There are several prequels that were published prior to the release of the first book. Normally I’m not a fan of reading the short stories the precede a novel until I’ve determined if I’m interested in the series in general. However, when an author releases the stories before the initial book comes out, then I’m more curious to read them in actual publication and chronological order.
When Tom Morris encounters a naked man walking along the interstate with no memory of how he got there, the smart thing to do is drive away. The only problem is, Tom Morris has secrets of his own. Like the fact that he comes from a long line of witch finders, monster slayers, and enchantment breakers, or that his real name is Charming. John Charming.
I admit that I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I first started – and by the time I finished just 36 pages later, I’m still not entirely sure. But I am intrigued.
John Charming seems like he could be a character that is right up my alley. He’s a bit weary, a little more than somewhat jaded, and slightly snarky. I want to get to know him more.
But it’s the world that I’m really interested in. I’m always fascinated by the different takes on the fae, and to the bare bones we get here just serves to make me more intrigued in this particular world. This is a teaser. We’re given just enough to make us want to dive in and find out all the rest.
So, it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. Get the reader excited and looking forward to the next.
Nothing with the Cunning Folk is ever free. When John Charming goes to Sarah White for help with a minor ghost problem, he soon finds himself dealing with a restless spirit on a completely different scale. And the last thing you want to be when hunting a water spirit is out of your depth…
Ahh. Now this delves a little more deeply into John and who he actually is. I’m beginning to think that the stories should have been bundled together and read as a set. I mean, that’s what I’m doing anyway, but I think it could have been more clear that they’re meant to go together.
I’m liking this inch-by-inch way that we’re being indoctrinated into the world. These short stories give just enough to get you through the story, to understand, and give a little background. Not much more. And that’s perfect.
I enjoyed the story here, which ties in with the previous prequel, and can’t wait to see where it goes next.
Trying to make money off the grid, John Charming discovers an underground poker tournament where the hors d’oeuvres are made of human flesh and the players are gambling with much more than their money. All bets are off.
I love how we’re delving more and more into the world and getting more details about John along the way in each of these stories.
The mythology of the rakshasha is fascinated and detailed. I also, especially, liked how John is mistaken for a loup-garou and the further world we get shown because of that.
I liked how poker was incorporated into the story, it wasn’t just a backdrop for the plot to take place against. It was an intricate part of the plot.
I’m beginning to get really excited for this series.
The line between reality and dream is never entirely clear under the best of circumstances…and when John Charming finds himself being hunted through a nightmare house, it is far from the best of circumstances.
This was an incredibly quick read. I liked the “monster” and how John wasn’t exactly coherent throughout. We learned a bit more about him because of it.
A true short story and glimpse into the world, this took me less than 20 minutes to read. I am beginning to wonder what monsters could possibly keep John occupied for a full length novel – and I’m excited to find out.
Somewhere in Alaska a locked house full of ripped apart bodies and one teacup poodle covered in blood. Somewhere in Alaska, the voice of a dead woman speaks through a car radio. And somewhere in Alaska, the last surviving descendant of one of John Charming’s only friends is being pursued by nightmare hounds. The dog days have begun.
These just keep getting better and better! I’m loving the little glimpses, the slow build, into the world and character.
Each short story brings us a slightly larger picture about who John Charming actually is. And I’m fascinated.
I also love how big the world is, how varied and rich the mythologies and histories that we get to explore are. Part of the fun is learning, along with John, what exactly it is we’re facing. I really enjoy the way the main character speaks to the reader, telling them everything in the time he believes it needs to be told. This story-telling device is really working for me right now.
John Charming. Ex knight. Current monster hunter.
John’s past is complicated enough, so he tries to keep life simple: Find monster. Kill Monster. But when he wanders into Vista Verde, a small town with a big secret, he soon discovers that the simple answer is a load of bull.
This is difficult. This was one of the most satisfying stories of these prequels, and one of the most dissatisfying at the same time.
This book tells the story in an alternating flash-back mode. This is one of my most hated story-telling methods. When it went full flash-back the first time I rolled my eyes. However, it works here, really, really well. It’s appropriately used, and I liked the way the story unfolded. Huge props to the story for that. This is what makes it most satisfying.
And then it ends. In a complete cliffhanger and I don’t know what happens or what decisions are made. Argh! It’s so frustrating! How can that be the place to end it? Does the next prequel Talking Dirty pick up where this one leaves off? Kind of like how Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls picks up where Charmed I’m Sure leaves off?
Up until the end-that-wasn’t-an-end I was going to rate this 4 stars, but now I’m not so sure.
While trying to deal with a monster he can’t bring himself to kill, John Charming soon runs into another problem: Magic and technology don’t mix…so how is a phone sex operation enchanting men through their cell phones?
Argh! These last two prequels are a study in frustration for me!
I started this book and was immediately relieved that we picked up where the last short-story, Bulls Rush In, left off. And the need to resolve what happened there (which I can’t talk about for spoilers) is a big part of the plot here, though it also kind of goes into a whole other direction as well.
So I’m reading along, enjoying the story and the mythology and the little extra that we continuously learn about John Charming, ex-knight and current werewolf, and I’m sitting here thinking that I’m going to get some resolution…
…And then it ends. AGAIN. With nothing being really resolved. So, at this point I have to assume that this is still an issue in the first book? I haven’t read the blurb in a long time so I can’t even know if it is or might be, but I’m frustrated at this point. I really hope I get some sort of resolution, though at this point I’m not sure it’s going to be one I’ll enjoy.
Overall thoughts: While most of these stories stand alone well, I would recommend reading the 1st and 2nd together, and the 6th and 7th together as well (and don’t expect everything, or even the main thing, to be tied up and resolved in these last couple). They’re snapshots in John Charming’s life, and a moment in time while he deals with a new monster. I’m intrigued and pulled in, while still being somewhat frustrated, and am looking forward to reading the first full-length novel, Charming.
I’m really excited to learning more about the world, the knights, John, and what the hell is going on with the open-ended stuff left hanging from these last two short stories!