Cover Image: Fallen

Fallen

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Member Reviews

Received from NetGalley
Completed 10/5/19
336 page ebook

It's hard to give reviews for books so late into the series, because no one is likely to get the 10th book if they haven't already read the first 9. And if they read the first 9, then they are invested in Alex Verus, and they are going to read 10 no matter what I say. So.

But if you are looking for a good Urban Fantasy, then I recommend this series. It's like the Dresden Files, though in my opinion, I actually like Verus more, though I've only read the first 3 Dresden. Verus is a Mage in London who straddles the line between the light and the dark mages, each wanting him and him not picking sides which creates a lot of problems. In this one, his hand is forced and he must make some changes.

As always it was enjoyable, and it's read by Gildart Jackson, who is one of my Top 5 Narrators, so I always enjoy the audiobook of this series.


Setting = A
Plot = B
Conflict = B
Characters = A 
Theme = B
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I write reviews, interviews, and articles at Geeks of Doom. For this review, please follow the link here: https://www.geeksofdoom.com/2019/09/24/book-review-fallen-alex-verus-book-10
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We have come to the last published book, <strong>Fallen</strong>, and the end of the Read-along. I can't express enough how glad I am to have chosen this <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/series/71196-alex-verus" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em><strong>Alex Verus</strong> </em></a>series.  I managed, even with a schedule, to get them all at the library and they were available in ebook and audio.  I feel grateful that members of the team here and many of my blogging friends picked up the series to read with me.

<strong>Fallen</strong> is not a standalone and you definitely need to read the series in order and not start here.  It is impossible at this point NOT to have <strong>spoilers</strong> for earlier books in the reviews and discussion points below, so you are warned. A lot happened and story lines for some side characters and many other questions wrapped up here.

Many characters have grown and progressed. I love Luna running Alex's shop. Sonder has moved away from his idealistic start to be more moderate. Vari has a good position with the Keepers and on an excellent team with the stalwart Landis in charge. Caldera is a pain in the ass, stuck on the rules with a righteous attitude. I was shocked when Alex worked with Kyle! There is definitely a sense of humor in these stories and it comes from more than one character.

Wow,  <strong>Fallen </strong>was action-packed<strong>. </strong> Decisions were made, changes took place and many questions were answered which we have had for 4-5 or more books.  I really loved the action in every book but this was outstanding! I like how Alex does not want to hurt or kill anyone unless necessary (he kills many in this book). He is still smart and careful. He has had to be to survive this long with lower power and many enemies.

I have to admit I loved Alex with power. He's definitely darker but he's not out trying to kill everyone or even his enemies. He's trying to protect and save those he loves. I did enjoy his ability to surprise some of those enemies though. There are some of those I am not sorry to see go.

<strong>Fallen</strong> is one of my favorite books in this series. While it is the end for now, two more books are planned and it is certain I will be reading them!  I imagine, sadly,  they will be in the fall of 2020 and 2021.

<h4><strong>Narration:</strong></h4>
<span style="font-weight: 400;">Gildart Jackson  is wonderful with this series.  I appreciate his voices for all the characters and would listen to all of them on audio if I wasn't trying to take notes.   I loved listening and was comfortable at my normal 1.5x speed.</span>

<strong>Listen to a clip:  <a href="https://tantor.com/fallen-benedict-jacka.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">HERE</a></strong>

<hr />

<h4>Anne's  observations from Fallen:</h4>
<ul>
 	<li>This takes place a year after <strong>Marked</strong> and I'm surprised the time delay is that long.</li>
 	<li>There are a LOT of SPOILERS here in my observations as many storylines progress or wrap up.</li>
 	<li>Alex finally got off the fence (as Robin calls it).  He wanted to be independent. He tried the dark mage life and didn't have enough power to be independent and wasn't willing to do some of the things dark mages did.  He tried being a Keeper and a junior council member and it wasn't any better because they didn't trust him because of his dark mage past and the Light mages were just as power hungry and political as the Dark mages. So Alex finally takes power to be independent. He's never shied away from those who need to be killed but he is against killing when he can avoid it.</li>
 	<li>Alex is smart as always and chooses his own path even when it is difficult.</li>
 	<li>I did wonder where the cube for the fateweaver went and apparently Luna has had it all along.</li>
</ul>
<ol>
 	<li style="list-style-type: none;"></li>
</ol>

