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

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  6,107 ratings  ·  618 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:
descriptiondescriptiondescription

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
Felicia
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
Carly
**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.
Lorelei
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
Jacob Proffitt
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...more
David
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
Chip
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
Mike
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
Callista
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.
Ami
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
Jess
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
Mark
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.
Wealhtheow
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
Jacqie
Nothing really wrong with this book- it just didn't pull me in.

We have a divining mage (interesting idea, to have a protagonist whose power lies in knowledge, very tricky to pull off) who lives in London, a wonderful setting. The main character seems reasonably intelligent, and runs away from danger rather than trying to fight. In many ways, he's the opposite of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden. The book even gives a sly nod to "the Chicago mage listed in the phone book". Evil mages are right out the...more
Rienk
Right now, there is so much urban fantasy out there and naturally much is crap. So to stumble upon a good new series is a pleasant surprice. I love Jim Butcher's DRESDEN FILES (though the first 3 books are journeyman, not in the same league as subsequent volumes) for its brilliant plotting, Harry's smart mouth and the eclectic mish-mash of influences (frequent 'whoa, I can't believe he makes that work' moments) and Ben Aaronovitch's RIVERS OF LONDON (for his great sense of place - London is much...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
JPerceval
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
Mara
3 1/2
A London setting and a good review from a user I follow: it was this easy to get enthralled by Fated.
There aren't that many men in the UF section of the bookshops (both as readers, writers and protagonists), so comparisons are natural.

I'm not a Dresden fan, never went beyond the first (which I then liked but can't remember at all), so I can't tell you if it's that similar. I can tell you it doesn't remind me of Ben Aaronovitch or Simon R. Green whose story are set in London, too.

I know it...more
Jenn
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
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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?”
8 likes
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