Title: Fated (Alex Verus series, Book #1)
Author: Benedict Jacka
Join Alex Verus in his previously calm but now hectic life of running a magic shop and trying to stay under the radar of other mages. His unusual skills in magic allow him to perceive the possibilities of the future, which comes in handy when he needs to pull off stunts that have very little chance of success.
When he becomes a person of interest to both Black and White mages, he knows that something is up. Soon, he discovers that he is wanted so that an ancient relic containing a powerful magical item can be opened. But this isn’t any ordinary job, and as it becomes more dangerous, Alex Verus can see just how many life threatening futures are appearing, and how many safe and peaceful ones are escaping his clutches.
This is one of those books that you just can’t get enough of – Alex Verus is a witty and funny protagonist who explains his mysterious world very well in his own way, and with a unique casual tone that keeps you reading.
I thought Fated was unusual because I don’t often read books with male protagonists (though I would like to read more), but the conversational tone was fun to read and it really fitted Alex as a narrator. It also became apparent that it wasn’t a book that was concerned with fitting into a specific age genre – it read like YA, even though Alex is older than most YA characters.
The side characters in the novel were just as lovable. Luna quickly became a favourite of mine (even if just for her name and how she was so relatable), and even certain adversaries became favourites. Thirteen was a particular favourite, and I was hoping that she would be a recurring adversary since she was so cool.
Fated is also a book that doesn’t really use that many tropes or clichés (apart from the obvious black/white mages but that is understandable), for example, I was expecting a lot of chemistry between Luna and Alex but it seems that by the end of the novel, their relationship is very slow-going, if going at all. I liked this because I am a solid hater of insta-love and unnecessary romance. I like action!!