Fearless: John Charming joins a fight club

Fearless by Elliott James urban fantasy book reviewsFearless by Elliott James urban fantasy book reviewsFearless by Elliott James

Fearless is the third novel in Elliott JamesPAX ARCANA saga (following Charming and Daring). John and Sig are back together working to protect Kevin Kichida, a young man with some magical blood in his heritage who’s being hunted by a greedy ancestor.

The investigation leads John and his supernatural friends to a fight club where they go undercover (as fighters) to get close to their suspect. John acquires (or perhaps simply recognizes and practices) some new supernatural skills in this installment.

The plot of Fearless moves rapidly and is pretty exciting. We meet some cool magical (mostly Japanese-influenced) creatures and magical abilities, the fight scenes are brutal, and there’s a great chase scene.

Best of all is that the gang’s all together again. John is by far the most interesting character (the others are thinly portrayed), but he’s at his best when he’s with his friends. Sometimes he gets teachy, he tends to make wild leaps to correct conclusions without much data, and he creates elaborate unlikely solutions that improbably work out, but he’s a nice guy with an appealing sense of humor.Pax Arcana by Elliott James urban fantasy book reviews

I love Elliott James’ playful approach to his fiction. This book begins with a fun recap in screenplay format and I loved the secret conversations our heroes have in an MMORPG. The plotting is a bit shaky at times, but I find that I don’t really care because I’m entertained.

Roger Wayne again does a nice job narrating the audio version of Fearless which was produced by Tantor Audio. His female voices aren’t great, but he’s got John down perfectly. Fearless is 12 hours long in audio format.

John’s story continues in book four, In Shining Armor. I’m reading it now.

Published in 2015. When your last name is Charming, rescuing virgins comes with the territory — even when the virgin in question is a nineteen-year-old college boy. Someone, somewhere, has declared war on Kevin Kichida, and that someone has a long list of magical predators on their rolodex. The good news is that Kevin lives in a town where Ted Cahill is the new sheriff and old ally of John Charming. The attacks on Kevin seem to be a pattern, and the more John and his new team follow that thread, the deeper they find themselves in a maze of supernatural threats, family secrets, and age-old betrayals. The more John learns, the more convinced he becomes that Kevin Kichida isn’t just a victim, he’s a sacrifice waiting to happen. And that thread John’s following? It’s really a fuse…

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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