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Science Fiction Fantasy Blog

Our Discussion of Fated by Benedict Jacka

Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop in London. And while Alex's own powers aren't as showy as some mages, he does have the advantage of foreseeing the possible future--allowing him to pull off operations that have a million-to-one-chance of success.

But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever's inside must be beyond powerful. And thanks to his abilities, Alex can predict that by taking the job, his odds of survival are about to go from slim to none... Goodreads

We agreed that that this book was highly derivative of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, a fact acknowledged by the author on page three with a reference to a “Chicago Wizard,” and also by the presence of a cover blurb by Jim Butcher.

This is a sampling of our comments:

  • I enjoyed the distribution of magic where people have one specialty, but can also imbue objects with magic, such as Alex’s cloak.
  • This was an entertaining read. It was like a beach read or summer read and had a lot of similarities to the Peter Grant series in addition to the Dresden series i.e. “London Magic.”
  • This was darker than Peter Grant – not sure I could like or trust the hero. As the story went on it was explained that Alex was co-opted into becoming a dark mage as a teenager, but had stepped off that path.
  • It didn’t seem that Alex’s divination magic should have given him so much power.
  • This was a “slower” magic where Alex had to take time to look through all the different futures to find the one he wanted.
  • The author should have come up with more original names – Luna (Harry Potter), Morden for a villain, etc.
  • The author had some very accurate descriptions of London landmarks like Canary Wharf.
  • It was a little strange that there were no non-magical characters – “muggles.” Also, all the characters were unlikeable and were basically politicians, except Starbreeze, who brought some humor.
  • There wasn’t enough difference between the “light” and “dark” mages – everyone seemed to have fluid morals and wanted to hold onto or get power.

Please add any additional thoughts or comments you may have about Fated. We gave this title the codes ESP, MAG, GB, CTY, QUE & MYT with an average rating of 3.2.

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