Fated (Alex Verus Series #1)

Fated (Alex Verus Series #1)

by Benedict Jacka

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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...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937007294
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Series: Alex Versus Series , #1
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 232,148
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Benedict Jacka is the author of the Alex Verus series and the Ninja series. He earned a BA in philosophy from Cambridge University and has held positions ranging from civil servant to bouncer to teacher. He lives in London.

With acting credits that span stage and screen, Gildart Jackson is most often recognized for his role as Gideon on Charmed. He has also been featured on Providence and General Hospital, and his theater roles include Trigorin in The Seagull, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, and Adrian in Private Eyes at the Old Globe.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

It was a slow day, so I was reading a book at my desk and seeing into the future. 

There were only two customers in the shop. One was a student with scraggly hair and a nervous way of glancing over his shoulder. He was standing by the herb and powder rack and had decided what to buy ten minutes ago but was still working up the nerve to ask me about it. The other customer was a kid wearing a Linkin Park T–shirt who’d picked out a crystal ball but wasn’t going to bring it to the counter until the other guy had left.

The kid had come on a bicycle, and in fifteen minutes a traffic warden was going to come by and ticket him for locking his bike to the railings. After that I was going to get a call I didn’t want to be disturbed for, so I set my paperback down on my desk and looked at the student. “Anything I can help you with?”

He started and came over, glancing back at the kid and dropping his voice slightly. “Um, hey. Do you—”

“No. I don’t sell spellbooks.”

“Not even—?”


“Is there, um, any way I could check?”

“The spell you’re thinking of isn’t going to do any harm. Just try it and then go talk to the girl and see what happens.”

The student stared at me. “You knew that just from these?”

I hadn’t even been paying attention to the herbs in his hand, but that was as good an explanation as any. “Want a bag?”

He put verbena, myrrh, and incense into the bag I gave him and paid for it while still giving me an awestruck look, then left. As soon as the door swung shut, the other kid came over and asked me the price for the second–biggest crystal ball, trying to sound casual. I didn’t bother checking to see what he was going to use it for—about the only way you can hurt yourself with a crystal ball is by hitting yourself over the head with it, which is more than I can say for some of the things I sell. Once the kid had let himself out, hefting his paper bag, I got up, walked over, and flipped the sign on the door from OPEN to CLOSED. Through the window, I saw the kid unlock his bike and ride off. About thirty seconds later a traffic warden walked by.

My shop’s in a district in the north centre of London called Camden Town. There’s a spot where the canal, three bridges, and two railway lines all meet and tangle together in a kind of urban reef knot, and my street is right in the middle. The bridges and the canal do a good job of fencing the area in, making it into a kind of oasis in the middle of the city. Apart from the trains, it’s surprisingly quiet. I like to go up onto the roof sometimes and look around over the canal and the funny–shaped rooftops. Sometimes in the evenings and early mornings, when the traffic’s muted and the light’s faded, it feels almost like a gateway to another world.

The sign above my door says Arcana Emporium. Underneath is a smaller sign with some of the things I sell—implements, reagents, focus items, that sort of thing. You’d think it would be easier to just say magic shop, but I got sick of the endless stream of people asking for breakaway hoops and marked cards. Finally I worked out a deal with a stage magic store a half a mile away, and now I keep a box of their business cards on the counter to hand out to anyone who comes in asking for the latest book by David Blaine. The kids go away happy, and I get some peace and quiet.

My name’s Alex Verus. It’s not the name I was born with, but that’s another story. I’m a mage; a diviner. Some people call mages like me oracles, or seers, or probability mages if they want to be really wordy, and that’s fine too, just as long as they don’t call me a “fortune–teller.” I’m not the only mage in the country, but as far as I know I’m the only one who runs a shop.

Mages like me aren’t common, but we aren’t as rare as you might think either. We look the same as anyone else, and if you passed one of us on the street, odds are you’d never know it. Only if you were very observant would you notice something a little off, a little strange, and by the time you took another look, we’d be gone. It’s another world, hidden within your own, and most of those who live in it don’t like visitors.

