Read-along & Giveaway: Taken by Benedict Jacka @BenedictJacka‏ @AceRocBooks @BerkleyPub @orbitbooks @TantorAudio ‏#Read-along #GIVEAWAY

Posted April 5, 2019 by KC in Book Review, Giveaway, Read-along / 6 Comments

Read-along & Giveaway: Taken by Benedict Jacka

 

Read-along & Giveaway: Taken by Benedict Jacka @BenedictJacka‏ @AceRocBooks @BerkleyPub @orbitbooks @TantorAudio  ‏#Read-along #GIVEAWAYTaken by Benedict Jacka
Narrator: Gildart Jackson
Series: Alex Verus #3
Published by Tantor Audio on January 27, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 320
Length: 10 hours, 7 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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zero-flames
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Alex Verus’s insights into the future used to be the best-kept secret in London. Now, with the aid of his apprentice, Luna, his unique investigative talents are all the rage. He just has to be careful about picking his employers, because everyone—even the beautiful woman who practically begs him to run security for a prestigious tournament—has motives that can be hard to predict. And Alex doesn’t do unpredictable.

But his latest gig just might be impossible. Apprentices have been vanishing without a trace—and someone on the Council could be involved. Alex has no evidence, no witnesses, and no suspects. All he knows is that someone is keeping tabs on him. And after assassins target Luna’s classmate, Alex sees that he doesn’t know the half of it—and that he could be the next to disappear.

 

The Alex Verus Series is really heating up and each book seems to be getting better.  In Taken, book three, Alex and his trusty apprentice, Luna, set out to solve the mystery of missing apprentices, a delicate task full of political pitfalls and powerful magic.  The actual ‘who dunnit’ was a little obvious to me, but I was riveted, nonetheless, by the specific details in how the scheme was carried out (quite gruesomely) and the surprise subplot revealed at the end of the story.  There were some intense action sequences and the final fight scene was exciting and well-executed.

Benedict Jacka does an extraordinary job continuing to build this world, adding depth and detail to the magic and mythology that makes up Alex’s universe.  There are references to and introductions of new mythological beings, such as Lord Jagadev, and additional mage types with abilities one had yet to encounter.  It delves further into the apprentice role and how apprentices fit into the magical society, which I hope is a sign a future book will detail reform in this area.

I like that Mr. Jacka frequently includes constellations and stars while describing an environment.  It reinforces the mystical aspect of the story, although I have no idea if they are purely fictional.  The qualities of the world (that one might have gleaned from the first two books) is well stated without a lot of repetition.  Other than history dealing directly with Luna and Alex’s relationship, I feel a reader could easily pick up Taken without having read the first two installments and not be completely lost.

Narration:

Gildart Jackson continues to narrate this series.  He does a good job with the variety of genders and races, however, his crisp, British accent imparts the educated, middle-aged character of Alex perfectly.  His pace is sedate at times and I found listening at 1.25x works best for me.

Listen to a clip:


Anne’s  observations from Taken:

  • Alex is adapting to the master / apprentice role with Luna pretty well..
  • Talisid is right there, throwing Alex at problems every time.  He knows Alex’s heart won’t let him leave others in danger.
  • Alex is well known now to the bad guys.  They are not opposed at all to using him, or getting rid of him.
  • Like every good urban fantasy hero, Alex is starting to form an odd group of mixed allies. So far he has Starbreeze – the air elemental  and Arachne and Luna.  Now Sonder.  Maybe Anne and Vari  and the dragon?

 


Anne’s questions from Cursed:

  1. I still wonder if Alex will now become more knowledgeable about the Council and who are the “players” in the Dark and Light mages to protect himself better.
  2. Will Sonder and the dragon now be part of the Verus band of misfit allies?      Sonder has joined, as I suspected.
  3. Will Alex find a way to remove her curse, maybe with some help from Arachne?  Luna is learning to control and now has a way to wield her magic.
  4. Luna relocked the force barrier with the cube but then where did the cube go?
  5. Does Alex have other friends, or mage friends we will meet?
  6. Will Alex ever be able to do anything about the cruel practices of dark mages?
  7. Will there be a romance for Alex?
  8. Talisid is right. People will start to notice how those going up against Alex disappear.  Alex is now on the radar; what will he do about it?

