Gergana's Reviews > Veiled

Veiled by Benedict Jacka
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it was amazing
bookshelves: setting-uk-and-ireland, magic-users, urban-fantasy, clairvoyance, favorites, own, to-reread

For some weird reason, I have a serious problem reviewing books from my "Favorite" list. I mean, who wouldn't enjoy reading something like this:

"Perfect, perfect perfect perfect! Perfect! Perfect perfect? Perfect perfect perfect...Perfect!" and so on.

Yes, we all love books for different reasons, and when we're lucky enough to stumble upon a story or a character that completely resonates with us, it becomes almost impossible to find words that are just as complex, deep and multi-colored as the emotions we feel while reading.

Therefore, I'll skip the fan-girling stage for now and write a proper review of all six Alex Verus books when I'm not drowning in my sea of emotions.

So back to London!

Veiled is a little bit different from the rest of the series - in the first few books Alex is a solitary magician with huge trust issues and not many "friends", he often resorted to clever tricks and manipulation to achieve what he wants (surviving, mainly), he didn't cringe from hurting or even killing his enemies indirectly, and he wasn't considered a threat or someone powerful enough to want on your side. By the sixth book, every thing has been turned around. Instead of minding his own business (a small shop in Camden), he's now surrounded by friends and people he cares about and vice versa, he's more involved in the magical society of London than ever and he's even willing to use his divination skills to help the Keepers, the equivalent of the Police among the mages.

What Veiled does perfectly, is offer us a glimpse of how the Law system, Politics of the Light Mages and Keepers department work. This time we have a criminal organizations, murderers and kidnappers of civilians, a whole new variety of villains that are not a direct threat to Alex, nor his friends. Yes, this book did feel different - no assassins or evil mages that are transfixed on killing the MC or the supporting cast, no personal loss if the villains aren't dealt with?

Very quickly, what I liked:

The massive character development of Alex. I guess I was so used to seeing him partly as an anti-hero, that I almost didn't expect him to care so much about complete strangers and destroying criminal organizations.A very pleasant surprise.
The Politics - I don't want to spoil anything, but let's just say nothing is as simple and straight-forward as it looks. Alex's actions have HUGE consequences and, in the end, it's all about choosing the lesser evil.
The supporting cast - although I missed Luna, Anne and the rest of Alex's friends, I'm super intrigued by Chalice, I adored Caldera and I wouldn't mind seeing more of the Keepers (especially Variam's master!)

What I L.O.V.E.D.D.D!


HOLY COW, they were so good! There were a few major ones, but my favorite in the whole series so far is Alex vs the Air Mage on the DLR train! IT WAS PERFECT! And no, by "perfect" I don't just mean - written very well, flashy and well-thought out. NO! It was Freaking Intense! The stakes were high, the threat was escalating in every single paragraph and several times I thought "thank God I'm still young-ish and my heart can take it". The best part is when you think the MC is 100% safe now, only to be proven dead-wrong a page later and to have even more violence and more feelings of dread and hopelessness. It's very rare to have my Admiration for Alex's divination abilities lowered to "95% useless".
(view spoiler)
Gildart Jackson - the audiobook narrator. I switched to the audiobook version around Taken (the third book), and at first, I was in a slight shock - I wasn't used to hearing Gildart's version of Alex's voice, it was like a different character altogether, and I wondered whether I should just go back to my e-book. I'm SO GLAD I didn't! Gildart Jackson is an excellent fit for the series! And yes, he can do multiple voices, different accents, intonation and add a great deal of personality to the dialogue. You'll be surprised by the amount of monotone, emotionless and bored voices I had to listen to for the month of August this year. And don't even get me started on the audio book of Uprooted...

What I missed.

