Benedict Jacka once again delivers an entertaining read in the Chosen, the fourth Alex Verus Novel. In the voice of Verus, Jacka brings conflict both inner and outer, filling his novel with intrigue and suspense. Jacka infuses this latest book with a sense of philosophy and mage politics which enhance the world of his creation. With an undeniable ease, Jacka brings us another great entry into the realm of Urban Fantasy.
Alex Verus is a diviner who can see probable futures—a talent that’s gotten him out of many a tough scrape. But this time, he may be in over his head. Alex was once apprenticed to a Dark mage, and in his service he did a lot of things he isn’t proud of.
As rumors swirl that his old master is coming back, Alex comes face to face with his misdeeds in the form of a young adept whose only goal is to get revenge. Alex has changed his life for the better, but he’s afraid of what his friends—including his apprentice, Luna—will think of his past. But if they’re going to put themselves at risk, they need to know exactly what kind of man they’re fighting for….
There is not much I can say about Chosen without sounding like a fangirl. I have quite enjoyed the whole Alex Verus series and Jacka made me like it even more. While the main character Alex has always felt a bit like an outcast in mage society, Jacka evolved that well into someone who is being accepted but at base is different because of his background and what he’s willing to do. I thought this was a great direction and it helped highlight the new punk or even anarchist tone to the antagonists in the story.
Characters have always been a strong suit for Jacka in a very understated way. He has oftentimes written characters that were so real I could imagine bumping into them on a street and them making a joke about my American accent. However, he has left much a mystery to certain characters. I was excited to see that he let go of some of the mystery with one character in particular. This character by the name of Deleo has been both rival and ally to Alex but we never knew much about her. Jacka’s take on showing us who she was created an ethereal picture of a tortured soul which was quite interesting. We also got a chance to get a bit more insight into two characters who were introduced in the last book. I quite like Jacka’s slow trickle method of character development. It always makes it feel as if I am reading about a new friend, slowly learning about them as trust is built.
Not only are Jacka’s overall themes entertaining, he also adds little snippets of cool. There was one scene in particular where Alex Googles himself and finds that one guy thinks he is ‘a thousand year old half dragon who’s secretly sponsoring a quest across time and space in an attempt to kill himself.’ Talk about quirky writing! The entire series is a great read for any avid reader and is easily one of my most recommended. Chosen delivers on everything that makes this series great – wit, charm, action and suspense. Don’t miss out.