 


Anne’s questions from Taken:

  1. I still wonder if Alex will now become more knowledgeable about the Council and who are the “players” in the Dark and Light mages to protect himself better.
  2. Will Anne and Vari and the dragon now be part of the Verus band of misfit allies?  Even though Alex says he won’t take them as apprentices, will he coach them through to become full mages?
  3. Will Alex find a way to remove Luna’s curse?
  4. Luna relocked the force barrier with the cube but then where did the cube go?
  5. Does Alex have other friends, or mage friends we will meet?
  6. Will Alex ever be able to do anything about the cruel practices of dark mages?
  7. Will there be a romance for Alex?
  8. Talisid is right. People will start to notice how those going up against Alex disappear.  Alex is now on the radar; what will he do about it?
  9. Will Alex ever be able to contact Starbreeze again, or find her?
  10. Is Lyle TSTL? He is lazy and weak, combined with a huge ego, a bad combination. Will he please get himself killed before he hurts too many other people with his power hungry stupidity?  Otherwise, I am afraid Alex will try to help him and get ensnared somehow.
  11. (KC)Will vampires be a future subject since it is hard to know if they are really all gone?
  12. (KC) Is Alex destined for a council position?
  13.  (KC) Will humans become a bigger threat, particularly to monsters and dark mages?

 


Games:

1. Who said (enter the answer in the Rafflecopter, don’t put in the comments)

“You really like annoying him, don’t you?”

2.  Who is the villain in Taken? (Enter in the rafflecopter)

3. We have an opportunity to do a Q & A with Benedict Jacka a few months down the line. I am asking you to please submit interesting questions (into the rafflecopter) I fear this may be a little difficult to ask something different as he does an Ask Luna on his site. I have yet to check it out, as I don’t want to be spoiled for the books.

4. If you have any other favorite quotes, put them in your comments below ( and one can also be entered in the rafflecopter) and I will share them next month.

Schedule:   

We are doing one book every month, posting on Fridays. We should have a review for most of the books with the team here at Books of My Heart plus some of our blogging friends.

Apr 5:   Taken

May 3:  Chosen

Jun 7:    Hidden

Jul 5:    Veiled

Aug 2:   Burned

Sep 6:    Bound

Oct 4:    Marked

Nov 1:    Fallen


Miss a post?

Feb 1:    Fated

Mar 1:    Cursed


Be sure to enter the giveaways!!!

 

Giveaway:

I’m giving away a digital copy of Chosen  from Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read-along Giveaway:

This giveaway is for the entire event, with things to enter each month. Tantor is also supporting me by giving away digital codes for all 10 audiobooks in the series!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About Benedict Jacka

Benedict Jacka became a writer almost by accident, when at nineteen he sat in his school library and started a story in the back of an exercise book. Since then he’s studied philosophy at Cambridge, lived in China, and worked as everything from civil servant to bouncer to teacher before returning to London to take up law.

Rating Breakdown
Plot
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Writing
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Characters
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Dialogue
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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KC

Reviewer at Books of My Heart
Reading has always been more than just a hobby, it's been a life-long obsession.  To illustrate my point, one of my kids is named William Bennet (think Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet).  Of course, if you are reading my obscure bio-page, you can probably empathize.  I read a broad range of genres, but particularly enjoy kick-butt heroines, complex world-building, first person narration, nerdy references, or  hockey.  I like all of my books to have a romantic element, even just a little bit.

I've developed a preference for audiobooks over the last few years, which allow me to complete chores, run carpool, or work on my many building and craft projects while 'reading.  I prefer reading romance the old-fashioned way, probably because listening to steamy scenes makes me blush!

My all time favorite selections include Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, Karen Marie Moning's Fever series, and all of Robin Hobb's books set in the Farseer world.  Honorable mentions to Elle Kennedy, Penny Reid, Meljean Brook, Ann Aguirre, Krista and Becca Ritchie, Jim Butcher, Jeaniene Frost, and Kristen Callihan.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2019 Library-Love
  • BTB 2019

Posted April 5, 2019 by KC in Book Review, Giveaway, Read-along / 6 Comments


6 responses to “Read-along & Giveaway: Taken by Benedict Jacka

    • KC

      In the first book, Alex refers to a wizard in the US who lists himself in the phone book. Sound familiar?

  1. I also really like that he is picking up more misfits. I wasn’t sure about Vari in the beginning but I think he will grow on me and I’m enjoying the Alex/Luna Master/Apprentice thing more than I thought I would considering that I kinda shipped them in the first book. He is hoping she gets some kind of hold on her magic so eventually she can touch people when she wants to.

    Luna getting something that will help her with directing her offensive power was I nice touch and I liked that there was a competition in this book as well.

    I did miss Starbreeze though. I hope the air elemental remembers to check in on Alex soon.

    Robin recently posted: Ghost of Gotham by Craig Schaefer

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