Monday, 20 May 2013

Fated and Cured - Benedict Jacka

These are the first two books in a series about a mage who lives in London. I read them as part of my crusade to open up my reading horizons to include all manner of Urban Fantasy. My verdict ... scroll down and look at the rating if you don't want to read the whole review :P

From Amazon "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."

If you have a close look at the pictures the writing on the page is an endorsement from Jim Butcher saying that Harry Dresden would like Alex and maybe be a littler nervous around him.  HMM maybe, but I'd still put my money on Dresden, I would also say that maybe Butcher is more understanding of beginning writers then I am and wonder if he actually read it.

The best and the worst aspects of these books are that they are too easy to read. It makes for a quick turn around time but they are not hugely detailed and full of depth. Alex as a character is developed well and so are the supporting characters but not in any outstanding way. The setting is modern day London and a few references are thrown out and don't detract from the story or make me pay extra attention to it. The plot is very easy to follow and some would say it is very easy to see where it is going (me not so much, I never like to think about it). The way magic works and the societal structure is interesting and I think will be developed more over time.

Fated (An Alex Verus Novel) is the first and establishes Alex as reluctant hero who can hold his own despite his powers being more passive then active. Cursed (Alex Verus) has more complexity in regards to character development and the writing of conflict gets better and so I enjoyed this one much more.

It wasn't ground breaking, and I kinda expected it to be considered Butcher added it to his 'must-read list' but that's ok. I will keep it in reserve for when I don't know what to read and want something quick and ... easy to digest. I think it will get better as Jacka continues to write but right now I have other things to read and this didn't hook me.

2.5 out of 5 mages dodging bullets.

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