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Cursed by Benedict Jacka
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Cursed

by Benedict Jacka

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Alex Verus (2)

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3831728,125 (3.92)11

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
So good! I'm really glad I decided to read this series. Great characters and a fantastic setting.

About five months have passed since the last book and Alex Verus has been keeping busy with his shop and keeping his head down so it stays attached to his shoulders. That all changes when he finds out something is killing magical creatures. Not just killing them but draining their magic away completely. He runs into several different factions who really object to him looking into the problem but his conscious (and his friendly relationship with Arachne) cause him to run ahead into danger anyway.

The plot was a little same-y but I found it interesting and the world was still interesting. Verus is still a great main character with an interesting backstory and multiple grey areas in his life. Luna suffers in this book as she appears to get dumber and more helpless and is easily mislead into danger. Still, the plot was satisfactory and I'm still looking forward to the rest of the series. ( )
  Sarah_Buckley | Sep 17, 2016 |
Alex wants a quiet life. Training his friend how to deal with her curse, running his magic shop, minimal interaction with the mage council; it's all good. But then people drag him into trouble and start threatening his friends and he will not put up with that.

Yes the female characters are almost all there to be rescued or to sleep with and I'd like to see that improve, but I found this an interesting read. Breakneck in parts, it kept me entertained, but he needs to learn how to protect himself from predators, and trust those around him have some input. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Aug 24, 2016 |
I was so pleased that Cursed kept pace (and more) with the first book in the series! There is a lot going on with our main characters. While Alex tracks down those responsible for preying on the gifts of powerful magical creatures, Luna meets a "love" interest, Martin. Also on the character development front, a beautiful woman (Meredith) literally barges into Alex's life and begs for his help. As we learn more about Meredith, I thought it was significant that he: struggled with his feelings for Luna. Alex is very loyal to his friends which is a very noble trait. It made me like him even more.

While Alex fights off repeated assassination attempts, Luna continues to make some of the same mistakes that happened in book 1, ending up in danger and in need of rescue. *sigh* While I find her behavior frustrating, I also see her as a very young girl with a traumatic past. I'm not giving her a free pass, but I do believe it explains some of her actions. By the time this book ends, I had hope that Luna may have crossed over to the land of responsibility. The stage is definitely set for her to grow into an outstanding character.

Never a dull moment, we are treated to lots of magical battles, which are extremely well written. It's hard to express how much I enjoy the fantasy and magical elements in this series. I can't wait to see what's next!
( )
  Becky_McKenna | Mar 10, 2016 |
Cursed by Benedict Jacka
Genre(s): Paranormal adventure/mystery
3 stars

Alex Vera is a mage with the power of pre-cognition. He owns a magic shop in London and has an unofficial apprentice named Luna whose curse makes her lucky by pulling the luck from anyone who gets too physically close to her. In Cursed, the second book in the Alex Vera series, Alex is faced with the possibility of losing his apprentice/friend Luna when she begins keeping company with a young man of questionable morals who has some magic wishes coming to him – and who promises to help Luna get rid of her curse. Alex warns Luna that magic wishes are dangerous and unpredictable, but Luna is not inclined to listen. Alex's other challenge in this story is that an old ritual that had been believed forgotten has been revived – and on top of being illegal to use, it could end up killing magical creatures that Alex considers his friends. Alex is not aligned with either the Light or the Dark mages, and really, it's hard to tell the difference at times because being a Light mage doesn't necessarily mean your one of the good guys. So Alex aligns himself with those who will help him accomplish his goals to save his friends, including a young, new Light mage named Sonder who's power has to do with the observance and manipulation of time, and a very powerful Dark mage named Cinder who's power is over fire – he can incinerate and obliterate people and things with great force. Together they plan to save their associates who have been taken hostage and stop the evil-doer who is endangering a magical creature from completing his ritual.

The first half of this book may have suffered a bit from second-novel syndrome. It was a lot of set-up and explanation and felt very meandering. The second half felt more cohesive as the meandering story lines came together and the action heated up. I've enjoyed the first two books in the series, but I don't feel a burning desire to start the next one right away. I've heard mention of, and can see, the parallel between Jacka's Alex Vera and Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden, but in my eyes, so far, there is no real comparison—the Harry Dresden series is my favorite of the two by a long shot. Of course, the Harry Dresden books did start out a little rougher and improved over time, so perhaps the Alex Vera books will do the same. I'll continue to read the series and see how it goes. ( )
  kimberwolf | Jan 16, 2016 |
This is the second book in the Alex Verus series. This was another entertaining and well done investigative urban fantasy set in London. I really enjoyed it a lot.

I listened to this as on audiobook and the audiobook was extremely well done. I was very impressed with the narration; the narrator sounds exactly like I imagine Alex would and does an excellent job with other character voices as well.

A few months have passed and Alex has gained a bit of notoriety for his actions in the first book. Alex is hired for a seemingly simple job; accompany some white mages and help them dispose of a werewolf that has been killing people in the area. However, when they arrive the werewolf is already dead and the circumstances around this death are mysterious; it looks like someone has drained the magic from this creature and Alex must find out who and why before humans are next.

Meanwhile Alex has in his possession (and tightly locked away) a powerful magic item called The Moneky’s Paw. Luna has a new friend named Marten that ends up taking this magical item and nothing good has ever come of someone using the Monkey’s Paw.

There is a lot of humor in here as well as magic and action. I enjoy Alex as a character and how he walks the line between white and dark magic. I was irritated at how selfish and stupid Luna was in this installment, but I do understand why she did what she did. I continue to really enjoy Arachne as a character and I loved some of the other monsters we met throughout.

The plot is somewhat similar to the first book. Basically a dark ritual has been discovered and Alex ends up trying to stop it being used for evil. Some of the plot threads from the first book continue and some are new. There are some good twists and turns and this is very much an investigative urban fantasy.

Overall I enjoyed this book a lot and thought it was a fun read. I would definitely recommend to fans of The Dresden Files or The Iron Druid Chronicles; although so far this series isn’t quite as good as either of those ones. I plan on continuing reading this series; it’s been a high quality urban fantasy that is fun, entertaining and has some interesting magic in it. ( )
  krau0098 | Oct 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Benedict Jackaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lagerman, JudithCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The old factory was the kind of place you only find in the very worst parts of big cities. Its bricks had once been red, but years of grime and pollution had darkened them to a brownish-grey.
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"Alex was a little-known magic-shop proprietor in London. but thanks to his second sight, he's suddenly infamous for defeating powerful Dark mages. Now he's keeping his head down, training his apprentice, and trying to prevent cursed artifacts from falling into the hands of novices--until he unearths the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life force of magical creatures--destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. Hired to investigate, Alex discovers that not everyone on the Council wants him delving any deeper. Struggling to distinguish ally from enemy, he finds himself the target of those who would risk their own sanity for power. Alex still has the advantage of seeing the future--but he might not have a future for much longer."… (more)

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