T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)'s Reviews > Bound

Bound by Benedict Jacka
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Apr 15, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-urban

This is the eighth book in the Alex Verus series, and I'm glad to find that Alex is finally realising that he has to do something other than just deal with today's problem then sit back and wait for tomorrow's. He's starting to think ahead, and this gives the potential for more interesting developments in the future.

Although the action takes place over several months - rather than the more typical several days - it moves quickly enough that this book felt shorter than the 416 pages Amazon says it is; I read it over the course of a single day. Alex is now working - against his will - for Morden the Dark Mage. Personally, I would have liked more on-page time for Morden: he's intelligent and sneaky, and it's nice to get hints of humanity rather than him simply being yet another interchangeable baddie. Of course, the Light Mages, who are supposed to be the goodies, are pretty interchangeable with the baddies too, so it's particularly satisfying to see Morden (reportedly, at least) being pretty decent to work for - which gives Alex something to think about. It does make me wonder where Jacka is going with that.

Most of the action centres on Alex (obviously), but Luna is also developing and starting to think of her future; this rounds her out more as a character as it means she's starting to become more of her own person rather than just someone who is connected to Alex. We also learn a little more about Richard Drakh, and it's particularly good have him move into the ranks of actual characters rather than off-stage bogeymen. He's interesting, and I hope he gets more page-time in future.

Plot-wise, Bound definitely moves things along: not only is Alex being more proactive, but we get unmistakable signs that there is something in the works, and future books are (hopefully) less likely to be simply more people trying to kill Alex for stuff that happened ages ago/stuff they think he's going to do/just stuff. There are certainly enough changes in characters' attitudes, abilities, and situations that book 9 should be very interesting indeed - and I'm looking forward to reading it. :-)
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Reading Progress

April 10, 2016 – Shelved
April 10, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 10, 2016 – Shelved as: fantasy-urban
April 15, 2017 – Started Reading
April 15, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by L.E. (new) - added it

L.E. Doggett Got that one but not quite time to read it yet.


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) Oh, it's time! :-)


Jumper RBK There is nothing new in alex ability and he is still sucks. This is the only book that i read the hero not badass and this is book 8. Still only a diviner. Where is the character development and heroes journey for Verus. Come on mr jacka. A little fan service will not bankrupt you.


message 4: by L.E. (new) - added it

L.E. Doggett Still need to read the book, it's in my to read pile, so I won't comment even though normally I would for this series


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) One of the things I like about this is that Verus can't go around blowing stuff up. He has to use his head for something other that just beating it against obstacles until something breaks (the Dresden Files is my favourite series, but you can't deny that planning hasn't really been Dresden's best thing).

I think the development we're seeing with Verus is more mental and political: he's starting to realise that he can't be the lone wolf any more. He has to start acting instead of reacting all the time, and he can no longer just keep hoping it'll all go away if he ignores it long enough.

Additionally, I think a hero who can't just blast his way out of trouble is harder to write: you can't write a sneaky character without being a sneaky author. :-)


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