Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop in London. And while Alex's own powers aren't as showy as some mages, he does have the advantage of foreseeing the possible future-allowing him to pull off operations that have a million-to-one-chance of success.
But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever's inside must be beyond powerful. And thanks to his abilities, Alex can predict that by taking the job, his odds of survival are about to go from slim to none…
©2012 Benedict Jacka (P)2013 Tantor
"Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously - and be a little nervous around him. I just added Benedict Jacka to my must-listen to list." (Jim Butcher)
With all of the comparisons to Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne I thought I'd give it a try. In the first few minutes of the book, it's hard not to compare Alex Verus to Dresden and to Atticus O'Sullivan. Jacka even writes in a cheeky reference to Harry Dresden. Verus owns and operates a magic shop, ran away from his evil mentor at a young age, is shunned by most other magical practitioners and by the end of the book has a young, female apprentice. He's also friends with an air elemental- think Toot Toot or Oberon. He's a mage who is hard but with a soft-ish heart. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, both Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne should be very flattered. I wanted to hate it after the first few minutes and pick on it for being a rip off, the narrator even sort of sounds like James Marsters as Spike, but the story is well written and it drew me in. If you are even remotely a fan of the Dresden Files or the Iron Druid, you should give this book a chance. I'm glad I did.
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
This is an excellent series. I have read all the books and was glad to see it finally come out in audio format. The world is well definied and has a very deep, well organizes system of magic. In fact, the author's website has an encyclopedia online discussing all the different types of magic in this world and how it works.
The characters are easy to like and get behind. The main character is powerful, just not in a straight up fight, so there is no sense of him being over-powered. Everyone else can throw fireballs and the like, but he can see future probabilites. While that is really powerfull it makes certain the main charachter has to really use his wits to get the job done.
The narration was fine and compliments the book. As the title says, if you like Dresden Files or Iron Druid you will enjoy this series. It is more on the serious side than the other two series with less pop culture references.
Harry Dresden (by Jim Butcher) is one of my favorites characters in Urban Fantasy, so I really liked Alex Verus… as someone said here its like Harry's English Cousin. Because this is the first book of four its still early to say how much I like. I guess by the book four I could be more specific how much I like.
Once again to Harry Dresden. Though mind they are not the same. As i just started the series all I can say that Harry and Alex share a similar way of thought, how they deal with their enemies. Id say Harry is more aggressive and powerful, perhaps? Alex in other hand as being able to see the future appear more analytical and think before act… while Harry has a "Godmother",the evil Leannan sidhe to come at his aid, Alex has a female air elemental being and a mythological giant-spider to come at his aid. Harry has a female apprentice, Alex has also a female friend that come across as his apprentice. Both share a bad past with a consul of wizards (or of Mage in Alex's case). Both also had almost being killed by their evil mentors in the past and still managed to became "good guys". What else… ah while Harry struggles to make money in Chicago… Alex do own a shop in London, but he is far from being rich either. Now the most interesting thing was that Alex does mention once reading about a wizard advertising himself in the newspaper though he believes was urban legend !!! I though was really cool because gives a hint that Harry and Alex somehow lives in the same universe. In so many books I read in Urban Fantasy thats the only time a character from author is mention … well apart from comic book characters (but they were mentioned as fiction not as a person as Alex acknowledges the existence of such wizard in Chicago… clearly Harry Dresden). I guess i brought up what was similar to me. In essence i would not say they aren't the same, the story is quite different as far as I felt on the first book. Just some elements may be related.
I really enjoyed his performance. Although he isn't James Masterson (who plays Harry Dresden), I though he did a good job with his voice. His female voices were good too. Overall was pleasant to hear as some books even though were acclaimed as excellent books if the narrator in the audiobook doesn't do a good job its hard to keep up. I have stopped listening several books because I couldn't stand horrible narrators.
Hmmm … Like I said as Fated was the first book in the series, I was just trying to get into the story. To be honest though I liked the book I can't say I loved yet…maybe the second I d like better? But please dont get let me discourage to get this book. Perhaps as a Harry Dresden fan I was hoping more action? Keep in mind I've got all Harry Dresden 14 Books… so I'm a fan and Alex Verus i'm still getting to know.
I think most people that like Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher), Atticus O'Sullivan - The Iron Druid ( Kevin Hearne), Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs) and Rachel Morgan (Kim Harrison) would like this book.
It's hard to say why, but Fated felt long and never gripped me. Alex Verus doesn't have much personality and I really don't care about him. In a book full of characters, Verus seems to have no friends and no life and no feelings about what's happening. His divination gift is thought of as weak relative to other types of mages, but together with some tools and associates he ends up seeming overpowered, especially with the rules bounding his divination very fuzzily drawn. He sees multiple futures in some probabilistic spectrum, but he can't see past pure chance events or decisions other people haven't made yet. That description is hard to make sense of as he constantly looks at how antagonists will react to different revelations or conversational gambits.
At one point certain characters are in a trap that's supposed to be very unpleasant and, I think, deadly. We don't care about these characters, anyway. It's not clear how they got in there, and why one person escaped already, and why nobody is dead yet. It's the least threatening trap ever, especially once you hear how they get out. It takes a while, far too long for the minor amount of plot set up and character revealed here.
