Cursed (Alex Verus, #2)
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Cursed (Alex Verus #2)

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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  3,881 ratings  ·  257 reviews
Benedict Jacka's acclaimed Alex Verus series continues with Cursed.

Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he'sdiscovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life-force of magical creatures—destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. H...more
ebook, USA Edition, 304 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Ace (first published January 1st 2012)
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Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Jul 26, 2014 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People looking for Dresden-esque who can overlook blatant sexism
FROM THE POLICE BLOTTER
Subject: Benedict Jacka
Alias: Alex Versus
Location: Cursed
Date: Published 2012, ongoing issues.

Charges:
--Multiple counts of misdemeanor littering explano-dumps.
--One felony charge of plot deus ex machina.
--Multiple felonies committed against women characters, including Class 1 felony of all females equaling damsel-in-distress category, and additional multiple Class 1 felonies of Classic Female Stereotypes.

Consider charging in supernatural courts for crimes against love....more
Mike (the Paladin)
As I said in another review today...SCORE!. This week I've finished 3 books that I rate 5 stars! I had trouble making time to get to this one, but burned through it once I got to it. This is a good to great book in a great series with a great character. Alex Verus in definitely my #2 UF character (Harry Dresden being #1 by quite a margin).

There's a thread here called "Books to Read While Waiting for the Next Dresden Book"...I found these recommended there. Seeing Jim Butcher's recommendation of...more
Cathy
3.5 stars again. It was very much a continuation of the first story, therefore it had a lot of the same strengths and the same negatives. Alex is easy to connect to, his voice is clear and personable and the explanation of his powers makes sense. But I was again disappointed in the female characters. Luna had so much promise in the first book, but she was very young and weak in this one. I can see in a certain way where it makes sense for the story, but it leaves the (surprisingly cool) giant sp...more
Felicia
Forgot to review this, but I read all three of these books in a row a few months back and LOVED them. Def check it out if you're an urban fantasy fan. No romance to speak of, but really fun writing!!
Irena
Cursed is an improvement to Fated even if it is a bit similar. It takes place five months after the events in the first book. Alex is stronger and better than before. At one point he even acknowledges how dangerous he is unlike in the first book.

The plot: someone is killing magical creatures using an old and forbidden ritual called harvesting and Alex is hired to investigate.

While I really liked Luna in Fated, most of the plot in this book is based on her not being very smart (this is me tryin...more
Chip
Same good and bad points as the first book in the series. In sum ... another light and certainly entertaining read. But again inconsistencies and laziness abound. Just a few examples:

The whole Starbreeze deux ex machine.

Why would Dark Magicians have apprentices? Why share knowledge/power?

Claims most mages rarely attack others in their homes, because mages make a habit of fortifying their homes - thus a bad idea to attack. Immediately segues to appearance of the glazier showing up to fix the wind...more
Ami
About five months after the event at British Museum, Alex Verus, has been keeping his head down. However, he sometimes freelancing jobs for the Council. At one of his jobs, Alex discovers someone is draining energy out of magical creatures. It is called Harvesting, of of the blackest of black magic. Alex is then hired by Belthas, one of the Light mages who wants to stop the Dark mages responsible for the Harvesting, to investigate. But when it comes to identifying allies and enemies, Alex must u...more
Jeff
That difficult second book ... so often a promising first book is followed by a weaker sequel.

I'm pleased to say that's not the case with the second in the Alex Verus series; on the contrary, this is an even more polished book than its predecessor, tighter and not weighed down by the same burden of necessary exposition. It builds nicely upon "Fated", continuing to weave subplots established in the first book around a primary plot that builds well and for the most part concludes satisfactorily. T...more
Jenn
I thoroughly enjoyed my first encounter with Alex Verus and so I was thrilled when my review copy of CURSED showed up. (Thank you, Penguin!) FATED was such a strong series debut and so my expectations were rather high for CURSED. And you know what? CURSED completely delivered. It has all of the things I loved about FATED and more.

