As Alex Verus is officially now an open-ended urban fantasy series I’ve decided to take reviews of this series off the main page – aside from commenting on the plot, there’s little to say that hasn’t been said about the series at this point, which makes writing full reviews a touch difficult and perhaps redundant.
At the end of each review is my personal ranking of favorites, with 1 being the high and 7 being the low. I will update as books come out and I read them 🙂 Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the series and how you’d rank them!
A very solid introduction to the world. The politics of this magical world and the somewhat unlikable protagonist help lift a fairly basic plot and overcome the fact that the only real female character is basically being carried through out the book. It’s engaging but may not be quite enough to sell you on the series just yet. (7)
8/29/17 – this is definitely a book that gets better re-reading after you know Alex better. All of his hallmarks are there, but you’re more comfortable with them so it doesn’t feel so alien. Protagonists are rarely this dark a gray, let alone this early in a series.
Alex’s personality really starts coming out in this books and you really get to see how atypical a protagonist that he is. At best, he’s an anti-hero. If he needs to kill to survive, so be it, and this book shows that off very well. Add in some great action and banter between Alex and the bad guys and if the first book didn’t do it, this one should hook you. I’d rank this a little higher on my list, except I think it really took Taken to make me realize just how much I enjoyed this book. (6)
This books is my personal favorite because not only does Alex start to open up to others, but Luna really starts coming into her own in this book. Whatever qualms you might have had at first should be squarely wiped away – she’s definitely no longer a damsel in distress. The addition of Vari and Anne to the cast help round things out, and I’ll never grow tired of Alex dealing with other Dark Mages (1)
This book may as well be titled Alex’s Backstory and in that sense, it’s absolutely the wait to get there as it’s quite interesting and fully explains why Alex became the cold, slightly paranoid loner that he became. The ending is an absolute doozy. It’s 100% within Alex’s character, but it’s unquestionably brutal and the reactions that the others in his life have to the revelation of what he’s done make it worth the paper thin set-up used to get there. (4)
If Chosen was Alex’s backstory, Hidden is Anne’s. Jacka was clearly trying to make a point: they had similar histories, but are making different choices in how they are dealing with it. The problem is this: Anne had a built-in support next with Vari and quickly by extension Alex, Luna and a few others. Alex had basically no one – no one to help him try to join the Light mages, to show him the way, to protect him after he fled. Anne may not like the choices Alex made, but she’s in a much better spot to not ever need to make a lot of the choices Alex made and that’s critical. The overall book is rescued by some great interaction between Alex and some Dark Mages and the beginning set up for this next arc of books, but it’s easily my least favorite of the series (8)
With Veiled we get back to a more plot-centric story and a return to (Light) mage politics which I always enjoy. Alex’s interactions with the Keepers and a certain old enemy (not Richard) make this a fun read that falls squarely in the middle of the pack as the book ultimately feels like the real set-up for the next major plot arc.(5)
Ever since the series began, the series has been about Verus trying to maintain his independence and the fight that has been more or less promised since the start of the book comes to head – and creates a tight, action driven story as the story turns over to a whole new arc. The whole thing feels satisfying as despite his impressive bag of tricks only results in a Pyrrhic victory. The series is definitely still going strong. (3)
This ending made me cackle with glee. Cackle with glee. The villains are so well written, the Light Mages are so corrupt (but in a believable way) and at one point Alex realizes he’s starting to sympathize with the Dark Mages and it feels very natural and true to Alex’s character. I’m so excited to see where Jacka takes the series next. (2)