The Alex Verus Series by Benedict Jacka

 

I love stories about wizards. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files books are maybe my favorite series of books. When I finished with the last Dresden book I didn’t know what to read next and someone recommended this series to me. I’ve read the first four books in a very quick amount of time so I just put these shorter reviews all together.  🙂

Fated

fated

Alex Verus  runs a magic shop in London and is just wanting a quiet life free from distractions or life-threatening schemes and plots. Sadly he is also a mage, so schemes and plots just tend to land on his doorstep much to his chagrin. He has successfully been keeping his head down for quite a while but now the Council of Mages has a job for him (as do a couple of other factions), and he finds it hard to say no. His regret is immediate and ends up pulling others in his life, friends, into life-threatening situations.

I thought the plot was well crafted and the characters are really well drawn. Alex Verus as our main characters has some darker secrets in his past that I am looking forward to finding out more about it. The secondary characters, which included a cursed girl named Luna and a Time Mage named Sonder, are pretty good although I hope they get more fleshed out in later books.
I’m so glad they did! I liked it an awful lot and I look forward to reading the rest of the series!

Cursed

cursed

About five months have passed since the last book and Alex Verus has been keeping busy with his shop and keeping his head down so it stays attached to his shoulders. That all changes when he finds out something is killing magical creatures. Not just killing them but draining their magic away completely. He runs into several different factions who really object to him looking into the problem but his conscious (and his friendly relationship with Arachne) cause him to run ahead into danger anyway.

The plot was a little same-y but I found it interesting and the world was still interesting. Verus is still a great main character with an interesting backstory and multiple grey areas in his life. Luna suffers in this book as she appears to get dumber and more helpless and is easily mislead into danger. Still, the plot was satisfactory and I’m still looking forward to the rest of the series.

Taken

taken

Still reading this series and still loving it!

I think the world building in this series is top notch with a unique world and fun, interesting characters. Three books in and I am still very interested in all the main characters and even most of the tertiary and secondary characters. Alex Verus is a great character with real dark stuff in his past and I feel that has led to his extreme need to protect people and help when he can.

The plot to this book is pretty interesting. Mage apprentices have been vanishing without a trace and Alex Verus is tasked with finding out why. The new characters introduced with this book are universally interesting and not cliched and I found myself basically speed reading to find out where the story was going.

Definitely recommended!

Chosen

chosen

Alex Verus #4 is still fantastic and still immensely readable. I found these books through my love of Jim Butcher and his Dresden Files. I was looking for something to read in between books and these were recommended. I am eternally grateful to the friend who introduced them to me. I find them endlessly entertaining and really fun overall.

Hmmmm…I just realized I just called them “really fun” in a review for the book that takes a dive towards the darker aspects of magic life. This is a book centered around Alex Verus and his less-than-savory past life as an apprentice to a Dark Wizard. It is by turns tragic, painful, and depressing in certain parts of the story and I read it in a day.

Rumors are swirling in the magical community that Alex Verus’ old master is back and starting up anew with misdeeds and dastardly plots. Alex has long ago abandoned that terrifying life for a much better (and safer) life he loves. He has friends now, real ones, who he refuses to abandon. But how will they react to his darker past life? Setting off this introspection and internal drama is a young adept who is gunning for Verus. He wants his revenge and he’ll get it no matter who gets in the way.

There are a lot of major twists in this series and this one has one that made me gasp out loud!

Absolutely recommended to everyone!

Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne

Heir_to_the_Jedi

I love Luke Skywalker. Over time he has become one of my favorite characters in Star Wars. Yes, even over Leia and Han Solo. I just really love his unending enthusiasm and love of being a Jedi. However, he is very hit or miss in the various EU Star Wars books. It is very dependent on who is writing him. He can be wise and a calm presence in the Force, A big whiny emo crybaby, ineffectual and a pushover, or a hundred other personas. It was maddening and very eye-rollingly bad as you read the old EU books.

That is, of course, up to the fact that there were a lot of different writers and they all wanted to portray the Jedi and Luke in particular a certain way. My hope for the “new” EU is that they focus really tightly on making the characters consistent between books and writers. Only time will tell if they can maintain an iron grip over the continuity needed.

That brings me to this book. I liked it overall, I felt the plot was fine and the characters were also fine…..but just fine. This pains me in a way because I really like Kevin Hearne and love most of his writing. His Iron Druid series is pretty great with good characters and good plots. Although I’ve cooled a bit on them lately, I’m still very interested in the next book in the series.

I think my main problem with this book is that it’s plot felt very….thin. Luke Skywalker is tasked with rescuing alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems from the Empire and delivering her to her family on another world. There are some space fights and fights on several planets, Luke spends some time contemplating what being a Jedi means to him and bemoaning the death of Obiwan. He also gets a fun partner Nakari Kelen who he falls a bit for……Spoilers………..

 

 

 

 

who then dies tragically at the end of the book. Because of course she does.

I just felt there wasn’t anything really exciting in the book. Everything was perfectly fine but I found it to be mediocre and just kind of there as a book. This was the first of the new EU that I’ve read and I hope they improve from here.