<hr />

<h4>Anne's questions from Marked:</h4>
<ol>
 	<li>What other strategies will Alex develop to protect himself and his friends? Alex learns more of how to use dreamstones and the fateweaver. Will he ever manage independence for himself and others again?  With power, he has a better chance. Will he have to choose a side for overall protection?  He has sort of chosen to be a dark mage since that is how he has been classified by others, but he is still pretty independent.</li>
 	<li>Will Alex ever be able to do anything about the cruel practices of dark mages?</li>
 	<li>Will Alex ever be able to contact Starbreeze again, or find her?  He has finally been able to contact her using dreamstones.</li>
 	<li>Will Alex try to get a junior council position on his own now with Morden gone?  After all, they know him and what to expect, and he does have talents.  Or will the death sentence be back?  Alex is left in the junior council position for about a year until they figure out what happened at the end of Marked. The death sentence seems to always be there in the background.</li>
 	<li>Will people find out more and blame him for Morden?  Yes but they blame him and more rightly Anne for the deaths when Morden escaped.</li>
 	<li>Will the Council and Guardians continue to try to use him to get to Richard?  They don't have to use him to get Richard; Alex goes after Richard on his own.</li>
 	<li>Will Anne be able to keep control of herself now? No because Richard with his team had forced her back to using the djinn.</li>
 	<li>Will Richard try to force them back to him in exchange for life? He tries.  He captures Anne but Alex is not on board and then Alex breaks Anne free.</li>
 	<li>Will the djinn rise up and cause problems for the mages and humans now?</li>
 	<li>(KC)Will vampires be a future subject since it is hard to know if they are really all gone?</li>
 	<li>(KC) Will humans become a bigger threat, particularly to monsters and dark mages?</li>
 	<li> (Robin)Can Alex get better at the long Game?  He's on the path now, with hints from Arachne and the dragon, he has made his choices.</li>
 	<li> (Robin)What the heck is Richard’s Magic?  Richard is a diviner with dreamstones and a djinn.</li>
 	<li> (Robin)Can the Adepts and Sensitives ever get some respect/voice in the magical community and will Alex play a part in that?  I hope so.</li>
</ol>

<hr />

<h4>Anne's questions from Fallen:</h4>
<ol>
 	<li>How am I going to wait a year to find out what happens next?</li>
 	<li>What the heck is Alex going to do now?  Will he be able to do something to get the Council off his back and Anne's?</li>
 	<li>Will Alex ever be able to do anything about the cruel practices of mages?  Will he be able to push for a new type of Council with better conditions for Adepts / Sensitives, too?</li>
 	<li>Will Alex go after his enemies now?</li>
 	<li>Will Alex be able to reunite with Anne and save her from the djinn and herself?</li>
 	<li>What will Richard do now?</li>
 	<li>
<div>(Robin)Will Anne find a way to reconcile herself and accept the light and dark sides of her nature so she isn't so split in two?</div></li>
 	<li>
<div>(Robin) Will Alex's decision to become 'the powerful force' put a timeclock on him?</div></li>
 	<li>
<div>(Robin) Will we see Arachne and the Dragon again.?</div></li>
 	<li>
<div>(Robin) How will the Nymphs emergence change up our sidekick cast?</div></li>
 	<li>(KC)Will vampires be a future subject since it is hard to know if they are really all gone?</li>
 	<li>(KC) Will humans become a bigger threat, particularly to monsters and dark mages?</li>
</ol>
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I was so excited to get this next installment!  I won't waste time introducing the series - the author doesn't either; if you've picked up the 10th book you should know what's going on by now - but this really stretches Verus to the limit.  The dark side and the light side are clashing, and it's time to pick.  Between the answers he has to provide and the choices he has to make, everything he values is at stake, including his friends, his life, and his own personal standing.
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What a twist I wasn't expecting for the main character to go... I felt the series had pretty much dried up with the last book, but it has been given new life now!
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Yes, this is what I missed in the most recent book.. Action!!   I was happy to see that all the bits and pieces are starting to come together.
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I think that anyone who has read a book in this series gets that Alex is a Fencey (dude that hasn’t picked a side). Just like in politics the independent rarely wins the race, they just don’t have enough backing. Well if you haven’t guessed by the title Alex is about to get kicked off that fence and fall face first into some hard decisions.

