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Fated (Alex Verus #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,656 Ratings  ·  965 Reviews
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
Mass Market Paperback, 1st Edition, 295 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Ace (first published February 1st 2012)
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Julie Tideman No, he didn't tell us. Not specifically mentioned after Luna relocked the force barrier with the red cube after Alex put the fateweaver back on its…moreNo, he didn't tell us. Not specifically mentioned after Luna relocked the force barrier with the red cube after Alex put the fateweaver back on its pedestal. Assume Luna still has it or its in Alex's shop along with the other artifacts she finds and gives to him.(less)
Julie Tideman No sex scenes at all. No use of the f-word. Its tame but has violence and violent scenes but not graphically violent descriptions. Fine for young…moreNo sex scenes at all. No use of the f-word. Its tame but has violence and violent scenes but not graphically violent descriptions. Fine for young adults. Loved the book, couldn't put it down. Have just bought the series. Very imaginative author and well-written books. Highly recommended(less)
Magic Bites by Ilona AndrewsMoon Called by Patricia BriggsStorm Front by Jim ButcherDarkfever by Karen Marie MoningHalfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Best Urban Fantasy SERIES
38th out of 410 books — 2,367 voters
Storm Front by Jim ButcherHounded by Kevin HearneChanges by Jim ButcherSummer Knight by Jim ButcherDead Beat by Jim Butcher
Urban Fantasy With Male Lead Characters
26th out of 625 books — 1,117 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 03, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing
YES it gets a "Big Ol' 5"...

I was intro'd to Urban Fantasy by the Harry Dresden books and (frankly) since I found them I've been trying to find other UF books I like as well. The Twenty Palaces series turned out to be pretty good...but their publisher dropped them. Rob Thurman's Leandros books are okay. I also kind of liked Aaronovitch's books. None were nearly up to (in my opinion of course) Mr. Butcher's Dresden books.

Now, while I can't say I like this book "as well as the Dresden books"
May 18, 2013 Carol. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dresden fans between books

One of these things is not like the other:

I'm just kidding. They're all totally alike.

It isn't long before you notice the first Dresden homage in Jacka's first adult UF book. Of course, my edition gives it away with the cover, where a quote from Jim Butcher plays a prominent role on the jacket. I can only assume this was so someone wouldn't sue Jacka for copyright violations on Butcher's behalf. Once you start reading, the parallels appear quickly, beginning with his protagonist, Alex Verus, not
May 23, 2013 Felicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-paranormal
An excellent addition to the urban fantasy landscape. Alex, the main character, is a mage in London who rejects the magical establishment, and can see the future. Very well handled, his abilities, and super fun world building. Def if you like Butcher's books, pick this up!
Oct 04, 2015 Brad rated it it was amazing
So I was just falling off the wagon and wetting my whistle with a bit of Urban Fantasy that was recommended to me recently, and I can honestly say that I got really drunk. (Not alcohol, alas, but on magic.)

I'd just been sifting through all the wonders of the Spacing Guild from Dune and the minor predictive powers of the Jedi recently, so imagine my surprise when I get to read about a Dresden-ish mage in London who can augur himself through all the twisty paths of time to answer important questio
Apr 10, 2016 Phrynne rated it it was amazing
I nearly always like magic books set in London. There's something about that city and all its history that lends itself to the supernatural. In this case it is wizards , or mages actually, and Benedict Jacka has invented an intriguing magical system for them. Our hero is a seer and as such uses his knowledge of what is going to happen to avoid dangers rather than having magical powers with which to attack. It takes the story in a whole different direction than say the one Harry Dresden would use ...more
Lois Bujold
Apr 18, 2014 Lois Bujold rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: urban fantasy fans
I picked this up because it kept getting cross-recommendations with Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. It has some tropes in common: contemporary London with secret magic, first person narrator. I think it could have something of the same relationship for me as Krentz's books do for Crusie's, methadone while waiting for a slower and more sophisticated writer. (I suspect Jacka is somewhat younger than Aaronovitch.) I'd probably have given this 3 stars, except a minor spear-carrier named " ...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
The quote on the cover is by none other than Jim Butcher himself claiming that Harry Dresden would like the main character Alex Verus and be a little nervous around him. I'm not surprised that Butcher likes the book. It's got a very similar feel, almost too much so. The council is pathetic and he's on the outs with them anyway, dark mages are the evil force, there are young women to protect, etc. So it was enjoyable from the beginning.

Verus is mildly amusing, though nothing like Dresden. His mag
Jun 24, 2012 Lorelei rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
A disappointing Dresden clone without the wit and sharp writing. The main character is fairly colourless and uninspiring with little to endear him and much patronising behaviour to annoy.

