Author: Benedict Jacka
Series: Alex Verus
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Ace (February 28, 2012)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy: Provided by Publisher
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.
But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever's inside must be beyond powerful. And thanks to his abilities, Alex can predict that by taking the job, his odds of survival are about to go from slim to none...
Fated is the first in a new series about a mage named Alex Verus.
Alex can see possible futures. As a diviner, he has to rely on sorting through the futures, his intelligence and the occasional use of the martial arts that he studies. He doesn't have power over the physical world (e.g., throw fire). Alex owns a magic shop in a section of London called Camden Town. He’s a loner. Something happened in his past that has made him want to be on his own. We get more and more information about what happened to him and why he prefers to be a loner throughout the novel. Alex gets caught up the machinations of several factions of mages. They all want a particular relic and they all want Alex to help them get it. The mystery surrounding that relic kept me guessing.
Over the course of the novel, Mr. Jacka does a wonderful job explaining the magic system within which Alex operates. The world building (magic world in plain sight) is exceptional. There are references to myths and supernatural creatures that are seamlessly woven into the story adding to the richness of the magical world.
I really like Alex. He’s intelligent, tough when he has to be, and a good guy. He also makes mistakes and gets himself into trouble out of simple curiosity, which seems to be a diviner trait. While Alex is the main character, there is a terrific supporting cast including Luna, Alex’s sort of apprentice, Starbreeze, a ditzy air elemental, and many mages both Light, Dark, and scary. Luna is a great character, and I'm looking forward to reading more about her in future books.
There will be inevitable comparisons to The Dresden Files, but Alex Verus does not pale by the comparison. Fated is the start of a wonderful new Urban Fantasy series. It is well written, well-paced and a thoroughly engaging read. I’m hooked.
I give Fated 5 Qwills.