Those of us who do like visitors have to advertise, and it’s tricky to find a way of doing it that doesn’t make you sound crazy. The majority rely on word of mouth, though younger mages use the Internet. I’ve even heard of one guy in Chicago who advertises in the phone book under “Wizard,” though that’s probably an urban legend. Me, I have my shop. Wiccans and pagans and New Agers are common enough nowadays that people accept the idea of a magic shop, or at least they understand that the weirdos have to buy their stuff from somewhere. Of course, they take for granted that it’s all a con and that the stuff in my shop is no more magical than an old pair of socks, and for the most part they’re right. But the stuff in my shop that isn’t magical is good camouflage for the stuff that is, like the thing sitting upstairs in a little blue lacquered cylinder that can grant any five wishes you ask. If that ever got out, I’d have much worse problems than the occasional snigger.

The futures had settled and the phone was going to ring in about thirty seconds. I settled down comfortably and, when the phone rang, let it go twice before picking up. “Hey.”

“Hi, Alex,” Luna’s voice said into my ear. “Are you busy?”

“Not even a little. How’s it going?”

“Can I ask a favour? I was going through a place in Clapham and found something. Can I bring it over?”

“Right now?”

“That’s not a problem, is it?”

“Not really. Is there a rush?”

“No. Well . . .” Luna hesitated. “This thing makes me a bit nervous. I’d feel better if it was with you.”

I didn’t even have to think about it. Like I said, it was a slow day. “You remember the way to the park?”

“The one near your shop?”

“I’ll meet you there. Where are you?”

“Still in Clapham. I’m just about to get on my bike.”

“So one and a half hours. You can make it before sunset if you hurry.”

“I think I am going to hurry. I’m not sure . . .” Luna’s voice trailed off, then firmed. “Okay. See you soon.”

She broke the connection. I held the phone in my hand, looking at the display. Luna works for me on a part–time basis, finding items for me to sell, though I don’t think she does it for the money. Either way, I couldn’t remember her being this nervous about one. It made me wonder exactly what she was carrying.

You can think of magical talent as a pyramid. Making up the lowest and biggest layer are the normals. If magic is colours, these are the people born colourblind: they don’t know anything about magic and they don’t want to, thank you very much. They’ve got plenty of things to deal with already, and if they do see anything that might shake the way they look at things, they convince themselves they didn’t see it double quick. This is maybe ninety percent of the adult civilised world.

Next up on the pyramid are the sensitives, the ones who aren’t colour–blind. Sensitives are blessed (or cursed, depending how you look at it) with a wider spectrum of vision than normals. They can feel the presence of magic, the distant power in the sun and the earth and the stars, the warmth and stability of an old family home, the lingering wisps of death and horror at a Dark ritual site. Most often they don’t have the words to describe what they feel, but two sensitives can recognise each other by a kind of empathy, and it makes a powerful bond. Have you ever felt a connection to someone, as though you shared something even though you didn’t know what it was? It’s like that.

Above the sensitives on the magical pecking order are the adepts. These guys are only one percent or so, but unlike sensitives they can actually channel magic in a subtle way. Often it’s so subtle they don’t even know they’re doing it; they might be “lucky” at cards, or very good at “guessing” what’s on another person’s mind, but it’s mild enough that they just think they’re born lucky or perceptive. But sometimes they figure out what they’re doing and start developing it, and some of these guys can get pretty impressive within their specific field.

And then there are the mages.

Luna’s somewhere between sensitive and adept. It’s hard even for me to know which, as she has some . . . unique characteristics that make her difficult to categorise, not to mention dangerous. But she’s also one of my very few friends, and I was looking forward to seeing her. Her tone of voice had left me concerned so I looked into the future and was glad to see she was going to arrive in an hour and a half, right on time.

In the process, though, I noticed something that annoyed me: someone else was going to come through the door in a couple of minutes, despite the fact I’d just flipped my sign to say CLOSED. Camden gets a lot of tourists, and there’s always the one guy who figures opening hours don’t apply to him. I didn’t want to walk all the way over and lock the door, so I just sat watching the street grumpily until a figure appeared outside the door and pushed it open. It was a man wearing pressed trousers and a shirt with a tie. The bell above the door rang musically as he stepped inside and raised his eyebrows. “Hello, Alex.”

As soon as he spoke I recognised who it was. A rush of adrenaline went through me as I spread my senses out to cover the shop and the street outside. My right hand shifted down a few inches to rest on the shelf under my desk. I couldn’t sense any attack, but that didn’t necessarily mean anything.

Lyle just stood there, looking at me. “Well?” he said. “Aren’t you going to invite me in?”

It had been more than four years since I’d seen Lyle, but he looked the same as I remembered. He was about as old as me, with a slim build, short black hair, and a slight olive tint to his skin that hinted at a Mediterranean ancestor somewhere in his family tree. His clothes were expensive and he wore them with a sort of casual elegance I knew I’d never be able to match. Lyle had always known how to look good.

