Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fated-Benedict Jacka


Benedict Jacka

Ace, Feb 28 2012, $7.99

ISBN 9781937007294

In London, Alex Verus runs a magic shop. Not only does this proprietorship enable him to use his knowledge but is also the perfect cover in plain sight of his talent. Alex is a diviner mage who can see the infinite possible futures and can sometimes influence which one occurs. His ability has the warring forces of the Light and the Dark wanting him on their respective side and will do anything even causing collateral damage to the innocent to make him their stooge.

Choosing neither side as he believes both are wrong with the damage they cause to civilians, Alex has one other unique trait that no other mage apparently possesses as he is an empath who feels for those he knows. The mage factions demand Alex open a relic from the ancient mage war. He looks into the future and realizes that the outcome of doing their bidding is one hundred percent deaths for him and his two dependents, Luna the cursed woman, and Starbreeze the ancient air elemental dumber than a rock. Alex and his wards flee as he foresees their only slim possible chance to survive the assaults from the Light and the Dark is flight not fight.

This is a great opening act as the first Alex Verus urban fantasy establishes the Jacka rules of magical physics but does so interwoven inside a fast-paced storyline. The cast is solid (even the ephemeral) but rascally Alex keeps the tale focused as he versus a world in which the superpowers reject neutrality; nor does either side care about the mundane. Instead the mantra is "You're either part of the solution or part of the problem" (Eldridge Cleaver).

Harrier Klausner

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