Fated (Alex Verus, #1)
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Fated (Alex Verus #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  5,906 ratings  ·  601 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 m...more
Mass Market Paperback, 1st Edition, 295 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Ace
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Community Reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
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"...it...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
May 18, 2013 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
Kelly 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...more
Lois Bujold
Apr 18, 2014 Lois Bujold rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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!
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
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
**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.
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...more
Cora Linn
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...more
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...more
Qwill / The Qwillery
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...more
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...more
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 the Mighty (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
May 05, 2013 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Aug 31, 2013 Callista rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anglophiles and magic lovers
Recommended to Callista by: Yvonne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I've been struggling for a few days to put my finger on what exactly I didn't enjoy about this book. I think it all boiled down to a simultaneous lack of explanation and back story alongside excessive explanation in other areas. There were pages and pages on various "artifacts" of the world the novel is set in, on obscure relationships, and locations that are important for only a few moments. But there is a severe hole in the place that should hold the stories of the world created, the people wh...more
A brilliant well written story which really impressed me as I read it.

Just enough insight in main charcters pasts to to make want to know more about them, so we are drawn to reading the others in the series.

Couple of 1 dimensional evil people, well 1 less to worry about after the first book.

But I would really recommend this any urban fantasy fan especially butcher and hearne fans.
Jul 17, 2014 Wealhtheow rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Harry Dresden
As a disaffected teen, Alex apprenticed himself to a Dark Wizard. Years later he realized his mistake, but to escape his master he endured torture and numerous attempts on his life. Since then Alex has created a quiet little life for himself as a magic shop proprietor. But now multiple magical factions want him to open a magical artifact for them--and they're willing to do anything to get it.

Alex isn't a particularly well developed character: he's a little snarky, a little into preparing himself...more
Jade Hoggins
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...more
Tim "The Enchanter"
3 Stars

The story was one of the weaker parts of the book. When I am reading the first book of a series, I expect the author to take me along somewhat slowly and introduce me to the world and to the characters. At the outset of the book, we are given a minimal introduction to Alex Verus, the central character. We are given a sense of his power and the BAM, we are introduced to other characters and the allusion to backstory. At time it felt as if the author expected us to share Alex's ability to...more
Fated by Benedict Jacka, as reviewed here, is an uncorrected proof of a book that will be published in March 2012 and will sell for $7.99 USD.

The book starts by setting up the protagonist, Alex Verus, who can see the future and who is therefore an outsider even within the magical society that exists in modern day London.

Jacka sets up an intristing magical world and follows it up with a some clever uses of magic that make you believe the author has a knack for fantasy. Despite this cleverness...more
Shanshad Whelan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jana Stocks Brown
Fated rates somewhere between three and four stars for me, but there is no 3.5 here, so there you have it. It was fun to see another male protag in urban fantasy which is often dominated by snarky women. Alex Verus is a mage, though not of the blow things up or 'kill you with my brain type', rather Verus is a diviner, someone who can see the future. I really enjoyed seeing a very different type of ability as the primary use, though there are a few things which struck me as a little odd. Such as...more
This is an edited version of the review from my blog. You can read the full (4.5 star, incidentally) review here.

You know when you have a favorite series that the author just can't write quickly enough for you, so you go out and look for "patches" to get you through the long months of waiting until the next book comes out? I have a lot of authors like that, but in the contemporary fantasy genre, hands-down, the protagonist I can't get enough of is Harry Dresden.

But a couple weeks ago, I was chec...more
I was so excited when I first heard about Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus series. I was on tenterhooks waiting for my review copy of FATED to arrive because I loved the cover copy on the book and the fact that it was blurbed by Jim Butcher, an author I adore. Needless to say, I jumped right in when it showed up in my mailbox. And you know what? I loved it! In fact, there are so many great parts to FATED that I'm hard pressed to know where to start.

First of all, Benedict Jacka has created a marvellou...more
A really fun urban fantasy novel that reminds me very much of Jim Butcher's the Dresden Files. Like his Chicago counterpart, Alex Verus is a London mage just trying to get by. He runs the Arcana Emporium, a real magic shop, where he sells herbs, crystal balls, and anything else a practitioner might need. His special skill: he can see into various futures and select the one most likely to keep him out of trouble. But after a mysterious artifact turns up, Alex finds himself very much in demand by...more
Steven Klotz
I picked up this book, because I was interested in how a writer might write a first person account of being able to see the future. The author did a great job with that. He sets up a magical system where mages can use a single school of magic. They can end up doing fairly similar things, but there's particularly a distinction between active and passive skills. The book spends a lot of time showing how Alex's (he's the main character) ability to see the future stacks up against the battle mages t...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here: http://www.mybookishways.com/2012/04/...

There’s a blurb on the front of Fated by Jim Butcher, and I’ll admit, it went a ways toward me reading the book. Don’t get me wrong, the book sounded great, but Benedict Jacka is a new author, so it definitely helped. That said, Fated is a bit like the Dresden Files, but really only in the fact that Alex Verus is a wizard, or mage, and Alex’s voice is is a similar mix of easygoing and tightly coiled power. Alex is a divine...more
Overall rating = 3 & 1/2 stars

Full review originally at Fantasy Book Critic

ANALYSIS: Benedict Jacka’s debut has received quite some hype before its release and a blurb from Jim Butcher (coming from JB, this was something special as he currently blurbs biennially). All things considered this results in tremendous expectation to arise for a debut book. Anne Sowards also had mentioned Fated as one of the books to look out for in 2012 in her FBC interview . All things considered, I was very c...more
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“I've heard of a guy in Chicago who advertises in the phone book under "Wizard",though that's probably a urban legend.” 26 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…