“Who else is here?” I said.

Lyle sighed. “No one. Good grief, Alex, have you really gotten this paranoid?”

I checked and rechecked and confirmed what he was saying. As far as I could tell, Lyle was the only other mage nearby. Besides, as my heartbeat began to slow, I realised that if the Council was planning an attack, Lyle was the last person they’d send. Suddenly I did feel paranoid.

Of course, that didn’t mean I was happy to see him or anything. Lyle began walking forward, and I spoke sharply. “Stay there.”

Lyle stopped and looked quizzically at me. “So?” he said, when I didn’t react. He was standing in the middle of my shop, in between the reagents and the shelves full of candles and bells. “Are we going to stand and stare at each other?”

“How about you tell me why you’re here?”

“I was hoping for a more comfortable place to talk.” Lyle tilted his head. “What about upstairs?”


“Were you about to eat?”

I pushed my chair back and rose to my feet. “Let’s go for a walk.”

Once we were outside I breathed a little easier. There’s a roped–off section to one side of my shop that contains actual magic items: focuses, residuals, and one–shots. They’d been out of sight from where Lyle had been standing, but a few more steps and he couldn’t have missed them. None were powerful enough to make him think twice, but it wouldn’t take him long to put two and two together and figure out that if I had that many minor items, then I ought to have some major ones too. And I’d just as soon that particular bit of information didn’t get back to the Council.

It was late spring and the London weather was mild enough to make walking a pleasure rather than a chore. Camden’s always busy, even when the market’s closed, but the buildings and bridges here have a dampening effect on stray sounds. I led Lyle down an alley to the canalside walk, and then stopped, leaning against the balustrade. As I walked I scanned the area thoroughly, both present and future, but came up empty. As far as I could tell, Lyle was on his own.

I’ve known Lyle for more than ten years. He was an apprentice when we first met, awkward and eager, hurrying along in the footsteps of his Council master. Even then there was never any question but that he’d try for the Council, but we were friends, if not close. At least for a little while. Then I had my falling–out with Richard Drakh.

I don’t really like to think about what happened in the year after that. There are some things so horrible you never really get over them; they make a kind of burnt–out wasteland in your memory, and all you can do is try to move on. Lyle wasn’t directly responsible for the things that happened to me and the others in Richard’s mansion, but he’d had a pretty good idea of what was going on, just like the rest of the Council. At least, they would have had a good idea if they’d allowed themselves to think about it. Instead they avoided the subject and waited for me to do the convenient thing and vanish.

Lyle’s not my friend anymore.

Now he was standing next to me, brushing off the balustrade before leaning on it, making sure none of the dirt got on his jacket. The walkway ran alongside the canal, following the curve of the canal out of sight. The water was dark and broken by choppy waves. It was an overcast day, the sunlight shining only dimly through the grey cloud.

“Well,” Lyle said eventually, “if you don’t want to chat, shall we get down to business?”

“I don’t think we’ve got much to chat about, do you?”

“The Council would like to employ your services.”

I blinked at that. “You’re here officially?”

“Not exactly. There was some . . . disagreement on how best to proceed. The Council couldn’t come to a full agreement—”

“The Council can’t come to a full agreement on when to have dinner.”

“—on the best course of action,” Lyle finished smoothly. “Consulting a diviner was considered as an interim measure.”

“Consulting a diviner?” I asked, suddenly suspicious. The Council and I aren’t exactly on the best of terms. “Me specifically?”

“As you know, the Council rarely requests—”

“What about Alaundo? I thought he was their go–to guy when they wanted a seer.”

“I’m afraid I can’t discuss closed Council proceedings.”

“Once you start going door to door, it isn’t closed proceedings anymore, is it? Come on, Lyle. I’m sure as hell not going to agree to anything unless I know why you’re here.”

Lyle blew out an irritated breath. “Master Alaundo is currently on extended research.”

“So he turned you down? What about Helikaon?”

“He’s otherwise occupied.”

“And that guy from the Netherlands? Dutch Jake or whatever he was called. I’m pretty sure he did divination work for—”

“Alex,” Lyle said. “Don’t run through every diviner in the British Isles. I know the list as well as you do.”

I grinned. “I’m the only one you can find, aren’t I? That’s why you’re coming here.” My eyes narrowed. “And the Council doesn’t even know. They wouldn’t have agreed to trust me with official business.”

