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Cursed by Benedict Jacka

The Blurb On The Back:

A day in the life of Alex Verus:
Run shop in Camden.
Train apprentice.
Avoid Council.
Dodge assassins.


A spate of mysterious attacks calls for Alex’s expertise – someone is dabbling with the forbidden. Fine, until Alex’s friends are threatened. That makes it personal.

It’s still damn inconvenient though – especially when seductive distractions are thrown into the mix. But is walking away really an option? And just how dangerous is the curse of the monkey’s paw?

Sure, it pays to be able to see the future. Literally. But some days are just better spent in bed.




It’s several months after FATED. Probability mage, Alex Verus is picking up freelance work for the Council and is trying to train his apprentice, Luna, in controlling her curse. Hired by a senior Light mage called Belthas, Alex is soon on the trail of a Dark cabal intent on using forbidden magic to harvest life energy from magical creatures. But his investigations are distracted by Meredith, a sexy mage able to manipulate emotions, and Martin, a handsome sensitive who Luna’s friends with and who wants to find out more about magic. Throw in a threat to one of Alex’s best friends and the curse of the monkey’s paw, and Alex may just be out of his depth this time …

The second in Benedict Jacka’s ALEX VERUS SERIES is another fast-paced, entertaining read with a twisting plot that kept me turning the pages. There’s more development here of the relationship between Luna and Alex and I enjoyed the tension injected by the introduction of Martin as a new love interest for Luna. Similarly, Verus’s friendship with Arachne comes more to the fore and I was surprised (and happy) to see Jacka resolve a story element that could easily have become a ‘get out of jail’ card. There are plenty of twists and turns, most of which kept me guessing and there’s a sense of an overall arc as Verus’s past continues to haunt him. All in all, it’s an entertaining, well written book with likeable characters and as such I will definitely be reading on.

Verus’s probability magic remains a lot of fun as Jacka shows how it can be used and what its strengths and limitations are. Similarly, Luna’s curse gets more page time here and it’s interesting to see how it operates, what Luna can do about it and the impact that has on her personally. The monkey paw element was really creepy with Jacka did justice to the old legend while also adding his own spin. The introduction of more magical creatures also brings depth to the world building and I liked the sense of danger and conflict that this brought.

This isn’t a flashy novel but the originality, tight plotting and fast pacing makes it one of the most entertaining urban fantasy series available right now and I will definitely continue to follow Verus’s adventures.

The Verdict:

The second in Benedict Jacka’s ALEX VERUS SERIES is another fast-paced, entertaining read with a twisting plot that kept me turning the pages. There’s more development here of the relationship between Luna and Alex and I enjoyed the tension injected by the introduction of Martin as a new love interest for Luna. Similarly, Verus’s friendship with Arachne comes more to the fore and I was surprised (and happy) to see Jacka resolve a story element that could easily have become a ‘get out of jail’ card. There are plenty of twists and turns, most of which kept me guessing and there’s a sense of an overall arc as Verus’s past continues to haunt him. All in all, it’s an entertaining, well written book with likeable characters and as such I will definitely be reading on.

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