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review 2019-11-15 03:51
Alex finds power and incredible loss as Jacka ramps up the seriousness of the series.
Fallen - Benedict Jacka
Wars between mages are very different from wars between countries. When countries fight, if they want to attack into enemy territory, they have to go through the other army to do it. Mages don't. Gate magic let's strike teams appear anywhere at anytime, attacking and then disappearing back to the other side of the world. You never see mages fighting to take control of a bridge or a mountain pass, because holding those kinds of places doesn't accomplish anything. When mages engage in combat, it's for one of two reasons: either they're fighting over something valuable, or one side is attacking the others base of operations. Otherwise, if one side doesn't want to fight, they can just leave.

That really sets the tone for this novel—we're talking all-out war here—the Council vs. Richard Drakh et al. Naturally, because no one really trusts Alex, there are many who still aren't sure what side of this conflict Alex comes down on.


For the last few books, I've been (mistakenly) thinking, "Ah, he's hit rock bottom now, it's time for things to get better." Fallen is, at the very least, Exhibit A for how little I understood things. I was joking the other day with a friend about a theory that Jacka really doesn't like Alex Verus and is enjoying destroying him bit by bit.


You could make the case that he's chipping away at Alex's shell so that he can access who he is at his core. Below how Alex thinks he should act, below how he wants to act—to get to the actual Alex Verus.


That's probably closer to the truth, but I like my theory a little better.


Early on, Alex tells his readers:


You know things are bad when waking up feels worse than the nightmares.

And that works pretty well as a thesis statement for Fallen. Jacka finds new ways to ruin Verus' life—up to and including one of the freakiest, strangest and most disturbing magic-induced injuries I can think of.


We're at the point in this saga where I can't really say anything about the plot without ruining most of it. So let me summarize it with this: we're watching that prophecy the Dragon gave Alex work out in his life, he's figuring out how it's going to be fulfilled and is working to that end.


Which involves some of the riskiest moves he's made. Some of which pay off in ways even he couldn't foresee (some of them don't work out so well). It's hard to point to a book when things go as well for our favorite diviner. But as I said before, things go really, really, bad for him, too.


There are two scenes specifically (but, they're not the only two) that will devastate readers as much as they did Alex. One of which gave us a result I've figured was coming (but I figured it would be in book 12, no earlier than 11—again, Jacka shows me how little I know).


While Jacka's systematically destroying Alex, he weaves in plotlines and characters that you won't expect, including at least one major magic artifact that you probably assumed we'd never see again. Seeing how Jacka's using Alex's past in the way he is was a real plus for me.


You know this was going to be a bad novel for our friends—you don't call a novel Fallen to fill it with ponies, rainbows and slapstick moments. But man, this was just rough. Hard to read—but totally worth it.


I cannot state this strongly enough—this should not be the first book in the series you read. Horribly entry point, but such a wonderful ride for those who know Alex and his world and struggles. But if you're a long-time reader, and haven't had the chance to read this yet—fix that. Pronto.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2019/11/14/fallen-by-benedict-jacka-alex-finds-power-and-incredible-loss-as-jacka-ramps-up-the-seriousness-of-the-series
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text 2019-08-01 15:58
Hallween Bingo Pre-Party: Mystery or Horror?
What Angels Fear - C.S. Harris
A Morbid Taste for Bones - Ellis Peters
Storm Front - Jim Butcher
Fated - Benedict Jacka

This is an easy question for me - anyone who has interacted with me for more than five minutes knows that I read a lot of mystery, and very little horror. In fact, it's fair to say that the only horror I read all year is read during Halloween bingo.


Mystery, on the other hand, I read all year round. It's by far my favorite genre and I love almost all of its permutations. 


Like Mike Finn, who posted below, I don't read mystery for the puzzle. I read it for the characters and the way they respond to situations that are outside of the human norm. Crime is a huge stressor, and it tends to bring out the best, or the worst, in people. I like seeing how the characters grow and change and react throughout the course of the book.


Almost any genre can cross with mystery, as well, and I like them all. Historical fiction fans can read historical mystery - and there are some beloved series that fit into this category, including two of my personal favorites, Sebastian St. Cyr, set in Regency, England, and Brother Cadfael, set during the 12th century England. 


Supernatural elements can combine with mystery as well - Benedict Jacka and James Butcher write mystery series with magic in them.


I'm sure I will talk more about mystery fiction later in the month of August, so I'll stop here!

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2019-07-08 17:25
Das Labyrinth von London: Roman (Alex Verus, Band 1) - Benedict Jacka,Michelle Reid

Alex geht mit den drei Schwarzmagiern und Onyx einem vierten dieser Art ins britische Museum. Dort ist man durch Luna vorgewarnt und so gelingt es Alex die anderen erstmal abzuhängen und mit Luna die Statue zu öffnen. Allerdings kommen auch alle anderen mit hinein. Nun gilt es den Schicksalsweber an sich zu bringen. Alex gelingt es als erstem und Abithriax übernimmt von ihm Besitz. Es war eine List um so selbst wieder zu Macht zu kommen. Mit Hilfe Lunas gewinnt Alex wieder die Oberhand und tötet Abithriax. Er versiegelt den Schicksalsweber wieder.



Mir war das Buch teilweise zu hektisch, zu viele Verfolgungen. Von allen Seiten bekommt Alex Todesdrohungen, alle haben dasselbe Ziel, niemandem kann man trauen. Mir persönlich war das zu negativ. Man gewinnt, finde ich, auch den Eindruck, dass die ganze Zaubererwelt gefährlich und korrupt ist. Es geht nur um Machtgewinnung.
Da lob ich mir doch meinen Harry Potter, da ist wenigstens zum Teil die Welt in Ordnung :-)

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2019-07-05 06:33
Reading progress update: I've read 291 out of 412 pages.
Das Labyrinth von London: Roman (Alex Verus, Band 1) - Benedict Jacka,Michelle Reid

Kapitel 10


Alex warnt Luna und bespricht mit ihr einen Plan.

Auf dem Weg durch seine Traumwelt trifft er auch Menschen aus seiner Vergangenheit wieder. Teilweise warnen sie ihn, manche drohen ihm.

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2019-07-04 18:38
Reading progress update: I've read 263 out of 412 pages.
Das Labyrinth von London: Roman (Alex Verus, Band 1) - Benedict Jacka,Michelle Reid

Kapitel 9


Als Alex wieder erwacht befindet er sich im Haus von Morden.

Natürlich will auch der, dass Alex das Artefakt für ihn holt. Wieder wird Alex mit dem Tod gedroht, allerdings wird ihm auch Schutz vor allen anderen angeboten.

Bis es soweit ist, ist er ein Gefangener im Haus von Morden.

Alex behält jedoch für sich, dass das Artefakr nicht ohne die Hilfe von Luna geborgen werden kann. Durch einen Traum nimmt er Kontakt mir ihr auf.

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