THE urban fantasy genre is somewhat overcrowded at the moment. So much so that it takes something special to stand out.
And while Benedict Jacka’s Fated never reinvents the wheel it’s certainly a page turner.
The story centres on magic shop owner Alex Verus, who just happens to be a diviner – which means he can see into the future.
It’s a handy gift to have when you suddenly find yourself at the centre of a power struggle between some of the most powerful and dangerous wizards in all of England.
The cover comes with a recommendation from Jim Butcher, and the nod is not undeserved as Fated owes more than a passing debt to Butcher’s hugely successful Dresden Files series.
There’s even a cheeky mention of a wizard who lives in Chicago, suggesting that if the character of Verus takes off it wouldn’t be the most far fetched notion in the world if there was going to be a crossover.
Regardless of outside influences, Fated is a lot of fun from beginning to end and Jacka has created a universe with a rich mythology and compelling characters.
The Camden setting is almost as important a character as Verus as Jacka creates an atmosphetic and fun tale.
There’s a lightness of touch about Fated that’s more than welcome as Jacka pulls off the most difficult of balancing acts in giving us characters who keep a sense of humour while facing grave perils.
Fated probably won’t win many awards but it will win you over given a chance.