Fallen follows the pacing of other books in this series where the first half is just the day to day meanderings of a mage until BAM-WHACK-CRACK something horrible happens and then everyone is out to get him. Then the rest of the book is a lot of action as Alex tries to survive with the aid of some friends.

There are a few things that really worked for this book: Alex has finally made a few hard decisions and it is time to really commit to taking charge and stop trying to be both a light and dark mage at the same time. There are some alliances to be made, some to be broken, friends gained and friends lost. I’m happy to say that I finally feel like some serious movement has happened.

There is a moment in this book when Alex is talking with Richard and some of the things Richard is saying makes complete total sense. Alex is in the position he is currently in due to his choices and behavior. Richard is definitely more eloquent about it, but I think that it was a big wake up moment for Alex.

The thing that I’m really excited about is how Alex and Anne both change in this book. In the past I’ve found Anne to be a bit of a doormat and I was just waiting for the moment when she remembers she is the most dangerous person in the room and acted like it. I love the twisty-turny direction that entire arc has taken and like the opportunities that it could be opening up.

Luna is still the best former pupil a guy can have and I totally love that girl’s loyalty to Alex. They have this great friendship/mentorship and I think that grounds them both. 

This is about the time in a series that I’m looking for the end. I’m not saying I’m not enjoying living in the Alex Verus world, cuz I am. But, I like authors to have a clear direction and go out strong. I’ve read a few series that just keep going like the energizer buddy until its just annoying background noise. I see some great and some horrible possibilities for Alex’s character and I’m just excited to see how it all is going to play out.

Best moment – Learning what Richard’s magic is and using that knowledge.

Worst moment – Let’s just say it involved a mind mage we all hate and a girl Alex loves.

My hope is that the next book is titled something like Gotcha
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This series just keeps getting better and better.  Fun fast paced urban fantasy. I enjoy the magic, the characters and the plot.  It’s great to see a series where the characters grow individually, as well as, as a group.   The only thing I don’t like is that I have to wait for the next book to be published.   I highly recommend this series and to get the best out of these books read them in order.
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I want to thank the publisher for allowing me to read this book prior to its release. I love reviewing books, but the publisher's generosity does not impact my review.

With that said, I'm a HUGE Benedict Jacka fan and have read the entire series of books, which are just amazing if you're into urban fantasy like me. Without giving too much away, the book starts pretty much where the previous book ended. And of course, the council quickly finds out that Alex had been protecting Anne and that Anne (or rather dark Anne and the Jinn) were responsible for the prison break of Mordon. As you can imagine, once again Alex finds himself on the outside and on the run. However, there's a lot more that ends up happening. Unfortunately, Alex must go a few things alone to protect his friends as they also learn to protect themselves. 

Jacka's books are always fast-paced and run reads. Personally, it was fun to see how lines of Jacka's series all converged in different places within this book. One of the best parts about this book was to see how various characters from past books within this series all converged to help Alex on his quest (even if begrudgingly). There's even an interesting battle against an old foe I thought was probably out of the picture forever (again, no actual spoilers).

If you're a fan of urban fantasy, then you really should read this series. If you're already a fan of this series, then you're definitely going to love Fallen.
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What advice would I give to someone who just picked up Fallen, the eleventh book in the Alex Verus Series? Hold onto your seats, you are about to take ONE AMAZING LITERARY RIDE!

Alex has come to the breaking point, he’s managed to stay neutral through out the past 10 installments but sometimes black and white mix and you get a whole lot of gray! And it doesn’t seem like either side, the black or white council, have the answers.

Jacka pens a masterfully written Urban Fantasy, and you all know I love URBAN FANTASIES. Relatable, fun characters, fantastic storytelling and sucking the reader straight into a highly original fictional world, it’s a win, win read in my book all around.

