Free books Fated Author Benedict Jacka AUTHOR Benedict Jacka –

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Use it kept getting cross recommendations with Ben Aaronovitch s Rivers of London series It has some tropes in common contemporary London with secret magic first person narrator I think it could have something of the same relationship for me as Krentz s books do for Crusie s methadone while waiting for a slower and sophisticated writer I suspect Jacka is somewhat younger than Aaronovitch I d probably have given this 3 stars except a minor spear carrier named Barrayar flitted across the page at one point which amused meJacka also starts with his narratorprotagonist already fairly high powered and knowledgeable which means he has to catch the reader up on much backfill than Aaronovitch s Peter Grant who along with the reader begins at the beginning and learns going forward The naive character whether main or not who needs everything explained is an invaluable addition to many kinds of narratives I must say Jacka has a rather charming secondary character Luna who serves some of this functionAlex Verus runs a magic shop another excellent old trope that gives excuse for several kinds of fun in London partly as cover for his other activities Alex s particular talent is as a seer with an interestingly limited ability to see into the future This is not always as much help as could be hoped and so thereby hangs the tale Since a lot of other powerful and not necessarily nice magical people would like to make use of this talent on behalf of their own agendas bringing the plot to him Alex freuently gets to be hero and maguffin in one Luna too has unusual powers with decided downsides reuiring clever work aroundsThe magical and other world building feels a trifle generic in this first novel of the series and I m not entirely sure why since there are plenty of inventive details I rather liked the concept of the sociopathic mages It may all grow complex as the series wends on which I am inclined to give it a chance to do An excellent addition to the urban fantasy landscape Alex the main character is a mage in London who rejects the magical establishment and can see the future Very well handled his abilities and super fun world building Def if you like Butcher s books pick this up NEW REVIEW 2018 Warning This review contains the usual random fanart and pointless comics done by me Enjoy All images can be found with better resolution here wonder how explaining these books to people would goOk ok I know people keep comparing Alex Verus to Harry Dresden But you know what now that I have finally read the first 7 books of the Dresden Files thus becoming a specialist on the topic I can safely say I like Alex Verus a LOT LOT LOOOOT betterWhyEPIC MAGIC FIGHTS POLITICS COOL PLOT TWISTS MAGIC EVERYWHERE ONE LOVE INTEREST LONDON PROTAGONIST IS A DIVINER AND IT S AWESOME WHEN USED IN FIGHTS OR EVERYDAY LIFE MAGIIIIIIIC continues fangirling for a few minutesOk we all have reasons to resonate with some charactersstories than others Me personally I adore books filled with politics action scenes magic fights and ONE LOVE INTEREST Ok it doesn t have to be ONE but definitely not every single person with boobs that happens to pass near the main heroBack to the point I mean back to theREVIEW THE SETTINGBest way to describe the seriesDon t expect police investiagations or crime stories involving vampires fairies werewolves and others Nor is the protagonist a powerful avatar able to use all types of magic through martial artsBut the world IS secretly inhabited by mages who have their own governing system AND each mage can only use one type of magichmmm maybe Dresden FilesX menTypes of Magicians Cinder fire mage Anne life mage and Sonder time mageYou have the most common Elemental Mages who can use powers such as air fire water lightning force etc Living Mages are mages who can affect living things either to influence their mind healmess up their bodies etcAnd the final rarest and strangest of them all are the Universal Mages they can affect time space chance they can see the past or the present etc Anyways most mages belong either to the Light or the Dark faction Levstas a Light Mind MageBoth factions can be eually evil and cruel it s only a matter of whether you feel the need to hide the bodies or brag about them There is a constant struggle for power and status even among the Light mages Therefore enlistingenslavingblack mailing useful minions is a great pass time for the big players in the magical society And having someone who can see the future in your team can be highly profitable THE PROTAGONIST Alex Verus is a diviner No he cannot shoot deadly bullets made of air disintegrate you with a touch or anything as flashy but he can come up with "Other Creative Ways To " creative ways to you if he feels like it and annoy the crap out of you while he s at it This rare type of mages specializes in information they can learn any new skills instantly ust by checking into the future in which they ve spent hoursdays studying them they can find out any dark secrets about you if they put their mind into it they are hard to surprise hard to kill and hard to be found if they don t want to be found Random chances and free will limit the certainty of their predictions but Diviners are the best at exploiting any situation to fit their needs THE PLOT Nevertheless being a neutral mage not belonging to either the Dark or the Light faction means that Alex Verus has plenty of time to mind his own business a small shop selling books herbs and other magical thing a ma bobs advise any confused novices and of course look through the future for the fun of itsometimes resulting in answering his customers before they even ask themAlex s peaceful and predictable life comes to an end when he the center an end when he becomes the center attention for major players in the magical world They all have one thing in common they need a diviner who hasn t gone into hiding yet to retrieve an ancient seemingly impossible to get artifact Corrupt Council members powerful Dark Mages dangerous acuantances from his past are A Fairly Honourable Defeat just a few of the new additions to Alex s list of people to avoid at any cost The only uestion is should he run or will his curiosity be the death of himview spoilerthe fact that there is a seuel gives it away I suppose hide spoile. Mage war he knows that whatever's inside must be beyond powerful And thanks to his abilities Alex can predict