It reads like a young adult novel with some pretty stupid propositions, such as the opening line of chapter 11, "A lot of people think of captivity as something glamorous", are you serious? That is just ridiculous. Who on earth thinks that captivity is glamorous? Why write such patent nonsense? Or my next favou
**edit 11/26/13
Fated has Jim Butcher's seal of approval. Need I say more? I can certainly see why it appeals to fans of The Dresden Files--there are quite a few similarities, especially to Harry's earlier adventures.

Due to my disapproval of GR's new and highly subjective review deletion policy, the rest (of my long, rather cranky review) is posted over here at Booklikes.
Nov 19, 2015 Mimi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2015
2.5 stars

Not bad, but too much like the Dresden Files. I couldn't shake the feeling that this book is basically Harry Dresden in London. But in many ways, it's what I wanted from Storm Front: Dresden's world and magic minus Dresden himself.

Review moved to
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Jun 20, 2013 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Male lead UF readers, fans of mages/magic users in UF, underdog heroes
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) by: Action/Adventure Aficionados Group Read
Fated is a fantastic debut novel. This is what urban fantasy can accomplish, taking fantasy concepts and giving them a new spin in a modern setting. Jacka uses the concept of an age-old war between Dark and Light Mages and sets it in contemporary London. While many will think of Dresden and recommend this to fans of that great series, I don't even think it's fair to compare them outside of the fact that they are both male POV urban fantasy novels with magical protagonists. Jacka writes his own b ...more
Cora Tea Party Princess
3.5 Stars (Not quite 4!)

This book started off great, I was excited to keep reading. I liked the characters, I liked the world.

Then all of a sudden I found myself able to easily put it down.

I don't know why, but the story just didn't grip me in the same way. By the middle of the book, I really couldn't give a toss about the character's past or what he was doing. But I started to care a little more towards the end., so I guess it redeemed itself sufficiently to get back up to 3.5 from the 2.5 I wa
Aug 29, 2015 Robyn rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
3.5, really. I am pretty sure I will pick another of these, but at the same time this just isn't my favourite subgenre of Urban Fantasy. Apparently I prefer werewolves and vampires? I did not realize that about myself! Also, the whole Light/Dark mage thing is a little simplistic, especially given that the Dark mages are just plain evil torturers. (Time for a #notalldarkmages campaign? Quite possibly, we may find out different in future books!)

But anyway, Verus is an engaging character, but I wan
May 23, 2016 Nikki rated it liked it
Looking for a less sexist, more British Harry Dresden? Or a less police officer-y Peter Grant? Tahdah, basically. Except with the interesting note that the protagonist of Fated is a seer: at any given moment, he can sort through all the possible futures and figure out what he needs to do to select the future he wants. I was wondering how well that could be pulled off in narration, but actually, Jacka handles it pretty well, and it never gets confusing or tedious.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why J
Alex Verus is a diviner who runs a shop, "Arcana Emporium", in a district in the north center of London called Camden Town. As a diviner, Alex can see probabilities in the future. Diviners might not be able to do flashy things but one can do pretty well with knowledge of the future. Alex has been living under the radar though. However, when Alex is approached by multiple factions to retreive an artifact known as fateweaver, that has ability to alter chance and outcomes in the future, and it puts ...more
Aug 14, 2015 Scott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This was a seriously fun romp! A fast paced page turner that I really didn't want to put down.

Other than Dresden, I haven't found a UF series that has grabbed, and held, my attention; I feel like this one is going to. I love Alex as our guide through this world, and I really enjoy his divining magic. He's not a Mage who's going to blow up cars and do a bunch of flashy shit but he's dangerous all the same. His magic comes from knowledge and craftiness and being one step ahead of his foes.

A tigh
Jacob Proffitt
Sep 01, 2014 Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This was a great introduction for an Urban Fantasy series. It has a lot of what you'd expect—magical people doing magical things in a modern setting with enough worldbuilding to be both original and (eventually) predictable in a way that supports building story with a sense of place. It also has some original elements that I found really intriguing, not least the protagonist's main powers being, at best, indirect.

Alex is a diviner. He sees the future, but with limitations that make sense. This m
Apr 04, 2014 David rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

This felt like…Urban Fantasy Eragon. The way that Eragon had all of those Epic Fantasy tropes but still told a different cool story. Based on reviews, sample chapters, and interviews I felt this would be Harry Dresden Lite, or Diet Dresden, if you will, but I was wrong in that assumption. While Jacka did douse his novel in Dresden-flavored seasoning, it’s a different story from a different character. Dresden and Verus really do not seem alike to me at all. And while the similarities are
Oct 06, 2012 Chip rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Dresden lite. The story is certainly entertaining, and I enjoyed it, but the plotting and world building suffered from inconsistency and laziness. Some of the things that stuck out at me:

Luna's "curse" is supposedly very powerful and deadly but Archne not at all worried about it, and the protagonist still spends time with her (and if a curse why protective of her)?
Discussion of how protagonist/magicians get places (gating/mounts/gate stones (one location only)) and his need therefor - AFTER he
⊱ Irena ⊰
Alex Verus is a diviner mage. He can see into the future and that ability is making him a very wanted man. Both the Light and the Dark mages are after him.
I loved the main premise: an ancient relic is in the British Museum guarded by mages. Nobody can open it. They need help. The division between the mages is very pronounced so both will do whatever it takes to get what they want.

