Happy 2016 everyone! I hope your New Years Eve was full of (safe) fun and that we all have a kick-ass year ahead! After that run of DNF books, I wanted something I knew I’d enjoy, so out came Alex Verus. Let’s take a look.
With his talent for divining the future, Alex Verus should have foreseen his friends’ reactions to the revelations about his previous life. Anne Walker no longer trusts him—and has also cut all ties with the mage community after getting kicked out of the apprentice program. As a favor to Luna, Alex’s own apprentice and Anne’s best friend, he checks in on her only to be told to leave her alone.
Then Anne gets kidnapped. The Council Keepers of the Order of the Star believe Dark mages from her past may be involved. Working with the Keepers, Alex and Luna discover that Anne has been taken into the shadow realm of Sagash, her former Dark mage mentor, and they must find a way to rescue her.
But another shadow from the past has resurfaced—Alex’s former master may be back in London, and Alex has no idea what his agenda is…
At this point in the game, you know whether or not you like the series. If I were to rank the books, I’d probably put this down towards the bottom of the list near the very first one. It’s not a bad book by any means, but the focus is on Anne and I just find her to be one of the less interesting characters for a simple reason: she’s Alex 2.0. She’s meant to be Alex 2.0. Her struggles have mirrored his to varying degrees, so when you find out what her secret is, you just kind of shrug. When we first met her back in book three, I suspected her past held a secret like this. When we fully saw Alex’s past in book four, it all but confirmed it, so the revelations here aren’t that revealing. To be fair to Jacka, she is a less jaded version of Alex. Like Alex, she’s trying to walk away from it all and finding it harder to do. Unlike Alex, who has concluded that getting your hands dirty is sometimes the only thing that can be done, she hasn’t yet accepted that and is fighting so she doesn’t have to accept that. It’s not a bad thing to do, but at the same point in time it inevitably feels like a bit of a rehash like you can’t quite shake the feeling that you’ve seen it before.
On the plus, shit is starting to get real. Things are going to come to a head, and they’re going to come to a head fast – and it should be a great confrontation. Alex also remains as interesting a character as he’s even been, continuing to show signs of growth by going out on that limb for Anne even though most sane people wouldn’t, and watching him go toe-to-toe with Dark mages is as fun as it ever was.
So yeah, like I said, this isn’t a bad book so much as it is a less strong book. The set-up for Veiled is great. As always, I’ve already downloaded it and will probably be reviewing it in the not-too-distant future. Oh, and today I found out that this series is apparently open-ended after all, so yay for that! I’ll take it 🙂
Verdict: Buy It