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(Alex Verus #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  20,619 ratings  ·  1,690 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
Paperback, First 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)
Sid Patel On a reddit interview, Jacka said that Alex is 28 years old at the beginning of Fated.

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 25, 2012 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"
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warning!: This review contains the usual random fanart and pointless comics done by me. Enjoy! All images can be found with better resolution here:

I wonder how explaining these books to people would go?

Ok, ok, I know people keep comparing Alex Verus to Harry Dresden. But you know what, now that I have finally read the first 7 books of the Dresden Files (thus becoming a specialist on the topic), I can safely say… I like Alex Verus a LOT LOT LOOOOT
Apr 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dresden fans between books

One of these things is not like the other:
description descriptiondescription

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,
Sep 25, 2015 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
May 23, 2013 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!
Jun 24, 2012 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
Robin (Bridge Four)
3.5 Wizarding World Stars

Sure, sure you are thinking another UF series about a mage/wizard. I know I was thinking the same thing too and then I started reading. Alex is not really a bad guy, well now, but that doesn’t mean that he has always been a good guy. He is definitely a wizard with a past, one that includes being an apprentice to a dark mage and being a little on team evil for awhile. Hey we were all young and stupid once. Actually, he reminds me a little of who I think Malfoy (from Harry
Lois Bujold
Apr 18, 2014 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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Mar 02, 2012 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 (Back to the Books) 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 ...more
Michael Britt
Aug 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Actual rating: 1.5 stars

This has a decent magic system and meh characters and an even more mega-meh plot (not sure if that's a real phrase, but I'm using it).

Due to Verus being able to see into almost every possible outcome to almost every possible future, to an extent, there just wasn't any tension to be given to the plot. I actually gained some of Verus' powers and was able to divine the future. I saw that no matter the outcome, I was just going to not care. Sadly, I couldn't connect with the
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
**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.
Aug 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Alex is a mage, a seer. He owns a shop in London and sells things like crystal balls and herbs. He tries to keep a low profile in a world with dark and light forces in the magical realm.

The majority (of mages) rely on word of mouth, though younger mages use the internet. I've even heard of one guy in Chicago who advertises in the phone book under "Wizard" though that's probably an urban legend."

A little nod to Harry Dresden. I'm thinking, coool, I like Harry. He's hilarious and sarcastic. I
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was a great start to the series! I am always on the lookout for new urban fantasy series to try so when a group of friends decided to read this series, I was eager to join in. It turns out that it was my kind of book and I think that my decision to listen to the audio version increased my enjoyment quite a bit. I am glad that I decided to give this book a try.

I thought that the world-building in this book was very well done. I
Sep 12, 2015 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
Sep 02, 2014 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 ...more
5 stars!

I've had this book on my shelf for years and I wish I'd read it sooner, it was superb.

I used to read an absolute ton of urban fantasy but in the last few years Ive read more epic and YA fantasy and I've only really got back into UF in the last year or so. This book has reminded me why I love urban fantasy, it's gritty yet magical and definitely a fun ride.

I adored Alex and co, he's bad ass without being ridiculously overpowered and his friendships felt honest. The supporting characters
Laura (Kyahgirl)
I have had this book in my tbr for a long time so when I saw the audiobook on Hoopla I gave it a go. I listened for three hours then put it away. There was nothing really wrong besides the fact that the main guy talked too much and nothing really caught my interest except for the giant spider. A lot of people really love this one so don't take my word for it. Its just missing something that my book palate requires, which I think could be defined as human relations or connectivity.
Lesa Divine
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-it, library, 2018
A enjoyed urban fantasy tale. Alex a mage with foresight abilities. He isn't no dark mage nor do he concern himself to be part of the light made he rather be left alone to sale in his special store. But when he's asked to use his gift by dark and light he ends up trying to fight for his life and a friend's life that gets mixed up in the drama.
Just a quick okay tale.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

This was a fun, entertaining start to a new urban fantasy series.

Fated kicks off an urban fantasy series starring Alex Verus, a mage running a magic shop in London. Verus is a diviner, which gives him the ability to see into various possible futures. He’s spent years minding his own business, keeping away from the attention of the various powerful mages, both Light and Dark, that make up the Council. That all changes when he is pulled into a job to recover an ancient artifact, one that
Jacob Proffitt
May 10, 2012 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
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
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
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
Executive Summary: After a rough start I liked the second half of this book enough that I'll probably continue on with the series.

Audiobook: Gildart Jackson did a pretty good job, and helped keep me mostly attentive during all the setup of the first half of the book.

Full Review
This one has been in my library for awhile. I'm sure I got a daily deal or I probably wouldn't have bothered. I used to love Urban Fantasy and read a ton of it, but after awhile I just got tired of it and pretty much
I think I gave this three stars the first time I read it and that's where it's going to stay. There was a lot more explaining of the magic in the world than I remembered but that's to be expected in a first book, I suppose. I still like Alex but I need to see more from the secondary characters.
Feb 20, 2013 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.

Aug 14, 2015 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
Syed Aunirbaan
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Similar to Dresden in a lot of minor manners. However the core was unique. Overall the story was pretty good, specially the ending. There are some flaws ofcourse, and some literary devices which I did not like. The protagonist is quite unorthodox, which I can go both ways. Have to read more to find out. I wonder if the books get perpetually better like The Dresden Files, because I enjoyed Fated more than Storm Front.
Aug 22, 2012 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
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Vampires, Weres a...: Group Series: Fated 63 25 Apr 28, 2018 06:06PM  
Girls, Guns and G...: Alex Verus Series / Benedict Jacka 80 42 Mar 26, 2018 07:17AM  
Literally Geeky: Fated - Your Thoughts 5 12 Sep 10, 2017 11:05AM  
Saucy Wenches Boo...: Fated by Benedict Jacka 4 7 Sep 16, 2015 07:48PM  

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Alex Verus (1 - 10 of 11 books)
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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.” 61 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…