Series: Pax Arcana #3
Published by Orbit on August 11, 2015
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Sexual Content: Kissing
Reviewed by: Kate
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...
After spending some time in the woods in book two, I'm glad to be back with the gang from book one in the third book of the Pax Arcana series, FEARLESS. John is as snarky as ever, and it's good to see him in fine form, as he is the main thing holding FEARLESS together. At times, the story feels a bit chaotic, with countless new characters being introduced and new creatures and powers abounding. But with the strong central character, and a good mystery, James manages to hold it together admirably.
The Pax Arcana series feels extremely episodic. In my opinion, not much background information is needed to understand what is going on in this third installment in the series. Especially because we are introduced to quite a bit of non-Western mythology that is not present in the previous two books, and there is lots of detail given about that. I would say that reading the previous books will definitely up the enjoyment factor of reading this one, but I don't feel they're necessary. (I say this having forgotten the majority of the plots of books one and two, so I really think a new series reader would be fine.)
I also feel this series has evolved. As I mentioned in my review of DARING, the John of CHARMING, the first book, has definitely changed and grown. This growth continues in FEARLESS, as we see John getting used to having a team of people on his side - a vast difference from the lone wolf trope that was John in the beginning. His relationship with Sig is also growing and changing, and after John being alone for so long, it is interesting to watch him come to terms with his feelings for another person. He's not used to it, and that adds to the conflict and interest.
So, if you're looking for an action-packed plot with mystery, a good cast of characters, and a sarcastic main character, look no farther than FEARLESS. I'm crossing my fingers for another installment of the Pax Arcana series, because I can't wait to see where James will go with Sig and John's relationship, and what supernatural problem they'll have to solve next!