Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Back to the London Wizard

Finishing Benedict Jacka's Cursed and trying to figure out which book comes out of the TBR pile next.

Cursed is the next book in his Alex Verus series that started in Fated, reviewed previously on here. Once again, we have Alex, our intrepid Divination mage, running around London and trying to figure out his feelings for his apprentice, Luna. (Luna is still dealing with her curse, that pretty much prevents her from coming to any harm, but instead pretty much kills off or maims anyone she gets in contact with physically.) Alex is, of course, fighting off feelings of attraction towards her, which are affecting how well he's teaching her. In the mean time, Luna has a new beau who Alex thinks is a dumbass. Quite understandably, particularly given that Martin manages to get himself a Monkey's Paw, which, for anyone who's ever read the short story, knows is a REALLY BAD THING.

Add to this that it would appear that someone has returned to a forbidden magic practice that drains a being of any potential magic and adds it to the caster. (Reason it's forbidden has to do with driving the caster insane.) Only someone has figured out a way to modify said process so it's draining magical creatures rather than humans or mages. Which of course means that Arachne, the rather large Tarantula living in the London Heaths is threatened by this. As the novel progresses, we also find out Miss Arachne has a few secrets of her own hidden in her lair, and I'm kind of interested/horrified by the erotic material that may appear at some point between what's living in her lair and the giant tarantula herself. *twitch*

We also have been introduced to Meredith the Enchantress, who more or less manipulates emotions as her main focus. She's also a cross between a femme fatale and a Bond Girl, who's working for the Ice Mage Belthas. Belthas being the one who contracted with Alex to investigate who's behind all the draining.


And of course the Dark Fire Mage Cinder is back, as is Alex's old foil/friend Deleo. Again, in this book, they're much more morally ambiguous, given their encounters in the last book, but by the same token, it's nice to not have stock characters that show up and chase Alex around like a bad D&D villain.

Really, having seen a few James Bond movies now, I can say that the series is playing in a similar trope. Minus M and Q, of course. But still, it's amusing, and it's distracting, and it reads fast. Which means I'll probably get the next book pretty soon.