A different narrator may have been able to elevate or change the tone of the middling material. Jackson reads Alex in a clipped, didactic, flat voice, not adding much dimension even when there's humor. The youngish, nonconformist protagonist comes off as some serious bureacratic council wizard. Voices of different characters may blend together and start sounding the same even when they started off distinct; you can hear this in the dialog in the sample.
Fated might be more interesting written from Luna's point of view. It's really her story. The problem lands in her lap in the first place, and she holds a big chunk of the solution. She experiences multiple challenges, including a noncommital mentor who keeps calling her "good girl" and may also see her as a romantic interest. Luna has the more interesting revelation at the end of the book, and greater growth.
Living working and getting through life. Just a down-to-earth guy looking for a good listen on audible books. Suggestions are welcomed.
The storyline and the narration.
The obvious choice would be the Harry Dresden novels by Jim Butcher. But I also think Midnight Riot and following books in that series make for a good comparison.
First time that I can remember hearing him read a novel, but his performance and this one was excellent in my opinion.
No extreme reactions. It was just a nice novel to listen to and it kept my attention. The story was great, fast paced and made me want to join in future adventures.
this is the first time I've ever posted a review for a book that I purchased on audible. But I enjoyed it the Alex Verris novels so much that I just had to recommend them to other readers who might be fans of Harry Dresden or books like it.
Wonderful first book of a new series. Reminiscent of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden, but with a uniquely British twist. Wonderful narration (although the actor sounds a little too old for the main character). Highly recommended.
Book is about a ‘mage’ Alex who runs a store for magical item. Alex has magic to foresee possible variation of future at any given moment allowing him to make very clever choices giving him ability to complete tasks which are nearly impossible for normal humans/mages. Alex reside in London and there are two general factions of mages discussed in book while and dark mages. Alex does not seem to have any allegiances, but has certain history which makes the story interesting.
At the start of this book it reminds reader of ‘Iron Druid’. Therefore, comparison to iron druid books are inevitable throughout the book. There are few distinct differences worth mentioning. Alex is not immortal (not ancient with a lot of history) and does not has incredible amount of offensive weapons. Alex is not unique in general that there are various type of mages including other mages with same capability as Alex. Furthermore, there are no deities or talking pets involved in the book either.
Story revolves around investigation of an ancient relic of presumably immense power. All mage factions are interested and want to secure Alex’s services to unlock the relic’s secrets. Story moved at a slower pace for first half of the book, but picks up speed in later half of the book (especially the last several chapters) making up for the slow start. Investigation of relic becomes very interesting and contains several twists.
My minor gripe about the book is lack of sense of humor (at least it is not at the same level as Iron Druid). Second, Alex’s utilization of power sometimes is slightly confusing, but overall it is clean.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, and I will be reading the next book in series. Narration of the very well done and captures the characters well. I recommend this book even to Iron Druid fans.
Excellent narration by Jackson complements the author's very dry British humor. I'm still trying to decide if Jackson deliberately channeled David Mitchell for one of the posh wizards.
Arachne. Must be a very interesting back story.
This book does bear similarities to the Iron Druid series. However, the tone of the books is closer to that of Aaronovitch's River series.
Most everyone's heard of the Dresden series...From books to the cable series, it's had a following for some time.
But wait, isn't this about the Alex Verus series? So what gives, here?
Well, I bring up the Dresden series, because if you like THAT series, I'm betting you'll like this one equally, as well. Maybe a bit more, as I do.
In a nutshell, both series are modern urban fantasies. Adventures/mysteries that throw in a taste of magic, good writing and maybe some humor to give the series wit and add to the work's momentum.
The Dresden series is good, mind you, but it never stuck completely with me. For whatever reason, I wasn't too excited about getting to the next audiobook in the series.
Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus series is somewhat similar, but is much more my style. Here's why I write this:
As much as I like Butcher and his work, this is simply better writing, with a stronger and superior magic system that's much more socially prevalent, if you will. It reads better. It's more of a "page turner" than Butcher's series, more detailed in certain aspects. Also, setting it in England seems to give the magic system more depth, perhaps more suspension of disbelief. The storyline is solid and makes sense, and the dialogue is spot on for what Jacka sets out to accomplish. Anyway, this definitely strikes a chord in me, and I liked this first in the series. MUCH more momentum, for me.
Now, let's remember, that at the end of the day, this isn't supposed to be socially relevant, nor is it a deep moral lesson. This is about enjoying a good story. The sheer fun.
And this was.
So, I recommend this work to those who seek the thrill, who want the fun, who want to enjoy the moment, for once. And maybe, if you like it as much as I do, twice, with the second book.
Enjoy the moment.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
I would not really compare this to Dresden or to The Iron Druid Chronicles. It's more along the lines of the Septimus Heap series, with the exception of some foul language. Mages are people who can see all the possible outcomes of the immediate future as long as a choice has been made. Air walkers are fairy type ancient characters who can help humans to become air like wind and can also be invisible like air. Shadow people are similar to the Rouge character in the X-men series. Touch is a curse.
This was a great adventure of good against evil with an exciting plot, fast moving story line and some original characters. There are different types of Mage's, (earth, air, mind and war), which makes the concept quite interesting. I am an arachnophobe but one of my favorite characters was an ageless, cloths designing, giant spider who has to get very close to you because of her bad vision. Hehe, very creepy (pun). This is a wonderfully fun walk in the mystical world without the age old wizard slant.
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