Author: Benedict Jacka
Series: Alex Verus
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 34
(see below for breakdown)
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.
My review of Book 1
This was a bit of a slump buster for me and a rather fun quick and engaging read, but I had the same problems with this one as I did with book 1. While I did warm to Alex as a main character a little more in this book I still found him pretty insufferable and that Luna and other side characters really stole more of the show. I do feel that they get a little under sold, especially Luna. She is such an awesome character with such an interesting backstory but she seems to get lost a little in it all. She should be heralded as the strong kick-ass woman that she is but Alex tends to turn her into the damsel in distress far to often and that really detracts from what an awesome character she could be.
I was also a little torn on the ‘bad guys’ in this one. A few were just great fun really fantastic evil mages in all their stereotypical and they know it glory and I really enjoyed the monologuing and mages battles. Others were just annoying to all hell and I did kind of like hating them, but they got boring and predictable rather quickly. So it was again a bit of a 50/50 mix of parts that kept me reading and those I just found a bit predictable.
The worldbuilding is still as fascinating and we got to dive a bit more into the various bits of Lore behind the mages of this London, their practices and some more on the various bits of magic that can be wielded. Again the incorporation of folklore and pagan/wiccan/witchcraft aspects made this a very unique magic system compared to others I have read.
Overall, while not one of the best books I have read this series is turning out to be quite fun and I am finding myself growing attached to a few of the characters. I already own book three (I found books 2 and 3 at my local charity bookstore) so I will be continuing. Maybe I will grow to like Alex as a character a little more with each book.