that by taking theob his odds of survival are about to go from slim to no. Actual rating 15 starsThis has a decent magic system and meh characters and an even mega meh plot not sure if that s a real phrase but I m using it Due to Verus being able to see into almost every possible outcome to almost every possible future to an e Sale Alert Kindle Daily Deal 24Jul20 19935 Wizarding World StarsSure sure you are thinking another UF series about a magewizard I know I was thinking the same thing too and then I started reading Alex is not really a bad guy well now but that doesn t mean that he has always been a good guy He is definitely a wizard with a past one that includes being an apprentice to a dark mage and being a little on team evil for awhile Hey we were all young and stupid once Actually he reminds me a little of who I think Malfoy from Harry Potter could be IF he got a clue and a conscious and stopped being a twatAlex has a past and right now he is maybe on the good side of things but he is an outcast to most mage society and ekes out a living While there are some comparisons that could be made to a few other series with mageswizards I think this one has a different feel overall As a diviner Alex can see into the future and has built some serious skills around that But it isn t infallible and he learns in this book that sometimes you should pay attention to the signs Maybe you ve already guessed by now and you re sitting there wondering how I could take so long to figure it out If you are all I can say is that it s a hell of a lot harder to step back and look at the big picture when you have to keep watching your feet for land mines I enjoyed this as a first book to a series There is a bit of infodropping going on since this is setting up a new world and most of it is to a cute apprentice named Luna with a tragic curse wrapped around her I felt like I was in school with her at times learning the ins and outs of the magic world Okay I said I m going to tell you something important so listen closely It s something most mages never learn at all The most powerful weapon you have is your mind Magic doesn t mean anything unless you know the right way to use it It s nice that ust being powerful isn t going to get the ob done in this series As a diviner Alex can t cast or bespell someone so he has to be smart and outwit them Sure seeing into the future helps with that but it doesn t mean that he can control it all Surprises still happen because you can t look everywhere at onceThe side characters are pretty great too I like it when authors branch out and use things that are unexpected like a wind elemental that is as flighty and ever changing as the wind and Arachne I bet you can figure out what she it but still it was a nice change up to the normal vampires and werewolf set up you generally see in UF I m genuinely excited to see what else happens in the rest of this series I m totally shipping the entire LunaAlex situation and hope they can find a way around that curse of hers but it looks like there is hope on that horizon as wellReading this series monthly with Books of My Heart One of these things is not like the other I m Elisabeth Shue 135 Success Facts - Everything You Need to Know about Elisabeth Shue just kidding They re all totally alikeIt isn t long before you notice the first Dresden homage in Jacka s first adult UF book Of course my edition gives it away with the cover where a uote from Jim Butcher plays a prominent role on theacket I can only assume this was so someone wouldn t sue Jacka for copyright violations on Butcher s behalf Once you start reading the parallels appear uickly beginning with his protagonist Alex Verus noting there s a wizard in Chicago rud to advertise in the phone book I started to wonder did this get its start as fan fiction It clearly owes a great deal to Dresden from the characters to the themes to various plot points Don t believe me You really need to read Carly s review which analyzes the similarities Well whatever I can overlook it right I don t hate Harry Dresden I like the modern UF detective noir despite being somewhat formulaic in plot because I enjoy discovering what the author does with a magic system characters setting and tension Unfortunately in this case Jacka needs to do a lot both to individuate himself and to create a stellar series I enjoy a well plotted book however I don t usually spend a great deal of time analyzing it no matter what my I don t usually spend a great deal of time analyzing it no matter what my trolls say about nitpicking So believe me when I say that I noticed the prevalence of deus ex machina solutions they re notable Almost every scrape he got into was solved by the appearance of some untold facet of his skill cheap but acceptable view spoilerexcept for the martial arts skill hide spoiler Fated is a fantastic debut novel This is what urban fantasy can accomplish taking fantasy concepts and giving them a new spin in a modern "setting Jacka uses the concept of an age old war between Dark and Light Mages and " Jacka uses the concept of an age old war between Dark and Light Mages and it in contemporary London While many will think of Dresden and recommend this to fans of that great series I don t even think it s fair to compare them outside of the fact that they are both male POV urban fantasy novels with magical protagonists Jacka writes his own book here and I loved him for it Yes it does have the somewhat smart alecky down on his luck magical protagonist but actually Alex Verus and Harry Dresden couldn t be differentWhile I am not a big fan of witchcraft themes in urban fantasy I love the idea of modern day mages and magic users This book is for those who like to see the magical battles without all the spellwork and spellcasting along with it And the one thing that felt so refreshing and delightfully distinct was the fact that Alex is a Diviner His main ability is to see the future and shift through possible outcomes and choose the best one for his situation This makes Alex of a thinking man hero as opposed to a reactiveshoot first and ask uestions last hero His strength is his ability to assess the situation and choose wisely He will be the first to admit that he s often out numbered and our powered by his adversaries but that ust makes me loyal and root for him all the Because of the fact that he has been the punching bag Alex has a lot of humility and grace for those who aren t strong I respected his sense of right and wrong even if he s not exactly what. 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. ,

