Orbit, p/b, 352pp, £7.99
Reviewed by Matthew Johns
The fourth Alex Verus book fittingly has an endorsement from Jim Butcher (he of the Dresden Files fame) on the front cover. Fitting, as the overall premise is not dissimilar to Butcher’s work – Alex Verus is a mage living in modern day London, with a slightly sardonic sense of humour and, as an ex-Dark mage’s apprentice, is a little alienated from the rest of magical society.
There though, the similarities end. Verus is much more at home with hand to hand combat than Dresden ever was, and Jacka’s magical world is quite different to Butcher’s. Further comparisons would of course be unfair to both.
Alex Verus and his apprentice Luna are enjoying a relatively normal life, until a team of adepts (magicians with one speciality, e.g. time magic, or fire magic) come looking to kill him in revenge for something he thought he’d forgotten about.
Jacka’s prose flows well, and despite (or because of) Verus’ faults and shady background, he proves a likeable protagonist. The action is fast moving, and this book proves (as previous Jacka novels have) to be a real page-turner.