CURSED picks up a few months after the end of FATED. Alex is a bit more on the radar and he's been working with the Light mages more, though he remains unaligned. He's...more
Mark
Brilliant read, really brought the characters forward. If your missing your harry fix then read these.
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru
Synopsis:

Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he's discovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life-force of magical creatures—destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. Hired to investigate, Alex realizes that not everyone on the Council wants him delving any deeper. Struggling to distinguish ally from enemy, he finds himself the target of those who...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

CURSED is a wonderfully fun, action packed story with witty dialogue making it another great installment for the Alex Verus series. The plot was a little more straightforward than in FATED and it had a few fun twists that I didn’t see coming. The action scenes could fit in a summer blockbuster movie especially one memorable chase in the middle of a city culminating in the use of some dangerous military grade weapons. The harvesting of the life force of...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
I loved this book and I can barely even explain why I liked it as much as I did;

Part of it would be that I have been reading a lot of supernatural/urban fantasy/fiction written by women and however well they write male characters there is a certain sameness to them in some ways. I LOVED the main character in this book, not for all the obvious reasons but because he was realistic as a person.

Oh, you say, what are the obvious reasons? Well he is a mage but knows how to handle himself in a fight, h...more
James
I think in my review of his last book, I was little overzealous in my adoration and comparison of Jacka and Butcher. Here, I think, Jacka has proven that he can stand on his own two feet and that the last book was not a one shot wonder. So, from now on, I won't mention Butcher again until the end. Anyway, this was a mind blowing Four Stars - the moment it arrived in the post I was all over it, and I barely put it down. For those of you wanting a new block-buster series in this genre, this is it....more
April
This has a positive quote from Jim Butcher and while the hero is amazing Dresden-like, there are not enough of those characters out there yet to make me find that annoying. Alex is a magic shop proprietor in London and a wizard, who, like Dresden, refuses to ally with the White Wizards or the Dark Wizards. He also has mysterious backers, lots of people/wizards who want to kill him, and special powers. His special power is, I have to admit, pretty cool. It's hard to kill or hide anything from som...more
Marleen
Received from Book Geeks

Alex Verus is a mage, a diviner, who owns a shop; ‘Arcana Emporium’ in Camden, London and when the story starts life is going smoothly for him. He is on reasonably good terms with the Council and occasionally working for them, and the work with his cursed apprentice Luna is proceeding quite nicely as well.
Things are about to change though.
It all starts with the discovery of a death magical creature. Although it is unclear how it was killed, it is a worrying sight.
Althou...more
Tim "The Enchanter"
A much improved 4 Stars

Cursed, the second book in the Alex Verus series, is much improved form the first.

First and most important, the story was much tighter and easier to follow in Cursed. The reader is brought alone with two major storylines at a brisk pace. While I feel the none of the characters have ever been properly introduced, we are starting to gain a small glimpse of who they are and what made them who they are.

Secondly, the MC is less condescending to the female characters in the b...more
Chris
Good continuation of the series in which things get complicated as Alex tries to handle an enchantress, a monkey's paw, and mages who are never up front about what they actually want. I'm enjoying these, but they're pretty standard UF fare.
Kylara Jensen
I absolutely love these books. Yes the comparison to the Dresden files is there, but this book totally holds its own. Alex Verus is similar but different from Harry Dresden. I completely love the idea of a main character who has to be subtle and smart, who isn't an overkill in the power department so has to use his power to see the future in a precise way to overcome obstacles.

Yes these books are just a light fun read for now, but it's still early in the series and I think they will just keep g...more
Emily
I like Alex Verus. He has cool powers, a smart mouth and nifty magical doodads. (view spoiler)

I was frustrated for a while by all the horrible choices everyone was making, but he didn't draw any of that out for too long, and I was totally sucked in for the last 200 pages or so.

The only reason I give this 4 stars instead of 5 is that he stops to explain the world a little more often than I like. But it's a neat world, and this is one of the b...more
Keith Ross
Benedict Jacka continues the good thing he has going with the Alex Verus series. In this novel, Verus has begun training (or attempting to train) his young friend Luna, who is magically sensitive but not actually a mage. He's also doing some freelance work for the Council of Mages, the governing light-side group, and trying to run his little shop ("We don't sell tricks"). Of course, things become much more complicated when the Monkey's Paw sells itself to a customer in his shop.