I received this review copy of Fallen from Berkley Publishing Group - Ace. This is my honest and voluntary review.
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This is the tenth book in this series, and as with the others, it’s a wild ride. If you’ve made it to this point in the series, I don’t need to touch too much on the characters or plot, because you will know most of it all already. If you haven’t read the series and are thinking of starting here, don’t. Go start at the beginning. On to this book, it is a little bit darker in tone to the other ones, and Alex is finding that he needs to do things he doesn’t want to do to save himself, his friends, and his loved ones. Richard is, of course, at the heart of it all, and the things Alex has to do will put himself in even more trouble (future book I’m looking forward to). Full of action, magic, and heart-breaking moments, this book is the best so far in the series, and I am looking forward to the next book to see how the events in this one plays out. If you love urban fantasy, you must try this series. Highly recommend this book and series! I was a provided a copy which I voluntarily reviewed.
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Fallen starts out with Diviner Mage Alex Verus in a pretty good place. He is working for the Light Council, and his friends appear to be safe. His determined neutral stance in the conflict between the Light and Dark Mages seems to be working at last. The lull will not last, of course, because of his association with Richard Drakh as a young man. The Light Council will never trust him. Drakh continues to try to bring his girlfriend, Anne, and Alex back under his control and overthrow the Council with their talents. A raid on Alex's home by the Council sets up a series of event that force Alex to take steps to add to his power, measures that he has tried to avoid.

Fallen marks the beginning of an entirely new trajectory in the series. Lots of loose ends are tied up, and Alex will never be the same. I am not sure that I am comfortable with the alterations in him but see that it for Alex, it is change or die. I am also mourning the loss of a significant influence on Alex, perhaps forever. As always, despite a somewhat slow start, the action is nonstop. Fallen is definitely not a stand-alone as the novel builds on the preceding ones. I recommend the series for fans of urban fantasy with lots of action, excellent world-building, and characterization.

Thanks to NetGalley and Ace for an advance digital copy. The opinions are my own.

RATING- 4.5 Stars rounded up to 5
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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Fallen (Alex Verus #10) by Benedict Jacka from NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group/ Penguin Random House in order to read and give an honest review.

… is a brilliant, page-turner which is perhaps my favourite in the series…

I am a huge fan of Benedict Jacka and was so I was thrilled for the opportunity to read and review the tenth instalment in his Alex Verus series. I really enjoy this series, it’s such a unique, fast-paced urban fantasy, filled with magic, mystery and mayhem.    

Definitely not a stand-alone, Fallen picks up with the fallout from San Vittore as witnessed in his last book Marked.  So much has happened to Mage Alex Verus and his friends and in this book, we see Alex face a whole new set of challenges. The council becomes a huge issue and we see a significant departure from the normal Alex we’ve followed through the previous books. In Fallen, we see the “normal’ good guy Verus, change into a more ruthless and cut-throat Alex.  Sadly, we also say goodbye (hopefully, not permanently) to a main and much-beloved character and Alex’s old life as he knew it. This book has the usual cast of characters, Anne, Luna Varium, Arachne, the quirky air elemental, Starbreeze and some of the ones we love to hate. Dark mage Richard, Rachel/Deleo, Onyx and Cinder all reappear to make this perhaps one of the more action-packed books in the series to date.

As always, Jacka does an amazing job and putting Alex in almost inescapable situations where he’s damned if he does or damned if he doesn’t and Fallen is no exception. The Council decides to put a warrant out for both Anne and Alex their life is changed forever. On the run, and using stones to jump through gate after gate, they also have to contend with another problem. When Richard hatches a plan that involves capturing Anne and forcing her to do his bidding Versus must fight for her even if it means his death.

Without giving away much more this is such a brilliant, page-turner and I have to say is perhaps my favourite in the series! I would highly recommend it!
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5 / 5 ✪

https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com/2019/09/22/book-review-fallen-by-benedict-jacka/

After the events of Marked, Alex is left in fear of a secret he has to keep at all costs. But also, he is in love. Finally having confessed his love for Anne, life has become livable for a time. Happy, even. But all things must change, and Alex has learnt this lesson enough to expect it.

For when the Council finds out—and they also seem to find out—Alex is forced to choose between the two most important things in his life: Anne, and the person he has spent his life trying to be. Turns out not to be much of a choice at all.

Fallen presents a much darker backdrop than many books before it. I know Bound was only two books prior, but Fallen puts it to shame. A dark, depressing read was not at all what I needed, particularly following right on the heels of A Little Hatred—but Fallen provides just enough hope to see its readers through, while immersing them in the tale in the way only a 1st PPOV run story can.

