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Chosen (Alex Verus Novels) Paperback – 5 Sep 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (5 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356502309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356502304
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Jacka puts other urban fantasists to shame . . . A stellar blend of thoughtful philosophy and explosive action (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review))

With its blend of gritty London streets and magical underworld, Chosen has real cult appeal (DAILY MAIL)

The best instalment yet as Alex the seer collides with his dark past and Benedict Jacka matures as a writer (BOOKBAG)

Book Description

Fourth book in the compelling new urban fantasy series set in Camden, featuring Alex Verus

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the fourth book in the Alex Verus series, and while it can be read on its own, I'd advise anyone to read the three previous titles - "Fated", "Cursed" and "Taken" - first.

Recently life has been easy and peaceful for Alex Verus. It may be a bit crammed sharing his house with three young adepts but our Mage finds he quite enjoys having Variam, Anna and Luna treating his apartment as their home. Alex is starting to feel that maybe he has atoned for the sins of his past; maybe now he can leave the darkness he's been trying to get away from behind him and start a new, brighter future.

Of course things are never that easy. And just when it seems that the past is well and truly behind him it returns to hunt him down for the one thing he has never been able to forgive himself for.

And those hunting Alex won't give up until they have their revenge, and he is dead. They refuse to listen to him and are determined to achieve their goal, even if it means going through those who would stand with Alex.

Alex has to confront his past and make some very difficult choices. If he manages to win this battle he might lose the few people he has grown close to. If he doesn't win, he won't be around to tell the tale or assist his friends. Caught between a rock and a hard place, there are no easy options for our diviner.

This is by far the darkest Alex Verus novel so far. While the story is still written with a light hand and there still are moments of light relief and humour, be it of the dark variety at times, this is the book in which the reader learns the truth about Alex's time with the dark mage Richard and about what happened to make him run away from his master to face a life of solitude and uncertainty. And it is not a pretty picture.
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One of the things that makes this series stand head and shoulders above most books in this genre is the characters. Verus has great strength of character, a conscience and a fair dose of kindness. He doesn't stride around bolstered by convictions or self-righteousness. Instead he acts with restraint, exhausting every possible avenue before resorting to violence. He is brave, but the self-questioning almost hides that. In fact, superficially he spends a great deal of the book running around hiding, not knowing what to do, dodging fights and letting other people lead the charge. But what is usually happening is that he's leading the danger away from his friends, playing for time, setting up very subtle variants and coming out of the situation still alive. By the skin of his teeth.

I love the way Jacka has created a very squishy character, in a world of heavyweights, but balances everything perfectly.

The secondary characters are also interestingly complex, and for the first time, women are positive, helpful 3D characters interacting in layered ways. Verus' friends don't stand by him unquestioningly. Each person reacts according to their character, life history and motivations.

I think it is a complement (to both authors) to compare this series with Butcher's Dresden Files. However, there is a huge difference between the two - Butcher has been steadily, systematically, upping the ante. Every novel sees Dresden gaining power in some way., becoming bigger, badder, stronger. Jacka takes a very different route. Verus' powers have not appreciably grown (so far). Instead, his tactics, support network and friends have broadened (although he still feels isolated, mainly because of how he feels about himself).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love this book - I do suspect that they are one and the same guy though - very similer worlds/rules and so on. Love it though. Its interesting and funny (very much like Dresden Files in that vein) and keeps you interested in how things will turn out till the book ends :) I will deffinately be keeping an eye out for any other works by this author, he has an engaging style that never gets repetitive or monotomous.
Read it you will love it. Its set in modern day has as far as I remember no sex in it and is an investigative, magic book. So far the series has remained well writen, great main and supporting characters, with no copping out to the S&M thing that seems to be in every single book at the mo.
If you do enjoy the Dresden files you will enjoy this!
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By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 July 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author moves this character and his series of books on to a whole new level with this instalment. Where the previous books were entertaining they were also quite light in tone despite dealing with some quite difficult issues to do with power and its use/abuse. This novel is much darker in tone and richer in texture. I strongly advise anyone new to the series to read the previous volumes before tackling this one as you will then get the full benefit of what the author has done here.

Alex has filled his flat with the apprentices he rescued in the previous story and is occupied with them and Luna. He comes under attack and has to work out how to deal with those who want to hurt him and also how to handle people from the past who wish to avenge themselves on him for the activities of his first master and his apprentices.

There are no easy answers here. Alex doesn't have particularly strong magic and although his ability to see alternative futures is useful it can't save him in a battle of magic. He has changed since his youth and deeply regrets what happened but he was never made to pay for what he was involved in. This is a book about the boundary of black and white, light and dark, good and evil. Can people change ? Should people pay for the actions of their youth ? Where do you draw the line when defending yourself ? You may be surprised at the choices that Alex makes and what that reveals about him as a man.

Some excellent writing here which makes clear the difficulty of moral choices and the limitations of individual power. A great read - I look forward to seeing how the author develops Alex's character further.
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