Saturday, October 31, 2020

Forged by Benedict Jacka: review

4/5 stars on Goodreads

Forged by Benedict Jacka

It’s been a few years since I read Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka last and I’ve missed several books, so I was little hesitant to start Forged, which is already the eleventh book in the series. But I requested a review copy from NetGalley and since I received it, I plunged right in.

I needn’t have worried. I didn’t know any of the characters except Alex anymore, and I had no knowledge of the events leading here apart from the basics, but that didn’t mar my reading experience at all. The first half of the book did an admirable job recapping everything and I had no problems following the plot. If you’re reading the series back to back, the setup part may seem a bit slow, but for me it was perfect. I wouldn’t start the series with this book, as some basic knowledge of Alex and the world is necessary, but if like me you’ve missed a few books, you can still enjoy this one.

If you’ve reached this far in the series, you’ll know it follows Alex Verus, a mage from London with the ability to see the future. He used to be a nobody, but mage politics and powerful enemies have forged him into a power player in the mage world. Many plotlines from earlier books come to their point in this one and Alex has his hands full trying not to get killed. It comes close a few times. Some of the people he has to face are old friends. The emotional impact of those scenes came across well, even though I hadn’t been there along the way. Not all the enemies are dealt with here, and the book ends with a cliffhanger, so there are more books still to come.

Alex has come a long way since I encountered him last and he’s really powerful now. In this book it dawns on him that he may have to pay the ultimate price for his power, and sooner than he would like. He’s still a bit too trigger happy, racking a massive body count in every battle, not a side of him I particularly enjoy. But he also still makes friends with unlikeliest beings, which evens things out a little. And since I’m now caught up with the events, I may continue with the series again.


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