London (just a little) - What I was truly impressed with from the start of the series was the short, but to the point, imaginative and very insightful descriptions of the landmarks, areas or buildings of the Greatest city in the world (sorry, New York, but don't worry, you're in my top 10). The author knows exactly what words to use to give a place a sufficient amount of character and atmosphere. I'm hoping we get more descriptions in the future books, if they are relevant to the plot, of course.
The pacing - I swear to God, after Alex's fight with the Air Mage (around 30% through the book) my heart was having a private techno-music party and wouldn't calm down. Therefore, I was slightly taken aback by the calmer second half of the story. Oh, there was still plenty of action, but the book became more relaxed while my heart and brain were having a harder time adjusting. I guess I was desperate for even MORE EPICNESS towards the end and the final battle was slightly disappointing.
The Keepers - Although I enjoyed seeing Alex challenging himself, working with people that he has grown to hate, getting a new point-of-view and being introduced to a different side of the magical society, I...actually miss him being the solo, independent and selfish mage who doesn't want to be associated with any side. I guess I didn't want to see the series go into the "police crime and mystery" type of books. (And after reading the plot summary for Burned, I'm so happy they won't). The reason why I was so fascinated with Alex, to begin with, is the fact that he doesn't care to be involved in politics, he doesn't believe in people being purely good and selfless, he's not powerful, he DOES have a whole bunch of enemies, but he deals with his problems without relying on the institutions to help him out. I like the fact that nothing in the series is ever "black" or "white". Not even the main character.


Will I read the next book? - Are you seriously asking ME this question?
Will I re-read the series? - I'm rather surprised I haven't already...
Will I recommend to a GR friend? - YES! Come on, Alex Verus is in my "Favorites" shelf for a reason (More like a 100 reasons X)
Will I buy a Hard-cover? - No, they don't exist yet. But I've got all the paper-backs and audiobooks and I love them!
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Reading Progress

October 1, 2014 – Shelved
October 1, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 31, 2015 – Shelved as: setting-uk-and-ireland
January 31, 2015 – Shelved as: magic-users
January 31, 2015 – Shelved as: urban-fantasy
February 21, 2015 – Shelved as: clairvoyance
March 5, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015-releases
April 10, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
May 14, 2015 – Shelved as: to-find
August 6, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
August 29, 2015 – Started Reading
August 29, 2015 –
0.0% "Went out today specifically to buy this book from Waterstones... although I already have the audio version... I need both! I need to listen to Gildart Jackson's voice while gazing at the beautiful purple/pink-ish cover. Duh!\n \n I also want to know what happened to the Fox XD So adorable! I hope Alex kept it."
August 30, 2015 –
17.0% "I always wondered how a Diviner would perform in a fair fist fight. XD Brute force of the elemental mages wins this time."
August 30, 2015 –
29.0% "Number 1. Diviner vs. Air Mage - EPICNESS OVERLOAD! The best battle in the series so far! And fighting on a DLR train in front of civilians? What's going on?\n \n 2. Foxy's baaaaack! I was getting worried. \n \n 3. I wish I had the next book in my hands, so I wouldn't cry when I finish this one..."
August 31, 2015 –
65.0% "I can't, I just can't. \n \n I need to pause this one, otherwise I'll finish it in a few hours and I'll feel sad and empty knowing that I'll have to wait for months until the next book. \n \n \n \n The world is so unfair!"
September 5, 2015 – Shelved as: favorites
September 5, 2015 – Finished Reading
March 23, 2016 – Shelved as: own
August 21, 2016 – Shelved as: to-reread

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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Gergana American cover is out! Can't wait to see the British one :)

message 2: by Choko (new)

Choko What a great review!!! I myself have enormous difficulties explaining the purely irrational reasons why I love some books soooo much that i can give them 5 stars with no qualm, despite knowing that the books themselves as entities are faaaaaar from perfect!!! Love your enthusiasm, adash:) Keep on enjoying:)

Gergana Thank you Choko!!! That was super kind! I haven't figured out the formula of the perfect book yet, either. In my "Favorites" shelf I have Fantasy, Sci-Fi, YA, Children Books and even Horror. Like you said, it's an irrational gut feeling :)

message 4: by Allison (new)

Allison I have that problem, too. I haven't managed to review most of the books that I just loved.

Gergana Allison wrote: "I have that problem, too. I haven't managed to review most of the books that I just loved."

I know, right? It's much easier to review books you didn't enjoy XD

Калоян Great review :)

Gergana Kaloyan wrote: "Great review :)"

Cheers! :)

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