Series: Alex Verus, #4
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Ace on August 27, 2013
Pages: 304 pages
Reviewed by: Kristina
I don’t publicly advertise that I’m a mage, but I don’t exactly hide it either, and one of the odd things I’ve learnt over the years is just how much you can get away with if you’re blatant enough. Hide something behind smoke and mirrors and make people work to find it, and they’ll tear the place down looking for what’s there.
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...
CHOSEN’S plot read like a thriller with Alex running from and sometimes into danger which made for a quick paced story with something new always popping up to keep me wondering how Alex is going to get out of this dilemma. A lot of CHOSEN is dedicated to flashbacks to Alex’s time as a Dark mage’s apprentice. The flashbacks really help to clarify the reason for this emotional weight he seems to carry throughout the series which helped to flesh out his characterization. They also show the shocking cruelty Verus lived with and how easily corruptible young people can be when presented with ultimate power. I was concerned that constant flashbacks would slow the story down but I was luckily wrong and was happy to get a glimpse of young Alex to better understand older Alex.
What I like about the mages in this world is the fine line a mage balances between being a Light or Dark mage depending on how they chose to use their powers. While the adult Alex has chosen to use his power for good he still participated in some horrible acts as a Dark mage’s apprentice yet he still lives in a grey world of being neither Light nor Dark which makes him an interesting character. What was refreshing was that while Alex has reformed himself and more than made up for his past he was still given some consequences for his past and present actions.
While Alex was quite good at being a semi-loner I liked that he has a slightly expanding group of friends/acquaintances as it not only helps expand the world building it also gives him a reason to fight and get more involved in the magic community. Luna, Alex’s cursed apprentice is a fun character and I love how she has become more confident in using her curse to protect others. The insane accuracy of her power to dole out bad luck to anyone she comes near (demonstrated in a few excellent fights in CHOSEN) makes her a person I’d want to stay on the good side of.
CHOSEN revealed a lot of Alex’s past which made an already intriguing character even more interesting and admirable. The cliffhanger at the end of CHOSEN was shocking and I can’t wait to see what this revelation means for Alex and his friends in the yet untitled fifth book of the Alex Verus series coming out in 2014.