Then there's a wh...more
Jennifer
In some senses, I like that the main character in this series doesn't seem to spend a lot of time navel-gazing. On the other hand, sometimes it feels like *everyone* is trying to kill him, and therefore there's no real moral compass point. (The whole Light mage/Dark mage dichotomy is kind of annoying, when the only real differentiation between the two is that the Light mages are less obvious about their power-grabs.) Still, the characters are engaging, and I do love Arachne to pieces.
Emily
I tore through this book! I finished it in a matter of days and that is not common for me these days. I won the first book of the series through Goodreads First Reads and I couldn't resist continuing.

Cursed picks up fairly soon after Fated ended. Familiar characters reemergence in entertaining, if predictable ways. A few new and deadly characters are introduced, some of which I expect to reappear and some I do not.

I love Alex Verus and I think it is because he is forced to live in a moral gray...more
Richard
Even better than the last, this books strike a chord with me very much like Jim Butchers Dresden files series, and I think theres certainly some similarities between the main characters of these series' however Alex seems a more "Get the job done" person rather than worrying overly much about how it happens. The books well written, theres plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing till the end, a very enjoyable book and one id wholeheartedly reccomend.
Maeve
I'm going to give Cursed 3 1/2 stars.

I really want to warm up to this series but am currently stymied by that fact that this series can so easily be compared to a bad photo copy of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. There are brief glimpses of a really good series in the making. The trouble is that these flashes of readably are scattered in between similarities to a much stronger series. The last 40 or 60 pages for me indisputably make for a great read. It seems to me that during that time frame...more
Nanne
Another great book in the Alex Verus series which seems to be going from strength to strength. I like how it reads like an action packed story, and in fact in a way it is like an action movie but Alex Verus is not an action star and at all times he is outgunned and outmatched except for his wits and his ability to plan ahead. It's not just Alex though that makes me enjoy this series, it's the side characters that add flavour to these books. The thing about the side characters, and about Alex as...more
Red Lace
Aug 27, 2014 Red Lace rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: followers of the Alex Verus series
Alex Verus is becoming somewhat famous in mage society, yet his reputation is only good for one thing; getting him into more trouble. Dealing with yet another Council member, Alex accepts a job to help retrieve the knowledge of a forbidden magic draining ritual, one that's used upon magical creatures, to harvest their very life force. However what appears to be straight-forward, is anything but, when the line between ally and enemy becomes dangerously unclear.

(Please be aware that this review ma...more
Tasula
This was second in series after Fated, about a "diviner" mage who runs a magic shop and tries (unsuccessfully) to stay out of trouble. It has a Dresdenish feel, and lots of mages, some non-human characters (a giant spider who weaves clothes, for instance). It is full of action, good guys/bad guys, and is generally a lot of fun.
Edward
The second novel of the Alex Versus series find Alex settling in with his new apprentice Luna and working well with the Council. Things are thrown in disarray when a mysterious damsel in distress bursts into his shop, being chased by an assassin. Alex finds himself dragged into a plot to revive a ritual to steal magic from other magical creatures and his friend is smack dab in the crosshairs.

This is one of those series where the protagonist goes through an endless series of trials and tribulatio...more
LazerWraith
Liked it. Still wish Alex could get a better combat system going than just improvising, like actually keeping a gun or something like it around and getting used to quickly shooting it. And keep more grenades along as well.

He could do really well with modern tech.
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“I don’t sell spells, and I don’t sell tricks. I don’t carry illusions or marked cards or weighted coins. I cannot sell you an endless purse or help you win the lottery. I can’t make that girl you’ve got your eye on fall in love with you, and I wouldn’t do it even if I could. I don’t have a psychic hotline to your dead relatives, I don’t know if you’re going to be successful in your career, and I don’t know when you’re going to get married. I can’t get you into Hogwarts or any other kind of magic school, and if you even mention those stupid sparkly vampires I will do something unpleasant to you.” 4 likes
“I don’t sell spells, and I don’t sell tricks. I don’t carry illusions or marked cards or weighted coins. I can not sell you an endless purse or help you win the lottery. I can’t make that girl you’ve got your eye on fall in love with you, and I wouldn’t do it even if I could. I don’t have a psychic hotline to your dead relatives, I don’t know if you’re going to be successful in your career, and I don’t know when you’re going to get married. I can’t get you into Hogwarts or any other kind of magic school, and if you even mention those stupid sparkly vampires I will do something unpleasant to you.” 1 likes
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