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Benedict Jacka is a British author born in He is primarily known for his work on the Alex Verus series of novels. He eventually graduated with a degree in Philosophy.
The first three fantasy books he wrote for children, unfortunately, went unpublished for various reasons. At the beginning of the new millennium, Benedict developed a new fantasy setting within which he would set his future books. The world was to be populated by a group of teenage elementals, the primary characters of the books he would set within this particular landscape.
The author has since garnered considerable curiosity and interest from young as well as older readers, with the critical reception being largely positive. He lives in a place that is part of our world, only it is hidden, tucked away in plain sight. Verus runs a magic shop in London. Certainly, he has special powers, but they are nowhere near as showy as those wielded by some mages.
However, Alex has an advantage, an ace that gives him the edge in every situation. He has the power to foresee the possible future. And with this power, Alex is uniquely placed to execute tasks that are nearly impossible. With multiple factions approaching him for his services, Alex knows that the relic must hold something truly powerful. More importantly, with his foresight, he knows that if he takes the job, his chances of survival are nearly nonexistent.
The Alex Verus series falls comfortably within the Urban Fantasy category of novels. Some readers have compared it to the Dresden books, and for good reasons The story centers on Alex Verus, a mage that runs a magic shop. While the similarities between the Alex Verus Story and the Dresden books are a little hard to spot when you compare both stories as a whole, certain elements of the Fated story are definitely reminiscent of some Dresden books, so much so that you have to wonder whether Benedict Jacka wrote the Alex Verus series as an homage to Dresden.
You can tell that this is the first book the author has ever published. There are certain elements and story transitions that could have been smoothed out, especially with some decent beta readers.
The information dumps are also very noticeable, and Benedict Jacka could have done a better job building his world.
Children, in particular, will appreciate the magic system. It is unique enough to stand on its own but not so complicated that you might struggle to understand its intricacies.
Unfortunately, Jacka falls into a common pitfall where he spends a lot of time telling readers what is happening rather than actually showing the events. Overall, though, Fated is an enjoyable read.
Alex is a witty and relatively interesting character. Jacka skillfully lays the groundwork for future stories. His second sight has allowed him to accomplish a number of incredible feats, this including defeating many a dark mage. And because of that renown, Alex is working really hard to keep his head down. Not that he is succeeding, having discovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual.
There is a nefarious plan in place, one that starts with the harvesting of the life force from magical creatures. With this enemy turning his attention to the life force of humans, Alex is compelled to investigate the situation. However, he quickly finds that he might have unbidden enemies hiding in plain sight.
Some among the council do not want him delving deeper into the secrets of the magical community. This includes the information dumps.
While Jacka can be forgiven for the failings of his first novel, some readers might be unwilling to sit through the clunky structure and information dumps of the second book. For fans of Benedict Jacka, Cursed is anything but boring. There is an addictive element that can be imputed to the fast pacing of the novel, this along with the action and the light fluffy nature of the book. Fantasy enthusiasts will find that Cursed is the perfect palate cleanser to read in between heavy tomes of fantasy fiction.
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However she remained in her second marriage for the rest of her life.
Benedict Jacka Chapter 1 The old factory was the kind of place you only find in the very worst parts of big cities. Its bricks had once been red, but years of grime and pollution had darkened them to a brownish-grey. The outer wall was topped with ragged coils of razor wire. The rest of the dead-end street was dark, empty-looking buildings and shops hiding behind steel security gratings. The road was empty except for parked cars. Half of them were missing wheels, windows, or both, and none would have looked out of place in a junkyard—except for the minivan parked at the top of the street. Its polished black paint melted into the shadows, with the orange glow from the streetlights picking out the silver hubcaps and lights along with the Mercedes symbol mounted on the grill.
Cursed (Alex Verus Series #2)