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Publisher's Summary

Mage Alex Verus is hanging on by a thread in the ninth urban fantasy novel from the national best-selling author of Burned.

When Mage Alex Verus ends up with a position on the Light Council, no one is happy, least of all him. But Alex is starting to realize that if he wants to protect his friends, he'll need to become a power player himself. His first order of business is to track down dangerous magical items unleashed into the world by Dark Mages.

But when the Council decides they need his help in negotiating with the perpetrators, Alex will have to use all his cunning and magic to strike a deal - and stop the rising tension between the Council, the Dark Mages, and the adept community from turning into a bloodbath.

©2018 Benedict Jacka (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    636
  • 4 Stars
    181
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    671
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    120
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    12
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    3
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    556
  • 4 Stars
    194
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    8
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I love the character development but...

I love the character development but is this plot ever going to get somewhere? Alex and company are an awesome team, but I found myself waiting for something to finally happen with the plot direction.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

love this series!

LoL I tried to make it last since the next book isn't out yet... failed

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sean
  • TULSA, OK, United States
  • 07-20-18

Slow, but satisfying.

Having faithfully followed the adventures of Alex Verus for years at this point, this novel and the previous feel like a turning point in the series.

Alex is is very different in some ways, than the very first time we meet him. The story around him is different. I don’t think this is entirely a bad thing.

Luna has fully been relegated to supporting cast alongside several other characters as Jacka continues to tighten his focus on Alex, Anne, and ever-tightening circle of danger around them.

I enjoyed this, even though it’s light on “action.” There’s plenty of intrigue to go around and we get some good bits. Elsewhere gets explored a bit more, and I dig it.

As far as story, I gave it four stars because I feel as if Sonder, Caldera, and several other characters that played larger parts in previous novels feel very one-dimensional now. Everyone hates Verus, even though he proves time and again he’s a good guy. Light mages are basically all jerks as bad as dark mages at this point, and it’s getting a touch stale. I’m hoping there’s something coming in the way of a resolution or reconciliation between Verus and his old comrades.

STILL, after 9 books, I’m still ready for the next. So keep it up Mr. Jacka.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Just keep getting better.

If you are this far in the series you probably already agree with me, but Alex is a wonderfully layer and power balanced protagonist, equally powerful and outmatched at pretty much all times and Jacka keeps coming up with clever ways to apply those powers. The narration is great and the books always pull me in!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Great Listen... when's 10 come out!?

Every year I wait for the new Verus book on Audible and burn through it too quickly.... This one pushed the story along a little, basically another setup book for the inevitable finale. This was an entertaining listen though... some surprises that I should have seen coming, but he covered it up well. That whole foreshadowing part can be obfuscated with clever tricks. All in all another enjoyable book by Jacka and I will be sorry to see it wrap up, so just keep it going ;)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

If you want to know yourself, ASK your enemies!!!!

1. Literary style is the best. The interplay of drama and action is at the peak of perfection; not too much or too little of either. Perfect! Benedict Jacka is a master literary artist of climatic build up and denouement that leaves the reader captivated and salivating for more! HURRY UP!! PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME WAIT THIS LONG AGAIN FOR THE NEXT!!!
2. GILDART JACKSON! Plz do not make the mistake of replacing this narrator (like what commonly takes place in the middle of many series I read). He is amazing! Not just technique, but inflection, pauses, speed ups, slow down...ect. Love him!! He is probably the reason I am so hooked on this series. He is my favorite narrator!
3. Verus and ANNE!!!! What a twist with Anne! Caldera and Rachel...both "sculpting" Verus... Two different types of mages saying the same thing about Verus. Makes you introspect if the way you see yourself is actually true. Sometimes others see you better than you see yourself. Who better to skew the lens of self-reflection...than self!! Beautiful. HURRY PLZ!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Dry and meandering

I loved the rest of this series, and I was very much looking forward to the audio release of this book. I acknowledge that I've not finished the book. I'm only half way through and I've walked away. I won't give any spoilers because it's rude and because so far, there are none. This story just ambles along with nothing of significance happening or even seeming to build up to anything. I was listening the other night while doing housework and realized that my mind had wandered and I didn't know what was happening in the story. Worse than that was that I didn't care. I enjoy the narrator, but I walked over to my device and angrily shut it off because in that moment, he was just an annoying, rambling man who would never get to the point. I had to process that it wasn't the narrator's fault, but the author's.

Perhaps the author has run out of ideas and/or perhaps this is just a contractually obligated filler book to complete the series. Either way, it was dry and rambling. Up the mid-way point at which I gave up, there was very little magic use or any revelation into the magical world of this story. Instead it just seemed to be an incessant rambling of the main character's thoughts on the political workings and maneuverings of the mage's council within this book's universe.

I may go back to this book when the next book is released in case there are any plots points I need to cover just to get closure, but otherwise, I feel as if this story line has run its course for me. I would not recommend this one in the series at all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Great series

Another great chapter in one of my favorite continuing story lines. The narrator is awesome as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

An addictive urban fantasy series

I so enjoy these characters and world and miss it when the book is done. Can't wait for the next in the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Strong series

If you’re a fan of magical worlds blending with reality this series is definitely worth listening to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful