2013 · 3 stars · fantasy · paranormal

two DNFs: Charming & Sky Jumpers

Title: Charming (Pax Arcana #1)
Author: Elliott James
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
Source: e-ARC via netgalley
Summary: 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?
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating:

How awesome does this sound: the Prince Charming we all know and love isn’t one man, but an entire family. The Charming title is passed down from generation to generation – and these men aren’t your everyday Prince. They’re highly trained assassins, capable of taking down the toughest dragon and nastiest witch.

While pregnant, John Charming’s mother was bit by a werewolf. John came into this world as the one thing his family was trained to hunt: a monster. As a child John showed no signs of being anything other than human. Perhaps it was a fluke; John might just be safe after all. Unfortunately, puberty struck. If you think it’s hard on humans, well, you can imagine what it was like for John. While he doesn’t sprout fur or fangs, he does have a heightened sense of smell and strong urges to kill. So far he’s managed to keep a low profile, working at a bar and leading a rather ordinary life. That is until the day a vampire walked into the pub.

I wanted to be head-over-heels for Charming. This book sounds like it would be the ultimate Leah Novel; it has all the makings of a story perfectly suited for me. Sadly that wasn’t the case. I’d like to think I’m fairly lenient to the start of new series. I understand there’s a certain amount of world-building that needs to be done, especially for sci-fi/fantasy. That said, Charming was nothing but one massive info-dump – usually right in the middle of a big action scene.

I made it roughly halfway through this one before setting it aside. Charming was by no means a bad book – in fact I quite enjoyed it! I plan on revisiting it one day when I have more time (and patience) to devote to Charming‘s world.


Title: Sky Jumpers (Sky Jumpers #1)
Author: Peggy Eddleman
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
Source: e-ARC via netgalley
Summary: 12-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. The bombs destroyed almost everything that came before, so the skill that matters most in White Rock—sometimes it feels like the only thing that matters—is the ability to invent so that the world can regain some of what it’s lost.

But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb’s Breath—the deadly band of air that covers the crater the town lives in—than fail at yet another invention.

When bandits discover that White Rock has invented priceless antibiotics, they invade. The town must choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from disease in the coming months or to die fighting the bandits now. Hope and her friends, Aaren and Brock, might be the only ones who can escape through the Bomb’s Breath and make the dangerous trek over the snow-covered mountain to get help.

For once, inventing isn’t the answer, but the daring and risk-taking that usually gets Hope into trouble might just save them all.
Genre: MG, Dystopia
Rating: DNF

Sky Jumpers was available as a Read Now on netgalley and y’all know I can’t pass up a good Middle Grade. Sadly I didn’t make it more than a few chapters in before setting this book aside.

World War III nearly wiped out civilization. A small settlement was formed in White Rock, Nebraska – in a large crater – and has since flourished. The war was devastating, not only wiping out nearly every bit of technology, but also leaving behind deadly pockets of gas known as Bomb’s Breath. Many people have died after walking into the gas, yet the kids view it as a toy. Leaping off cliffs and into the gas – holding your breath, of course! – slows your fall and feels like flying.

There was far too much going on in the chapters I read. All technology has been wiped out in a matter of years and it’s up to 12-year-old Hope’s class to come up with new inventions. There was some cliff-jumping, lots of exposition detailing the loss of technology, and a large info-dump explaining that this poisonous Bomb’s Breath was actually the result of a green bomb – US citizens learned their lesson after WWII and created a ‘green bomb’ in an attempt to save people..? I didn’t get it.

Perhaps I didn’t read enough – admittedly I stopped about four chapters in (though that was a sizable portion of the less-than-200-page book) – but Sky Jumpers just didn’t cut it. I had a difficult time grasping the idea of this new world and, quite frankly, didn’t care enough to read about the new inventions these children were creating.

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4 thoughts on “two DNFs: Charming & Sky Jumpers

  1. For some reason, every time I see Charming, for a second I keep thinking that Charming is part of the Lunar Chronicles because they have similar title fonts, especially with that fancy “C.”

  2. I DNF-ed Charming, too. I didn’t make it nearly as far as you did though. I have a hard time with adult Urban Fantasy. Something about the voice. I’m often drawn to the premise, but I have a hard time settling into that genre. Have you read the Iron Druid Chronicles books? That’s one of the few books in the genre that I’ve liked, though I’ve only read the first three.

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