Cursed

Alex Verus, Book 2
Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
Series: Alex Verus, Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,377 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Cursed

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    16
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    10
Performance
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Story
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    216
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Popcorn fantasy, just how I like it

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...

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The second book is even better.

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.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

gave the series one last chance, and it fell flat.

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One specialized skill and intelligence works

Any additional comments?

Jacka has created a really fun urban fantasy series. The series follows a diviner and his apprentice through various adventures. The really appealing element of this series is the protagonist is not all powerful or really even powerful. He is a moderate talent of one very specialized skill, and his intelligence keeps him out of trouble. Give this series a try. You will enjoy it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Luna can go die in a fire thank you.

Would you try another book from Benedict Jacka and/or Gildart Jackson?

Eh, I dunno. I like the stories so far, but Luna is really driving me nuts.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

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.

What about Gildart Jackson’s performance did you like?

Oh his performance was great. No problems there. He was very enjoyable to listen to.

Could you see Cursed being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It maintains the quality!

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Even better than the first book!

I liked this book even better than the first installment. I think that the biggest difference was that I was already familiar with the characters and the rules of the world instead when I started this one. It was really easy to slip back into Alex's world and I was really curious about how everything would work out. This was a book that I wanted to listen to for hours at a time so I finished it up pretty quickly.

This book picks up shortly after the events of the first book. Alex has received some attention but he is back in his shop just getting through each day as it comes. One of Luna's friends stops in the shop and picks up a dangerous item despite Alex's warnings. There also seems to be some strange deaths of magical creatures that are raising a lot of questions. To top things off, someone seems to be trying to kill Alex.

I am really growing to like this group of characters. Alex is very loyal and is determined to protect those that he considers his friends. As far as that goes, Alex is pretty quick to try to protect anyone who he thinks needs it. I love how he is able to use his abilities and I think that it really keeps the story interesting. Luna is a fun character but she makes some terrible decisions in this book. There are some other really colorful characters that help to move the story along as well.

I thought that this book was pretty exciting. There was a lot going on and I was never quite sure what would happen next. It was fun to watch Alex try to juggle so many things while looking into the future to see potential outcomes. There were a few twists that I didn't see coming and a few moments that had me a bit worried before everything drew to a close.

Gildart Jackson continues to do an amazing job with this series. It was so easy to listen to this book for hours at a time. His pacing is perfect for the story and I think he adds a lot of excitement and emotion to the reading. He does a great job with all of the character voices as well. I do believe that I probably liked this book just a little more because I made the decision to listen to it.

I would recommend this series to others. This is the second book in the Alex Verus series which really does need to be read in order. I found this to be a very exciting and intense story that was very hard to put down. I cannot wait to start the next book!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

hoping it gets edgier

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?

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Follow-Up


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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Better Than The First

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.

2 people found this helpful