This time last year, I could go weeks without seeing another mage. In mage society I was an unknown and, all in all, that was how I liked it. It’s hard to say what changed. Whatever it was, I got involved in the magical world again and started getting myself a reputation.
Alex Verus’s insights into the future used to be the best-kept secret in London. Now, with the aid of his apprentice, Luna, his unique investigative talents are all the rage. He just has to be careful about picking his employers, because everyone - even the beautiful woman who practically begs him to run security for a prestigious tournament - has motives that can be hard to predict. And Alex doesn’t do unpredictable.
But his latest gig just might be impossible. Apprentices have been vanishing without a trace - and someone on the Council could be involved. Alex has no evidence, no witnesses, and no suspects. All he knows is that someone is keeping tabs on him. And after assassins target Luna’s classmate, Alex sees that he doesn’t know the half of it - and that he could be the next to disappear.
©2012 Benedict Jacka (P)2014 Tantor
"The action is fast and smart, playing with thriller conventions so that while [listeners] get excitement they also are encouraged to think about what magic might mean in human terms. A superb book in an outstanding, provocative series." (Publishers Weekly)
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
This is the third book in this series. I have to say that the Alex Verus series has quickly become one of my favorites. Taken is another strong entry for Mr. Jacka. This book, like the others, is stand-alone but does slowly build on the history of the main characer.
The world is complex and well-developed. The magic system is well thought out and makes sense without an inordinate amount of suspension of disbelief being required. The good guys are likeable and you want to see them succeed. The bad guys are truly evil and you look forward to see them getting what's coming to them.
I love the Verus character. He is the dark, bad-ass Harry Dresden thinks he is. Verus tries to do right, but will not hesitate a bit to kill someone in cold blood in order to survive. This brings a level of realism, and the more you learn about the protagonist the more sense his outlook makes.
This is a fun, action packed book. It doesn't have all the humor and pop-culture references most urban fantasy novels have. I think that is a good thing as it makes you focus more on the story and what is happening. It was a nice mystery that is definitely worth a credit.
I've listened to all of the Benedict Jacka books. He's a great writer. The story pacing is excellent and there's rarely a dull moment. The character development throughout all three books (and the fourth, Chosen) is appreciated as well. If there is one pet peeve that I have, it's this: London is a multicultural city. The books reflects that fact. However, every single brown-skinned character is evil or incompetent. This "unconscious?" characterization holds true in Fated, Taken, Curse, and even Chosen. So, if you're a reader with brown skin, as I am, you must overlook what I hope to be unconscious stereotyping and just enjoy the story for what it is. A fast-paced, well-written urban fantasy with a singular flaw that will only bother some of the book's audience. Others won't even notice.
Alright, I guess I have to admit that I am hooked on this series. I enjoy it because it has well developed characters set in a realistic magical world. The story lines are full of action and interesting characters. There are also no happy endings. Alex may survive to live and fight another day, but, that doesn't mean that everything is wrapped up with a nice neat bow. This makes the story realistic and very likable. Jacka did a really good job creating Alex. The Alex Versus character reminds us that you can win a fight with your brain even if you do not have brute strength.
What I don't like is that Jacka sometimes gets too involved in describing the scene, especially when he is leading to an action scene. I admit at those times I skip ahead.
I have already bought the next book in the series and will more than likely listen to all of the books made available by Audible.
Like the series. I think urban fantasy is my favourite genre. This series does not have the emotional impact of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files or Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles, but while I starve for more material from them this series is serviceable.
not saying its bad. i really do enjoy the universe and storys so far, but after the first 2. this felt to be missing somethingm. inhave a feeling it had to do with new character development for future books. so as im comparing to fated and cursed, it is #3. but again, i do enjoy it
It is a pretty good story. Not a hang onto the edge of your seat kind of story but pretty good. Someone compared it to Harry Dresdan but that is a stretch. I would like to know hold old Alex is supposed to be. It insinuated he was rather young, maybe late early 30s but if that is the case, you need a different narrator because he sounds late 50s. If that is not the case, then you have a good narrator.
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