Book Review: Benedict Jacka’s Cursed

Posted April 18, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Benedict Jacka’s CursedCursed by Benedict Jacka
is a Urban Fantasy
This edition was published by Ace Books on May 29, 2012 in paperback and has 293 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon..


Second in the Alex Verus urban fantasy series set in London, Camden Town to be exact, and revolving around a mage who just wants to be left alone.

My Take

Luna makes me nuts. Huh, I guess that means her name is accurate and prophetic… She wants Alex to introduce her to this magical world, but she also refuses to accept anything he says that she doesn’t like.

The arrogance of man provides so many possibilities. In this case, Jacka makes use of man’s “superiority” to lesser creatures. Animals with magic abilities. After all, they’re just animals incapable of thought, love, dreams.

There’s a nice bit in here about how a monkey’s paw works, its origin, and a list of worries about it. Hmm, Cinder is brighter than I thought. Oh, wow, then there’s a nasty case of be careful what you wish for.

I do like this series. It still hasn’t warmed up for me, but Alex’s ideas of right and wrong are so perfect. He doesn’t care about a person’s words, he’s more interested in their actions. You can declare yourself a Light mage, but its the actions you take that confirm or deny it.

I can definitely see lots of possibilities with Alex Verus, and I’m looking forward to reading Taken.

The Story

Two invasions of his shop, and Alex is caught. Desperate to remain independent, the Light and the Dark mages have their own ideas of how Alex’s independence will work.

And they’ll use his loyalty and sense of friendship to do it.

The Characters

Alex Verus is a diviner, able to see thousands of possible futures at a time, who just happens to run a magic shop in Camden Town. Until lately, he’s managed to steer an independent course. Now, he’s becoming an irritant.

Luna Mancuso is between sensitive and adept and very much wants to be a part of the magic world, so Alex takes her on informally as an apprentice. Only, he can’t decide between friend, apprentice, or lover. Martin is Luna’s new friend and a cocky, thieving little bastard. Starbreeze is an Air elemental with a very, very short memory and is “as dumb as a box of rocks”. Arachne is a ten-foot-tall spider who both weaves and designs clothes.

Cinder is a fire mage working with Deleo, the former Rachel, is a water mage and a former apprentice of Richard Drakh’s along with Alex. Meredith is an enchantress; she causes you to feel and want things. Jadan is a Dark mage who found a “foolproof” method of extracting magical energy from magical creatures. David Sonder is a time mage.

The Council is the ruling body of Light Mages. Remember, “light” is just a term. Vaal Levistus is a Council member very angry over what Alex caused him to lose in Fated; Belthas is a Council member who thinks he’ll do better. Garrick is a magical mercenary; he works for the person who pays. Ilmarin is Council security.

Sensitives are a step up from normals. They can “feel the presence of magic”. Next up are the adepts who can “actually channel magic in a subtle way”. Then there are the mages. Arrogant, self-absorbed, if they see something they want, they take it. Elsewhere is a world not a place to which you can only travel in dreams. Where you can touch people through dreams, through their minds. It can be an escape or a trap.

Currency is flexible within the mage world: favours are a favoured method of payment and people may be sold (or taken) as slaves. Mages tend to specialize and exchange services. Items which can be sold include artifacts and components.

Shireen and Tobruk were apprentices under Richard Drakh who died.

The Cover and Title

The cover is sparking in blues with London Bridge as the background.

The title revolves around Luna, for she is Cursed you know.


Leave a Reply