You d call a Boy ScoutLuna is an interesting secondary character I felt for her situation and I have a feeling that her relationship with Alex will continue to be pivotal in this series In some ways they aren t that different Both isolated and ostracized for being different They have a strong connection even ust on that levelI found the storyline very interesting Alex having to navigate through shark infested waters of political and physically violent power struggles between Dark and Light Mages Jacka endows his world with a lot of weight and texture He takes the urban fantasy genre is a much needed different direction Instead of treading on the overtrodden territory of vampires werewolves and even faerie he focuses on magic users and not the kind you usually see in urban fantasy novels I found his insights into the social dynamics of Dark Mages uite enlightening and it felt very realistic Although he doesn t dwell on it there are some very disturbing and dark no pun intended aspects to their concept of power and how it s obtained and usedThis took a while to read because the print in my copy was tiny But that doesn t mean I was bored I was too sucked in to feel boredom Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres so I do have high expectations but this one exceeded those nicely I was drawn into this world whenever I picked up the book to read and I will definitely read of this series I highly recommend this to fans of urban fantasy especially those looking for something different A disappointing Dresden clone without the wit and sharp writing The main character is fairly colourless and uninspiring with little to endear him and much patronising behaviour to annoy It reads like a young adult novel with some pretty stupid propositions such as the opening line of chapter 11 A lot of people think of captivity as something glamorous are you serious That is ust ridiculous Who on earth thinks that captivity is glamorous Why write such patent nonsense Or my next favourite stupid generalisation Lots of people think mad means funny Who are these lots of people Does Mr Jacka know them personally or are they ust colourless poorly fleshed out figments of his imaginationThe author also pulls his punches with the scarey and yucky stuff I can t describe it for you because it was too horrible and the likeWhat s the point if you can t write it Ultimately though this guy suffers from the classic newbie error of writing about something rather than revealing it through the eyes of the characters so there s a huge amount of info dump and explainy explainy Someone needs to tell Mr Jack a the cardinal rule of great writing Show don t tell So I was Gone (Gone, just falling off the wagon and wetting my whistle with a bit of Urban Fantasy that was recommended to me recently and I can honestly say that I got really drunk Not alcohol alas but on magicI dust been sifting through all the wonders of the Spacing Guild from Dune and the minor predictive powers of the Jedi recently so imagine my surprise when I get to read about a Dresden ish mage in London who can augur himself through all the twisty paths of time to answer important uestions like Who s going to be killing me in the next fifteen seconds and how can I get out of this damn mess or This is a pretty nasty puzzle placed before me If I can walk all the paths and figure out how to solve it without becoming a crispy critter then go meI admit I laughed loud when Mr Jacka gave an explicit literary nod to a certain mage in Chicago It warmed my cockles And it also set the tone for the mind candy treat that I was about to gobble upThe trick with these kinds of books is how to balance powerful magic against natural limitations andor outside mitigations while keeping in the reader enthralled with a good tale and he did it The plot put this poor neutral mage into the leading roll of a ping pong ball between the white mages and the black mages of London all of whom want him because of his powers of Divination and the fact that he was the only Diviner powers of Divination and the fact that he was the only Diviner enough to have not headed for the hills when the storm began to riseFun Exciting We ve even got a bit of a love interest beginning to brew and I think I like her problems a lot than Alex s Oh wait this isn t her tale But I m guessing she s going to get a lot screen time with a second book named Cursed GoodieI have no complaints about this novel It s light and fun and there s lots of action and even a bit of snark Sound like UF Wait It s Good Urban Fantasy I ve only read one book so far but it s shaping up to be as good as the best stuff of that little mage in Chicago We ll see I ve got high hopes YES it gets a Big Ol 5I was intro d to Urban Fantasy by the Harry Dresden books and frankly since I found them I ve been trying to find other UF books I like as well The Twenty Palaces series turned out to be pretty goodbut their publisher dropped them Rob Thurman s Leandros books goodbut their publisher dropped them Rob Thurman s Leandros books okay I also kind of liked Aaronovitch s books None were nearly up to in my opinion of course Mr Butcher s Dresden booksNow while I can t say I like this book as well as the Dresden booksit is the closest I ve found yet I REALLY LIKE THIS BOOK I have already ordered it as the one I read came from the library and the other two in the series that are in print Okay that said what have we got here Wwwwweeeeellllllll this is the story of and told by Alex Verus a mage who runs a magic shop His powers aren t any great shakes when it comes to blowing things up causing death or doing other flashy things You see Alex is a divinerhe can look down the various paths that events may take based on decisions and actions taken by himself and those he interacts withHe manages very welland he tells a great story I can recommend this book wholeheartedly As I said I ve already ordered the rest of the series that s in print I will uite likely move them to the fronttop of my to be read list putting them right on the currently reading list when I receive them Yes a series of books I m glad I was introduced to I really hope this series holds up Yes enthusiastically recommendedUpdate note I think it has held up I ve read all that are in print and look forward to the next which is due out soon I can recommend these I picked this up beca. 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. ,

Fated Author Benedict Jacka