This features an immense cast of characters. With nine books building to this point, turns out there’re a lot to choose from. While the main cast has stayed pretty consistent recently—with Alex, Anne, Luna, Variam and Arachne leading the way—several factions and sides each have contributed their own. Allies and enemies both have turned over, Alex proving to be a dangerous man to consort with. And yet there are some prominent mainstays. Richard Drakh, Alex’s former master. Keeper Caldera, Alex’s once-partner, once-friend. Landis, Variam’s former master. The Light Council. The Dark Cabal. Supernatural creatures, mages, adepts and sensitives galore. Jacka always seems to sneak a few surprise cameos in, and Fallen is no exception.

The characters, especially their arcs, come to a head in Fallen. Alex’s own—which was by no means uneventful up to Book 10—absolutely takes off. A rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts. Tragedy, heartbreak and hope punctuate not only Alex’s own story, but those of his friends and allies. Even his enemies begin to show their human side; blurring what has always seem a good-evil battle for Alex’s soul.

It was the story that blew me away. Desperate, dark and thrilling—it was an electrifying read from cover to cover. The beginning (the first 10%) read the slowest, but the following 90% seemed to race by. Now, Fallen is only a 300-odd page book. Though few of the previous have been much longer. And, as with many of the Alex Verus series, it’s definitely worth a reread.

TL;DR

I loved Fallen. Best thing I’ve read this year, hands down. And if you’ve read the first nine Verus books, this one’s a no-brainer. It does not disappoint. In fact, I enjoyed it on so many levels, especially with the build-up the previous books began. Possessed of an thrilling story, deep recognizable characters, fantastic character development and growth, and a satisfying—if surprising conclusion—Fallen is all I wanted from the series and more. And with only (probably) two more Verus books beyond it, we’re boiling down to a truly epic conclusion.
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TL;DR

In Fallen, Verus’s past catches up with him, and to move forward, he must revisit certain decisions he’s made. As enemies mount, he races to just survive. Highly Recommended

Review

I always loved the Dungeons and Dragons alignment tables. The world has always felt too big to just slip everything into a good versus evil fight. It lacks nuance. But the addition of neutral adds a third option and instant complexity. Neutrality incites questions. If the character doesn’t choose evil, why wouldn’t the character choose good? This question hovers over the entire Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka. Over the course of nine books, Verus worked hard to maintain neutrality between the Light and Dark mages that inhabit his world. He really wants no part in the power struggle in which other mages engage. If Alex had his way, he’d avoid all that nonsense and spend time with his friends and his magic shop. But, as in all good fiction, the main character rarely gets what he wants. In the latest novel – Fallen – Verus’s past actions start to catch up with him. As a result, his world changes irrevocably, and it feels as if the series has entered a new phase of overarching plot development. In the end, Fallen has risen to be my favorite book of the series thus far.
.

*** Series Spoilers Below ***
Stop Reading Now to Avoid Spoilers

Fallen (Alex Verus #10)

Fallen by Benedict Jacka starts off with Alex meeting the family that raised Anne before her kidnapping. It’s a sweet moment that soon and inevitably ends. While at the dinner, Alex remembers a raid he conducted with the Light Council’s paramilitary arm. Soon, he’s on trial with the Light Council for his involvement in the Dark mage raid to free a prisoner of the Council. Got it? There’s a lot going on in this book, and it’s definitely not the place to jump into the series. But for fans of the series, it’s the usual pace that we’ve grown accustomed too.

All the things that fans love about the Alex Verus series suffuses Fallen. There’s politics, cool magic, interesting creatures, and yet more politics. Jacka’s ability to force Verus into no-win situations is why I love this series. Alex rarely gets an easy choice, and his ethics keep him from giving up or turning to the Dark Side. Though he remains neutral, Verus indulges quite a bit in his darker nature here. He’s more at ease with violence and death in this novel than I’m used to. But in a way, this makes him much more normal as a mage.

