Thursday, 06 September 2012 09:05

Taken' urban fantasy at its finest

Quick-turning series offers third book in a year

One of the worst parts of reading a fiction series is the knowledge that when you turn the last page of one of those books, it could be years until you see the next installment.

Unless you're reading something like Benedict Jacka's excellent Alex Verus series; you'll likely have the next book in a matter of mere months. 'Taken' (ACE, $7.99), the third book in the series, has just been released. This is after the first book, 'Fated,' debuted in February and the second book, 'Cursed,' came out in May.

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Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:18

Modern magic Cursed'

Urban fantasy sequel continues adventure

I'm a relative latecomer to the urban fantasy genre, but it has turned out to be a nice fit. It suits me much better than the standard sword-and-sorcery boilerplate creating a magically-based analogue of our own modern world is so much more engaging. It's the realm of magic explored with 21st century attitudes.

So many of these novels are generated as part of a longer series of books; it's always a crapshoot to pick up Book One. If you're like me, it's almost impossible to walk away from a longer ongoing story, so you have to hope that you're not investing in something that will ultimately disappoint.

Benedict Jacka is currently two-for-two.

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Thursday, 08 March 2012 11:01

Fated' a fine urban fantasy

Urban fantasy is a genre whose star has been on the rise over the past decade or so. More and more authors are trying their hand at bringing the magic of sword-and-sorcery to a modern cityscape. Some are successful, but many more are not it's hard to write urban fantasy without coming off as derivative or clichd. I've read a lot of mediocre stuff over the years.

That's why it's exciting when a new book arrives that seems to have potential. 'Fated' (ACE, $7.99), the first book in a new series by Benedict Jacka, is one of those books.

It's modern-day London, just like ours save one small detail there is magic among us. Alex Verus is a diviner; a mage who can see the future. He operates a magic shop in London and not the card-trick, rabbit-hat kind of magic. He's also a bit of a pariah among the magical elite due to some unpleasantness in the past, so he tries his best to just keep his head down and stay out of magic's way.

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