s part werewolf and not only does he have to deal with evil vampires and the like, but the rest of the Charmings want to hunt him down. Then a vampire walks into a bar…
It sounds just crazy enough to make you – well me at least – really want to read it. And I loved it. It was an interesting mix of urban fantasy told from a guy’s point of view (which is really rare) and lots of fairy tale and mythology references. Plus, it was incredibly funny. The novel is told as a sort of lesson, John’s advice to the reader ala Max Brook’s Zombie Survival Guide so there is a really strong and unique narrative voice.
For example, John Charming is tending bar one night when a vampire walks in. This is his description:
“The Vampire didn’t walk into the bar so much as flow. Like water. Like night. He was wearing a tight black T-shirt and dark jeans over muscles that seemed to have been sculpted from ivory. His hair was black and tousled, farming piercing green eyes that burned with banked passion in spite of the cold smile on his cruel slash of a mouth. OK, just kidding. Sorry. The whole thing about vampires being ubersexy Euro-trash? It’s a myth… Popular young adult novels nonwithstanding, vampires only sparkle when they burn.”
Anyone who has ever laughed at True Blood or Twilight will LOVE this. Not only are the actual plot and characters interesting, but the narrator is basically an awesome combination of Spike from Buffy and Tyrion from Game of Thrones. Do yourself a favor and check it out. It will change your life. Well, maybe not, but it will charm you.