Book 10 and Still Here

The series has run a long time, and it’s building to Alex confronting his old tormentor, Richard Drahk. Book 10 feels like a significant step towards that final goal. The status quo hasn’t subtly shifted; it’s been shaken, stirred, and poured through a strainer. Familiar characters don’t make it to the end, and alliances are tested, probably broken. Alex is forced into a proactive role, and I like it. It doesn’t suit him; so, he’ll be forced to grow in the upcoming books. 

Magic in Verus's World

Magic in the Verus series does not conform to a system similar to Dungeons and Dragons. Instead, the mages are close to superheroes. They tend to focus on a particular aspect of magic. For example, Alex is a diviner. His friend and ally, Variam, is an elemental fire mage. There are life and death mages, mind mages, illusionists, and even luck mages. I like this system of magic because Jacka  finds the right balance between magic and superpowers. The world, the creatures, and imbued items around the characters give a significant magical feel to the setting.

Alex’s power grew on me. In the first couple of books, I thought it could be really powerful, but Jacka has done a great job showing its limitations. I’m not sure the balance is maintained in this book, but the cost for Alex’s magic has grown. Based on previous books, I’m willing to give the series the benefit of the doubt. But I’m wondering if the characters are becoming too powerful.

Conclusion

Benedict Jacka’s Fallen is the best Alex Verus book to date. The series has entered a new phase, and fans will love the twists and turns Fallen takes. This book sees the emergence of a more proactive Alex Verus, and the mage world is shaken by the changes here. The series continues to be one of my favorite Urban Fantasies.

Fallen is available September 24th from Ace!

8 out of 10!
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Fallen continues the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka, which I have been looking forward to this book since the last one.    Alex Verus starts this book in a fairly good position but of course as usual that does not last.  I must admit the start of this book was not as strong for me, which seemed to be due to a lot of referencing of details from the previous book (which I apparently had not retained well over the last year).   However about a quarter of the way in the story really picked up and I found the rest of the book thoroughly enjoyable, surprising me with several twists.    It will be very interesting to see where Benedict Jacka plans to go with these changes.
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Fallen by Benedict Jacka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every time I hear about a new Benedict Jacka book, I fall all over myself with joy and anticipation. When I finally read them, I'm in awe.

Let me be clear, this is some of the most fun Urban Fantasy I've ever come across. It's smart, things fall apart so spectacularly, and the basic nature of Verus's magic always makes me crave more. Diviner magic? What's so good about that? :) Oh, searching multiple futures where you get what you want, on the fly, and then do stuff like walking through a room full of bullets. Details. But Jacka takes that much, much further in this book.

It's a turning point! A big one! Before, Verus was all about keeping neutrality because neither the black nor the white council was made up of particularly nice people. But after this?

MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no spoilers. Though, if you look at that title carefully enough, you might get an idea about where this new novel is headed. I admit I was having a pretty soft spot between Verus and Ann. I can't believe it rolled this way. Red herring? Muahahaha I'm not telling.

Suffice to say, this is one of my absolute favorites of the series. Ten books so far. May there be twenty!
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Benedict Jacka is back with a bang! I felt that Marked, the previous book in the series didn't progress as much as I would like but with Fallen, I take my words back, reading it made me realize what Jacka was setting us up for!
I've always loved Verus as a character because he's always vulnerable and punching above his weight but knows at the end of the day superior planning and brainpower can only take him so far, especially against Richard, the one person he's never been able to outsmart.
In this book, Jacka brings things to a conclusion tying up many of the loose ends and revealing how Verus's actions throughout the series bring him to his current fate. Fallen has Verus backed into a corner, increasing desperate and no tricks to get him out of his situation, he takes a road he's never liked traveling on and embraces his practical side (folks remember NightStalkers?)! 
It's a thrilling ride all the way to the end, with the Deleo prophecy being fulfilled to finding Richard's secret!
Can't wait to see what Jacka has in store for us next and where the series goes from here!
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Verus and Anne must face consequences of what happened with the jinn at San Vittore. Verus has always tried to make the “right” / good choices but will he be able to do so this time when fighting both Light and Dark? This book represented the end of a major story arc and big changes for the series. Entertaining urban fantasy, if a bit dark. Look forward to the next book.
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I absolutely love this series and this is the strongest entry yet. The world of Alex Verus continues to become darker and more dangerous and I'm really enjoying his character's progression. This book ends with a major shift in the main character's arc and I can't wait to see where it takes him.
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