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Benedict Jacka
Ace, 304 pages

Benedict Jacka
Benedict Jacka became a writer almost by accident, when at 19 he sat in his school library and began writing in the back of an exercise book. Since then he has worked for the civil service, studied philosophy at Cambridge and been a bouncer, but has always found the time to keep writing.

Benedict Jacka Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Taken
SF Site Review: Cursed
SF Site Review: Fated

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Katherine Petersen

While Hidden, the fifth book in Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus series, doesn't have quite as much action as past books, it has depth and insight enough to make up the difference. Disgusted by the escalation of Verus's body count, Sonder and Anne have distanced themselves from him, so it takes the badgering of his apprentice, Luna, for Verus to visit Anne to see if he can help after she was kicked out of the apprentice program. She refuses but is kidnapped soon after, plunging Verus, Luna, Sonder and the Light Keeper, Caldera, to work together to find her and catch the culprit.

Their investigation finds that Anne has been taken to the shadow realm of Sagash, her former dark mage mentor, and Alex doesn't hesitate to follow and rescue her although it doesn't benefit him at all. In fact, Anne made it clear she wants nothing to do with him. Jacka builds out Anne's back story which is fascinating, and the threat of Alex's old master still looms large.

I added Benedict Jacka to my list of favorite urban fantasy authors with Fated. This is a very short list. Some authors aren't on it because I haven't read their series and others because it's very difficult to write novels in which the reader feels like they really know their characters. A brilliant writer, Jacka blends description with action and dialogue seamlessly and can interweave storylines with the best of them. He can also bring up points from the past, without over-explaining (a big pet peeve of mine), from past books, and he doesn't miss a beat.

If you haven't started the Alex Verus series, start from the beginning. And, if you're wondering if you'll like him, the others authors on that very short aforementioned list include Faith Hunter, Seanan McGuire and Kalayna Price. My only quibbles with Hidden are that I read it too fast -- even though I read it twice, and it didn't last long enough.

Copyright © 2014 Katherine Petersen

Katherine Petersen started reading as a young child and hasn't stopped. She still thinks she can read all the books she wants, but might, at some point, realize the impossibility of this mission. While she enjoys other genres, she thrives on fantasy, science fiction and mysteries.

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