“I don’t appreciate threats,” Lyle said stiffly. “And I’d appreciate it if you didn’t use your abilities for these matters.”

“You think I needed magic to figure that out?” Annoying Lyle was satisfying, but I knew it was risky to push him too far. “Okay. So what does the Council want so badly you’re willing to risk coming to me?”

Lyle took a moment to straighten his tie. “I assume you’re aware of the Arrancar ruling?”

I looked at him blankly.

“It’s been common knowledge for months.”

“Common knowledge to whom?”

Lyle let out an irritated breath. “As a consequence of the Arrancar conclave, mages are required to report all significant archaeological discoveries of arcana to the Council. Recently, a new discovery was reported—”


“—and subjected to a preliminary investigation. The investigation team have concluded quite definitely that it’s a Precursor relic.”

I looked up at that. “Functional?”


“What kind?”

“They weren’t able to determine.”

“It’s sealed? I’m surprised they didn’t just force it.”

Lyle hesitated.

“Oh,” I said, catching on. “They did try to force it. What happened?”

“I’m afraid that’s confidential.”

“A ward? Guardian?”

“In any case, a new investigation team is being formed. It was . . . considered necessary for them to have access to the abilities of a diviner.”

“And you want me on the team?”

“Not exactly.” Lyle paused. “You’ll be an independent agent, reporting to me. I’ll pass on your recommendations to the investigators.”

I frowned. “What?”

Lyle cleared his throat. “Unfortunately it wouldn’t be feasible for you to join the team directly. The Council wouldn’t be able to clear you. But if you accept, I can promise I’ll tell you everything you need to know.”

I turned away from Lyle, looking out over the canal. The rumble of an engine echoed around the brick walls from downstream, and a barge came into view, chugging along. It was painted yellow and red. The man at the tiller didn’t give us a glance as he passed. Lyle stayed quiet as the barge went by and disappeared around the bend of the canal. A breeze blew along the pathway, ruffling my hair.

I still didn’t speak. Lyle coughed. A pair of seagulls flew overhead, after the barge, calling with loud, discordant voices: arrrh, arrrh. “Alex?” Lyle asked.

“Sorry,” I said. “Not interested.”

“If it’s a question of money . . .”

“No, I just don’t like the deal.”


“Because it stinks.”

“Look, you have to be realistic. There’s no way the Council would give you clearance to—”

“If the Council doesn’t want to give me clearance, you shouldn’t be coming to me in the first place.” I turned to look at Lyle. “What’s your idea, they need the information badly enough that they won’t care about where you’re getting it? I think sooner or later they’d start asking questions, and you’d cut me loose to avoid the flak. I’m not interested in being your fall guy.”

Lyle blew out a breath. “Why are you being so irrational about this? I’m giving you a chance to get back in the Council’s favour.” He glanced around at the concrete and grey skies. “Given the alternative . . .”

“Well, since you bring it up, it just so happens that I’m not especially interested in getting back in the Council’s favour.”

“That’s ridiculous. The Council represents all of the mages in the country.”

“Yeah, all the mages. That’s the problem.”

“This is about that business with Drakh, isn’t it?” Lyle said. He rolled his eyes. “Jesus, Alex, it was ten years ago. Get over it.”

“It doesn’t matter when it was,” I said tightly. “The Council haven’t gotten better. They’ve gotten worse.”

“We’ve had ten years of peace. That’s your idea of ’worse’?”

“The reason you’ve had peace is because you and the Council let the Dark mages do whatever they want.” I glared at Lyle. “You know what they do to the people in their power. Why don’t you ask them how good a deal they think it is?”

“We’re not starting another war, Alex. The Council isn’t going anywhere, and neither are the mages that are a part of it, Light or Dark. You’re just going to have to accept that.”

I took a breath and looked out over the canal, listening to the distant cries of the seagulls. When I spoke again my voice was steady. “The answer’s no. Find someone else.”

Lyle made a disgusted noise. “I should have known.” He stepped away and gave me a look. “You’re living in the past. Grow up.”

I watched Lyle walk off. He didn’t look back. Once he’d disappeared around the corner I turned back to the canal.