I liked Luna, Alex's friend. Her curse of chance magic is fascinating. I loved Starbreeze, an air elemental with an
Qwill / The Qwillery
Mar 03, 2012 Qwill / The Qwillery rated it it was amazing
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 happ
Lisa P
A lot of people have compared this book to the Dresden Files Series. I can see the similarities (a few) for sure, but the differences (many) are what make this book really special. Alex Verus is such an unlikely hero...A mage with the power of seeing the future, but not much else compared to all the other super-powerful mages around him. But what he lacks in skills, he definitely makes up for in brains. He is smart and clever, and maximizes his limited magic skills to their fullest potential. He ...more
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
Alex Verus owns a magic shop, not the kind that sells trick decks of cards or top hates with bunnies attached, but magic items that actually work. He is also a diviner, able to see future choices and the consequences of them before they happen, something very useful in a fight. But Alex avoids the rest of the mage community, both Dark and Light after learning the hard way that Dark mages are truely ruthless and Light mages are more interested in internal politics then helping a young boy. But so ...more
Mar 14, 2013 Susana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2013
3,5 stars

Positive points?
The writing. It has a fluidity to it, that just makes it hard to stop reading it.

The main character (bear in mind that i've only read the first two Harry Potter books, and i still haven't started with the Dresden files) is Alex Verus. He's a diviner mage. He can "look into the future" (no crystal balls needed) and "see" different futures, acording to the probabilities of the actions one takes...for me, this was a great idea. And the strongest point of the story.

The chara
In its defence..... Sir Richard Burton & Algy Swinburne ARE a hard act to follow....

However, after 30 pages in my mind is dead set against this, for one it IS SO Dresden Verbatim that I cant continue.... I see the author has written YA prior to this & its his first venture into books for "Grown-ups".... Sorry thats the second reason I cant read on, the text is for teenagers & its Dresden for kids, sorry no ta, life's too short as it is.......
Jun 27, 2015 Karissa rated it really liked it
I have had this urban fantasy series on my “to read” list for quite a while. This ended up being a well done and entertaining urban fantasy. Right now there are four books in this series with the fifth book, Veiled, scheduled for an August 2015 release.

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. The narrator sounds exactly like I imagine Verus would sound and does other character voices well too.

Alex Verus runs a magic shop in London and is a mage himself. However, bein
Truly amazing! One of the best books I've read for a really long time and I am already looking forward to reading Cursed, Taken and Chosen (and if I can find them, the 2 Ninja books as well)!

Thank you, Benedict Jacka, for sharing your work with us!

Jade Hoggins
Jun 07, 2012 Jade Hoggins rated it it was ok
The idea of a UF based in London was intriguing to me, but this book never really caught my imagination. It didn't employ a sense of place particularly well, it could have been anywhere.

Furthermore, I found myself throughout the story thinking that if the protagonist had been female there would have been an onslaught of Mary Sue accusations. Alex Verus seems to just know things a great deal of the time. For example, when he is confronted with someone from his past, he asks some questions, which
May 05, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
A fairly standard tale of urban fantasy in a setting with fairly monolithic Light mages and Dark mages. The story is not particularly innovative, but that's not always important.

Things I liked about this book:

- Precognition without predestination. It's rare to see characters with the ability to perceive the future in settings where free will is still an important element.

- Characters thrive more on thought than on inborn talent. Many fantasy settings have the main characters as unusually powerfu
Aug 31, 2013 Nicole rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anglophiles and magic lovers
Recommended to Nicole by: Yvonne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Saucy Wenches Boo...: Fated by Benedict Jacka 4 5 Sep 16, 2015 07:48PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #64 Fated by Benedict Jacka 1 1 Apr 02, 2015 08:57AM  
Urban Fantasy: Buddy read - Fated (Spoilers) 20 53 Aug 07, 2013 10:55PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Alex Verus (8 books)
  • Cursed (Alex Verus, #2)
  • Taken (Alex Verus, #3)
  • Chosen (Alex Verus, #4)
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  • Veiled (Alex Verus, #6)
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Share This Book

“I've heard of a guy in Chicago who advertises in the phone book under "Wizard",though that's probably a urban legend.” 38 likes
“Starbreeze doesn't rest, doesn't sleep and can hear anything carried on moving air. It'd make her the perfect spy, except that most of what she hears goes in one ear and out the other.
"I'm looking for a Precursor relic, a new one"
"What's a relic?" Starbreeze said curiously.
"A powerful magical thing. It would have been found a week or two ago"
"What's a week?”
More quotes…