Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he's discovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life-force of magical creatures-destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. Hired to investigate, Alex realizes that not everyone on the Council wants him delving any deeper. Struggling to distinguish ally from enemy, he finds himself the target of those who would risk their own sanity for power...
©2012 Benedict Jacka (P)2014 Tantor Audio
"Jacka follows his urban fantasy debut, Fated, with an even more impressive tale of gunplay and spellcraft in present-day London...Jacka keeps the emotional tension high with a series of wakeup calls for Alex regarding his relationship with Luna, his place in London's magical social circles, and his image of himself. [Listeners] will savor this tasty blend of magic, explosions, and moral complexity." (Publishers Weekly)
Feels so derivitive of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. Alex is okay but the disappointing treatment of all the female characters is annoying. I want it to be snappier, sharper, and to make me care more about the characters. Arachne the giant spider steals the show with her sage wisdom. Is it bad that I want Alex to embrace his Dark Mage side?
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
If you like Harry Dresden or Iron Druid you will like this series. This is the second in the series and it has all the action of the first and expands on character development and backstory as well. Mr Jackson does an excellent job reading this book.
The only negative (and hence the loss of stars in performance) was that the quality of the recording wasn't that good. The sound was tinny and had echoes in places. You could hear where they cut from one reading to the next. The funniest part is you could hear what was going on in the booth in a few parts. I could even hear Mr. Jackson's stomach growl twice during the reading. He's doing a great job, someone get the man a sandwhich for goodness sakes!
Overall, great story and performance. The series is fast paced and action filled without negelecting character development. The worls is rich and well developed as is the system of magic. You can't go wrong with this one.
I was always a sci-fi fan and nerd as a young person. Currently I read more urban fantasy, now plentiful and popular, than I do true sci-fi.
The first book in the series was absolutely fabulous,which seems rare in a series. Most of the time I feel that the first book in a series is simply good rather than terrific because of all the background info and character building that has to happen throughout. With the first one being wonderful, I worried that it might be a bit of a let down to read the second. I should not have doubted Mr. Jacka. This book is not only as enjoyable as the first, but the storyline manages to be very original. There is certainly no feeling like a formula is being developed. The plot is original and the characters, both new and return characters, are multi-dimensional.
As for the performance, I can be a terribly picky listener. I taught English and reading in secondary classrooms for 10 years, so every little mispronunciation, stutter or even regional dialect gets "graded" in my head. The performance of this novel, like the first one, is flawless. There was nothing to distract me from the book at all, and it often gave even greater dimension to the already fascinating characters. The narration never sounds forced, and I enjoyed every moment if it. This will definitely be a novel that I repeatedly replay in order to enjoy it again.
This series is very good. It's a bit like Dresden Files but not nearly as dark--thank god. It's got a lot of similarities with the Iron Druid Chronicles but with a distinctly different set of magical abilities--Alex's future sight magic is fascinating and another character's curse magic is too (no spoilers!). It's light enough and unique enough to be a fun, interesting read. I'm on book 4 now, and the series holds pretty consistent in terms of pace and action.
My only bone to pick is my personal irritation with Alex's arrogance and the author's tendency to indulge that arrogance. If Alex wasn't around all the other characters in the series would just run around like chickens with their heads cut off because they need his Supreme Intelligence to function. I think the author doesn't let little guys like the super smart geeky history mage have their due time in the spotlight.
The only other thing I'd say is that the narrator uses a bland, high voice for the female characters, and I think Luna would be less meek-sounding in my own head.
Worth the read!! And subsequent emptying of your pockets to get the next 5 books...
I was trying the series after it was recommended to fill in while waiting for more of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books. I was disappointed in the first book, but felt the need to give the second entry a try before giving it up as a loss. ultimately disappointing. there was no real growth from the first book, and the same mistakes were made again. would not recommend.
This one was better than the first. The characters were more developed and the story line was entertaining. But, after I read it, I still found it lacking something. I'm not sure what that something is but I won't let that stop me from getting the next book. I will say that I was very annoyed with Luna. Everything that happened in this book was her fault and I think they should have come down hard on her. All in all I enjoyed the book and I want to find out if Luna's character is finally going to mature.
The second book of this series takes the story to the next level. It does not wallow in what we already know from the first book. It does what a second book is suppose to do, advance the story. And the story definitely gets better.
The performance is first rate. The narrator becomes the characters.
I love this book & love this series. But I still thing Gildart Jackson is the wrong voice. Not that he's bad, he just conjures up an image closer to David Niven than Alex Verus.
That said, I strongly recommend this book and of course, read the first book before you read this.
For those who have read the first, be prepared to want to slap Luna...she's very annoying in this installement.
Eh, I dunno. I like the stories so far, but Luna is really driving me nuts.
I didn't have much reaction to it. It ended kind of....well, it just ended really. There wasn't much conclusion to things. I mean, they were concluded, but there wasn't much catharsis to most of the plot threads.
Oh his performance was great. No problems there. He was very enjoyable to listen to.
No I can't see it turning into a movie or tv show. Mainly because I'm pretty sure it's already been done on something like Supernatural at some point.
Seriously, Luna can just go die in a fire. VERY SPOILER HEAVY REASON, SO SKIP IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS.**************************
Ok, so the whole thing with Luna and Alex, and Meredith was really damn annoying. Luna sends Martin over, and he's clearly got her curse on him, meaning she's been close to him. And it's revealed later that she clearly had feelings for him. So then, when she sees Meredith at Alex's place, she gets all bitter and cold, and angry, letting her curse lash out at her. Why? As if she were Alex's lover? To hell with that. She got mad at Alex for his attempt to keep her from messing with Martin when it was OBVIOUSLY a bad idea, but she didn't care, cuz she lubz him! And yet Alex can't have someone else? Sorry but I can't stand emotionally unstable female characters. And that's all she is. She's so self absorbed with her curse, and "omg my life is soooo terrible", she can't see anything beyond herself. And considering that the author tied her curse's power into her emotions, she's basically guaranteed to always be 1 step away from an emotional breakdown, just so they can have the threat of her unstable curse lashing out. And sorry, but I have zero time/patience/love of mentally unstable female characters. Seriously they're terrible literary tools. Every time she is in the scene, I grind my teeth and hope she leaves soon. The books would be GREAT, if Luna wasn't in them. Sadly, I know that's not going to happen, so I have to either not listen to them anymore, or suffer through her ever increasing involvement in the stories. I'm still debating on if I like the books enough to tolerate her and buy more books.
There is something different about this series that I can't quite peg. I like it though.
Maybe it is the lack of current event nods, jokes, and satire. I divide books into two categories, "good" books, ones that make me think or have a purpose, and "entertaining" books that let me have fun and forget life. Urban fantasy tends to fall into the "entertaining book" category. However this one falls more into the good book category. It doesn't quite reach the level of literature, but it definitely plays with themes.
In this book, Alex is back and more popular than ever after the rumors of the events from the previous book leaked out to the magic community. So of course this means he is going to get pulled into the machinations of the council of light mages again in all their evil, Machiavellian ways. You heard that right, that's one of those themes I mentioned, the light mages aren't much better than dark mages. Luna is also back and gets much more page time and character growth. Frankly speaking, she is my favorite part of the series, I like seeing how her character grows.
Beyond this, the story is very well trodden ground. It is how the story is told that makes this book stand above all the three star urban fantasies.
This is not a series you will want to binge, but it is an enjoyable series that I will continue. I love that Alex isn't afraid to do what must be done, unlike so many other protagonists. So if you liked the first book, I recommend this one.
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