Excerpted from "Fated"
by .
Copyright © 2012 Benedict Jacka.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Fated 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
Qwillery More than 1 year ago
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 give Fated 5 Qwills. Originally posted at The Qwillery
agrodge More than 1 year ago
Look. Is this on the same level as Butcher or Hearne? No. But it IS Jacka's first book and, as an initial effort, it was very good. A good, smooth, solid read. I can only imagine that the series will get better as it goes along. And, unlike 80% of the books out right now, it is NOT some kind of Harlequin cross-over into SciFi/fantasy with some girl having relationship problems with her vampire/werewolf/ghost/swamp creature/insert-your-favorite-monster-here lover. Good job, sir and keep writing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written smooth storytelling and a fun and interesting protagonist. I you liked the Iron Druid Series, or the Dresdon Series strongly recommend it. Can't wait for the next one
packjack More than 1 year ago
If you like The Dresden Files or The Iron Druid Chronicles then you'll love Alex Verus. I had to get the second book in the series as soon as I finished Fated and I can't wait for the next one. A must read for any urban fantasy fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great world building, interesting magic system and a smart main character who quickly gets in over his head. What more do you want?
AMDonovan More than 1 year ago
The first of the Alex Verus novels. We get introduced to the main players in this world (Alex, Luna, Starbreeze, Sonder, Talisid, Arachne, et al.) and get a very good introduction to a world that exists out of sight of our normal world, but sometimes crossing over or influencing our world. Fated is a combination of Harry Dresden, The Da Vinci Code, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and National Treasure (in the best sense!) so if this is the kind of combination that makes your eager fan boy heart squeal with glee, you will be very happy. This is a bit gritty, dark and hopeful, in the right amounts with dark wizards, white wizards (and the definitions of said wizards is a little different from what we are accustomed to seeing) schemes, betrayals, murders, ambushes and lost treasure. If you are looking for a great romance, you will need to look elsewhere. If you are looking for a good book with and introduction to an interesting world that is a little off the beaten path, you will really enjoy this work. The second book is due out June of this year. Do yourself a favor, read this book and preorder the second one (cursed). Before we lose this author to the grind of being a British Solicitor. © Night Owl Reviews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel was as fun as the first, but with greater depth. The characters, the plot, the world...all of it was just slightly more than the first. It is not jarring, but it is noticeable. The book also sets up a new dynamic to explore in future novels. A great read!
pen21 More than 1 year ago
Fated is my kind of book and a great start for a series.The characters made the storyline come through with added sidelines that are stories in themselves. I want to find out more about them. His sidekicks Luna and Starbreeze are introduced in this book and we start learning about who and what they are. His friend(sidekick) Arachne could have had a bigger part of the story or maybe I just wanted to learn more about her, very unique with lots of possibilities for a character. The book ended too quickly for me and I would have liked more.
Caroles_Random_Life 11 months ago
This was a great start to the series! I am always on the lookout for new urban fantasy series to try so when a group of friends decided to read this series, I was eager to join in. It turns out that it was my kind of book and I think that my decision to listen to the audio version increased my enjoyment quite a bit. I am glad that I decided to give this book a try. I thought that the world-building in this book was very well done. I like the idea of a secret world that is hidden in plain sight. I thought that Alex's abilities were very interesting and very useful. Alex is a diviner which means that he can see all the possibilities of the future. Alex is a bit of a loner since he does not interact with other mages but he does have a few people that he trusts like Luna and Starbreeze. I thought that the story was pretty exciting. It definitely kept me guessing to the end and I was eager to see how things would work out. There is some action and excitement in the story but also a lot of outsmarting the other party. I did like how everything came together and was pretty satisfied with the ending. I believe that this was my first experience with Gildart Jackson's narration and I was quite impressed. I think that his accent worked very well with the story. I think that he was able to bring Alex to life and also did a great job with all of the other characters in the story. He has a very pleasant voice that was easy to listen to for long periods of time. I do recommend this series to others. I thought that this was a very well done introduction to an interesting cast of characters and I look forward to reading more of the series very soon.
Tabitha Tomala More than 1 year ago
A fun, steady read filled with dark magic, elementals and political intrigue. Alex Verus prefers the quiet life, running his magical shop and staying far away from the political struggles between light and dark magic users. As a precognition mage, he's pretty good at staying out of trouble. After all, seeing the future is his specialty, but even Alex has his limits. When his associate, Luna, ends up with a magical cube both groups of mages want, events begin to spiral out of control. In his efforts to save Luna, Alex will be pulled into a battle between both sides, one that will force him to confront his dark mage past. Alex will have to choose a side, as he and Luna are dragged into a mess they might not survive. Benedict Jacka did Alex's powers justice. While Alex can see every future featuring him, it still doesn't make him invincible. Although he definitely does have the upper hand in most situations, even some decisions are too split second for Alex to predict. While I wondered how a character with only precognition abilities would fend off offensive magic, I wasn't disappointed as Alex entertained me with his quick thinking and unique techniques. Unfortunately, this does not receive 5 stars because the battle between the two sides was taxing. Despite the fact they ultimately wanted the same thing, both sides kept dragging Alex farther away from the end point. They'd share insults and threats, then throw him back out to complete the task. While it showed the ins and outs of the two political sides, I would have preferred to get right to the point. I recommend this for fans of the Harry Dresden series. The flow of writing and interlaced humor remind me of Harry. In fact, Alex even hints at knowing the famous wizard.
