Camden, North London: A tangled, mangled junction of train lines, roads, and waterways. Where minor celebrities hang out with minor criminals and where tourists and moody teenagers mingle.
In the heart of Camden, where rail meets road meets leyline, you might find the Arcana Emporium, run by one Alex Verus. He won't sell you a wand or mix you a potion, but if you know what you're looking for, he might just be able to help. That's if he's not too busy avoiding his would-be apprentice, foiling the Dark, outwitting the Light, and investigating a mysterious relic that has just turned up at the British Museum.
Fated is the first book in a major new series starring probability mage Alex Verus, for fans of Jim Butcher and Ben Aaronovitch.
©2012 Benedict Jacka (P)2013 Tantor Media Inc.
"Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously - and be a little nervous around him. I just added Benedict Jacka to my must-read list. Fated is an excellent novel, a gorgeously realized world with a uniquely powerful, vulnerable protagonist. Books this good remind me why I got into the storytelling business in the first place" (Jim Butcher)
"Filled with tense and compelling writing" (SFX)
"Jacka writes a deft thrill-ride of an urban fantasy - a stay-up-all-night read. Alex Verus is a very smart man surviving in a very dangerous world." (Patricia Briggs)
"London's hidden wizardly community spell-blast each other entertainingly in this urban fantasy romp. Fated is highly enjoyable" (Sun)
"Fated is an excellent example of not just great urban fantasy but also of brilliant story-telling. There is a near perfect mix of everything and it has been masterfully crafted with a meticulous eye for those pieces of humanity that make a great protagonist and a fantastic story" (FANTASY FACTION)
"A novel with a very good plotline, and fascinating characters" (BOOKCHICKCITY)
At first I was a bit put off when I realised that when the story referred to a girl, it wasn't actually a child but rather a 22 year-old woman. But then things move beyond casual sexism to kind of creepy. Like when the main character decides that he has to assault and abduct a woman (sorry I mean 22 year old girl) because she's too stupid to know what's good for her. Besides being rapey, the main character is not exactly likeable so far, he has an unfortunate combination of feeling constantly hard done by while always needing to be right. The book so far kind of feels like a conversation with some pompous prat in a pub who tries to pick you up by lecturing you about the finer points of Deleuze. Not sure I can make it through.
"Hated the fake posh English accent"
Loved the book but was very disappointed with the narration, the fake Shakespearean English accent given the main character completely discredited the performance and was not at all compatible with the authors' character who is living in today's London, not the Middle ages. As a result I was not able to enjoy the audiobook. I will read the rest of the series on my Kindle.
"Excellent gritty fantasy"
I came across this book/reading by accident on the audible website and I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook. I enjoyed the nature of the main character who deals with magic without the endless psychological self examination of Harry Dresden. Whilst there are a number of books in this genre I thought the author showed a great imagination in creating and populating his alternate world. I thought there were elements of Neil Gaimans Neverwherein the book. I also enjoyed the world weary voice of the presenter, I think he gave Alex Verus a complex personality which suited the text. Good audiobook.
"Not for me"
I gave this a try thinking it might be in the same mould as ben aaronovitch. There is no humour, story line is predictable, characters are rubbish and the fact it is set in Camden has no bearing on the story whatsoever.
I was recommended this as a fan of Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London books and Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and I was in such hope of a new series. Such a disappointment. The plot is thin, the characters are two dimensional, the writing is really bad and the dialogue is just dire. To compare it to Aaronovitch is to insult Ben. It feels like a teenage girl writing in her bedroom and is on a level with Twilight and 50 Shades (badly written drivel by the barely literate). I got to the end somehow (it had to get better, surely?) but there were a lot of derisive snorts and phone thrown down in exasperation. If I could have slapped the drippy female character I would have done.
The narrator did his best but he was too old really which didn't help.
There are plenty of good reviews so it's obviously popular stuff but I wish I'd read a few of the bad ones and saved myself some time. I've given it back, which is the ultimate bad review after all.
"Hope Audible gets the rest of this series :)"
Pros: great story, brilliantly written, lots of imagination, made me want to listen to the whole thing in one sitting, Patricia Briggs and Jim Butcher rec this one, I'd listen to it again and have requested the series which I'm told gets even better also, unusually for this kind of genre, there are several really well written female side characters. Cons I spent the first twenty minutes in complete frustration because the initial plot feels like a massive rip off of the Dresden Files (it soon moves away from that, keep listening as the seer aspect is really interesting) and that also led to the comparison of the narrator with James Masters and really the best you can hope for is a draw with that kind of competition. After I'd listened for a while I decided that I really liked Gilbert Jackson. I would happily buy books with Jackson as a narrator again but you need to listen to a sample for yourself as some people were very unhappy.
"Good story, weak writing and robotic narration."
Yes. The writing is a bit clumsy but the characterisation is wonderful and the world he's created is intriguing.
The narration of the main character was okay as Gilbert Jackson has a pleasant voice but it's a little robotic in places. He makes all the secondary characters incredibly robotic though and the women all sound like complete morons.
Yes I'd love to see where the characters go and learn more about the world.
What's with all the Americanisms? It's written by a British author and set in London. It's full of words like gotten, sidewalk ect. Very jarring.
"Good story, odd narrator"
I would listen to Fated again, the story is engrossing and flows quickly. The characters are well developed and the relationships realistic.
The trip to elsewhere. It was enlightening as to Verus's decision making and attitudes - and just a little creepy.
Robotic, stilted and old (older than the character).
Benedict Jacka's mage's London is dark and unnerving, Verus lives on the edge of 2 worlds and doesn't seem keen on being in either. There is none of the traditional good and bad; the individual dark and light mages appear to differ only in name of faction and the ability to co-operate with each other. Verus is neither cloyingly heroic or pathetically redemptive. Sadly the narrator is not James Marsters nor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith; while his narration is adequate he fails to make you believe it is the character speaking as Marsters and Holdbrook-Smith do. In short, if you enjoy The Dresden Files and/or the Pc Grant series, give this a try.
"Better than I expected "
very well written and well read. I was pleasantly surprised by how good a story it was after reading some of the reviews. while not being as London has the Rivers of London and as funny like the Iron Druid and Dresden Files. A very good book, will try the others in the series.
struggled to finish this. narration didn't hold my interest. Camden is what drew me in but not about London at all really.
"A rather good read from a (I guess) novice writer"
The name of the protagonists tailor is a dead give away towards it's nature.
I'm wanting more.
Almost all of the book.
Certainly! I'm quite hooked to the characters.
While listening, I got the feeling that this must be a book written by a beginning author. I might be mistaken (it has been known to happen...), but some passages and or stylish mishaps (see comment about changes ion this book) tend to indicate this.Overall, the principal characters are well thought out, sometimes still a bit square towards the edges, but that doesn't diminish the pleasure(s) of this book.A well placed reference towards a certain wizard from Chicago was the source of a genuine laughter. The universe is close to, but contains some differences with said wizard's universe.A good read (listen) and well worth waiting for the next one!
"Enjoyable but feels a bit Dresden rip off"
Ok, enjoyable listen on my commute, so I would say buy it.
However, it does feel that you have heard this story before (did the Force Awakens remind you of anything?).
Shop keeper rather than detective
Wind spirt rather than haunted skull
Council of white wizards
Raised by a dark wizard but escaped
Issue with fellow dark wizard former apprentices
Cloak not long coat
Camden not Chicago
Enjoyable but nothing new.
The detail is fantastic. Not too much and not too little. The hints at Alex's past draw you into his character and the love interest is very romantic. I want to find out what happens next!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.