Top positive review
on 7 December 2013
I almost surprised myself by how quickly I succumbed to te urge to get the second Alex Verus book after reading the first, 'Fated'. I have to say that I enjoyed this just as much.
Alex is a London-based mage who runs a magic shop and despite being apprenticed to a dark mage in his youth reckons that he's left that behind him. Well, he may not class himself as a dark mage, but as one of the characters points out, he's been the object of several assassination attempts and not many of the assassins are still standing. This is a high body-count book.
For a mage who doesn't class himself as powerful Alex's talents are unique. He can see the future, not a single future as it will happen, but all the strands of futures showing what might happen. It means he knows just when to duck, an especially useful talent when someone is pointing a high velocity rifle at his head and about to squeeze the trigger.
After nearly getting killed four times in the first twenty four hours of this book Alex might be forgiven for thinking someone is out to get him, but he's not the real target. Someone has figured out how to suck the power out of magical creatures and when two of those magical creatures are counted amongst Alex's very small circle of trusted friends, this understandably pisses him off.
Also Luna, who Alex has been teaching to control her curse (a curse that kills anyone she comes into close contact with) in endangered by a developing new relationship.
This book brings back some characters we met in the first one: Sonder the young time-mage; Talisin a council member Alex almost trusts, and Cinder and Deleo, antagonists last time, but it's more complicated than that, now. There's a new bad guy in town, though it's just possible that Alex's old enemy is still lurking in the background.
This is developing into an excellent series. I seem to have been reading a cluster of male-magician-urban-fantasy books this year, all of which I've enjoyed, but it's particularly nice to have a British-based story as a contrast to Harry Dresden, Atticus O'Sullivan and Isaac Vainio.