TheLibraryhag on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alex Verus is a mage who can see the future. He is also an renegade fo sorts and neither the Light or the Dark mages have much to do with him. But his talent can be useful and right now everyone is trying to get him on their team to help open a mystical artifact. Frankly, Alex would rather not get involved but the fates and his natural curiosity keep getting him drawn in. And when his friend Luna is also involved against her will, Alex has to join in to save her and himself.I enjoyed this book. As is often true with first books in a series, there is a good bit of world building, but it is not long and drawn out. The world is interesting without being too complicated. Alex's gift was a bit hard to get used to, but by the middle of the book it was second nature. The characters are interesting and the magic is intriguing. There is lots of action but you also get to know Alex and the other characters pretty well. I will be reading the next in the series.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alex Verus owns a magic shop--real magic, not stage. He is a diviner, able to see possible futures and use them to guide his actions. This ability comes in very handy when he is drawn against his will into a struggle between the Council and Dark mages to find and control a powerful artifact.Worth reading.
iftyzaidi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well there's a blurb by Jim Butcher on the cover, which is fitting because this does read like competently written Dresden Files fan fiction. Maybe that's a little harsh, but I don't mean to dismiss this book completely. If you are on the lookout for some urban fantasy a la Jim Butcher you could probably do worse than this (though I would recommend checking out Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles first). Unfortunately Jacka doesn't imbue the narrative with the humour Butcher does, and the supporting cast is a lot less interesting than the one Harry Dresden has. So what we have is the story and that is fairly straightforward and either reassuringly familiar for Dresden readers or tediously predictable. Take your pick. I think it was a combination of the two for me.I wouldn't necessarily give up on this series. In fact, I suspect now that the tedious formalities of the introductory book are out of the way, the series may well start developing in its own way and become more interesting. At least I hope so.
dcoward on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An impressive debut for a new series of urban fantasy. Recommend to fans of Jim Butcher.
STACYatUFI on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
FATED started off a bit slow but ended up picking up speed a little less then halfway through. The idea of the world that Alex lives in was interesting but there wasn't a lot of back story in regards to it. There is a lot of action and mystery. The constant hiding and evading kept me on my toes while reading. I liked the characters they were well written and easy to remember. Alex's gift was pretty neat, he can foresee the future and it helps him in many ways throughout the story with keeping ahead of the people chasing him and Luna as well as adds some suspense to the story. Luna was my favorite character. I couldn't imagine not being able to get close to someone without pretty much causing their death, she ends up being a pretty strong woman for all that she has been through and is incredibly level headed with all the information she is given. There isn't any romance in FATED but Alex and Luna defiantly have the potential for something great in the future.I have not read the Dresden files but I have seen many reviews compare the two saying they are similar.. I might end up reading book 2 CURSED but it wont be a must read for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was good but it's the 1st in a series and the things that irritated/frustrated me in this book continue and multiply in the rest of the series. I read 7 of them and it was a waste of my time.Here is what bothered me; Alex Verus the hero/mage won't kill the people that are trying to kill him.After 7 of these books his enemies, that he so graciously let live (yeah, that's sarcasm) are way more numerous than his handful of friends and allies. So if you like a never ending series where the hero runs for his life in one threatening situation after another, never changes, never grows, never listens to good advice, hey! this book is tailor made for you! I like urban fantasy series and I read a lot of them, if you want a great read try the Kate Daniels series the actions of the hero make a lot more sense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story, good action. Well developed characters.
John1099 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the first book and will definitely buy the next in the series. I like the main character and the London setting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting enough to finish, with inventive applications of fate magic/divination. But not very original in terms of plot, character, or theme. I won't be getting the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice easy read. Interesting characters, with depth. A definite tie in to the Dresden sereis, but the book stands on its own. Any fan of urban fantasy should add "Fated" to their collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago