I wanted to like this book, and there were moments of it that I enjoyed, but the sixty or so pages in between these precious paragraphs were enough for me to not recommend this book to any serious urban fantasy readers.
The bones of a good story are there: a fairly congenial and funny protagonist, a supernatural world, a believable love interest, and a manageable cast of semi-interesting major characters. Where this book failed to capture my attention was in the protagonist’s narration and the plot itself.
John Charming is a werewolf hybrid on the run from a group of special-op supernatural police called “the Knights.” He’s laying low working as a bar tender in a Podunk Virginia town when he meets Sig, another supernatural human who runs her own team of vampire hunters.
Through a series of less than fortunate events, Sig and John end up working together. Along with an Episcopal priest, an exterminator, two psychics and a few gun-wielding extras, this group forms a not-so-happy band of misfits on a mission to rid Virginia of a highly dangerous vampire hive.
And there’s really nothing wrong with this plot, except that it feels like an afterthought the whole ride. John couldn’t really care less about ridding the world of these vampires….what he does care about is whether or not Sig likes him despite his werewolf issues, and their borderline teenage love-affair constantly takes front and center of the story.
While John’s narration can be witty and laugh-out-loud, it’s weighed down by large portions of info dumping with such detail that I had to go back and reread the dialog that came before it to remember where exactly I was in the plot. John does make a disclaimer at the end of the story for why he was giving so much information to the reader (he breaks the 4th wall constantly), but even with that knowledge, it often felt like the author was interested in the research he’d done for the story, and want to tell the reader ALL the things he found.
I spent most of the book scanning the info dumps to get to the precious paragraphs were Elliot proves he does know what writing’s all about. Regardless of this book’s 2 star rating, I think Elliot is a good writer. There are some scenes in this story that reach off the page, grab your emotions and twist them, and in those moments I LOVED this book. But the narrative drudgery and plodding plot was too much for me to actually like this book.