Things are going well for Alex Verus. He's on moderately good terms with the Council, his apprentice is settling in, and his shop in Camden is gaining quite a reputation.
But when a mysterious woman bursts into the Arcana Emporium one night with an assassin on her tail, Alex is thrown into a plot to revive a long-forbidden ritual. His old enemies are after the secret as well as a Council mage named Belthas and a mercenary named Garrick, and at least one of them is trying to get Alex killed - if he only knew which.
He can see the future, but knowing who to trust is something else.
©2012 Benedict Jacka (P)2014 Tantor
"Fast-moving and energetic." (Sunday Telegraph)
Eh, maybe. The series is unchallenging, perfectly decent to do something else to - doesn't require much focus. I don't mind Jackson as a narrator, but I don't know that he's the right narrator for this book - don't know that he fits the class/education/age of the main character.
I'm not rushing toward the next book in the series. His stuff seems very underdeveloped - doesn't have the depth of characterisation or plot I prefer.
I don't know if it's the author or the copy editor, but this book seems to have been badly localised - it's a book by a British author set in London, but it doesn't have any actual sense of being in London, in the way that Ben Aaronovich's books are. There's also a lot of US terminology.
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges
This book makes me wish we had a more detailed rating system. Is it a Dresden files rip off? Well yes but then I'm enjoying these books more than the latter books in that series. Is the narrator as good as James Masters? Of course not it's James Masters. I really wish so many reviewers weren't making comparisons here because Gildart Jackson really isn't that bad, in fact I'd give him 4/5 as he's great at doing characters voices, doesn't feel the need to screech as so many male narrators do as soon as they get a villain that is female and is really enjoyable to listen to. His only real problems are, as many people have correctly said, that he sounds too old for the role (as narration is first person) and that he's not James Masters ( I swear fans would clone him if they could.) The story is even better than the first book and I was gripped from start to finish. Alex is the only genuine wizard to run a magic shop, it's a hobby, in between, training his sometimes apprentice, dropping in for tea with his friend/ possible creature from ancient mythology or somewhere and assisting other wizards in their various tasks, so that hopefully they won't kill him someday. 4.5/5 because I really enjoyed it and will be buying the whole series shortly, even if it's not original or well enough crafted to merit the top twenty. A good book is a good book and the story should appeal to most readers of this genre male or female. If you are on one credit a month then as others have suggested Ben Aaronovitch is better but when a new series comes out I like to check the reviews on Audible dot com. Same book different cover, at the time of typing this, Cursed has a 4.40 average and 924 ratings - so most people like it.
Fast-paced magical fun
Cinder: for a bad guy, he's a really good bad guy
The discovery in the giant cavern.
I had a reservation or two before staring to listen (see my review of the first book), but I'm relieved to say that they were totally unfounded.
Harry Dresden, PC Grant, Alex Verus: they share a (more or less) common universe.
I like this universe and I'll be 'reading' as much books from it as I can.
Say something about yourself!
This is the second book in this series and this is a really nice development of the characters in the first
I'm enjoying the writing style and the narration and looking forward to the next!
The Alex Verus stories are very enjoyable as long as you don't mind the slightly familiar feeling. They have a similar style and storyline to the Harry Dresden books and the first novel Fated even references him. There are a lot of urban magic novels around at the moment and Cursed is good but no match for say Ben Aaranovitch. That said the characters are likable and the plot engaging. I will certainly be listening to the rest of the series. I have heard criticism of Gilbert Jackson's narration but I liked his characterisations, although his slow reading pace may not be to everyone's liking.
Very well narrated and a jolly good story.
Better than the usual books in the market.
if you are fan of Dresden, The Iron Druid and the Rivers of London. This series is well worth trying. I do believe this urban fantasy can stand with the aforementioned books . The earliest Disk World books needed time to grow on you, each book is improving and building a world of magical wonder.
I was not sure about this book at first, as the first book was very good, However this builds well on the first book and loved how the author builds on the characters. I find the blend of modern day London with Magic a fantastic blend and will look forward to going to look for the locations when I am next in London. Just love it.
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