Fantasy – Fiction Book Review: Fated

Fated by Benedict Jacka

Alex Verus is a mage who runs a magic shop in London. His forte is precognition, with the ability to see all possible futures by the result of someone’s choice. When Alex is asked by the Council to open a mysterious relic, he turns them down right away. But when other individuals try to recruit Alex for the same relic, he is given a couple offers he can’t refuse and still remain breathing.

Jacka’s urban fantasy world is one of dangerous mages, both light and dark, with a variety of other magical creatures. Alex has a dark past that he escaped, yet still has plenty of baggage. His friend Luna is an integral character who has a unique curse that makes it impossible to get close to anyone literally and figuratively. Jacka’s characters have tremendous depth and are extremely compelling.

Fated is the first in a new series starring Alex Verus. It’s fresh, original and exciting. There is never a dull moment in this fast-paced and action-packed story. Urban fantasy (especially Harry Dresden) fans will want to check out this series with plenty of mystery, adventure and humor. The next installment, Cursed, will release this June and will be a must-read for me.

Received in April

The following are the books, DVDs, and Blu-Rays I received in April for review and/or giveaways:

TV/Movies:
Dorothy and the Witches of Oz
New Year’s Eve Blu-ray

47North / Amazon:
The Mongoliad by Neal Stephenson
Further: Beyond the Threshold by Chris Roberson
Containment by Christian Cantrell

Ace Books:
Lies & Omens by Lyn Benedict
Pod by Stephen Wallenfels
The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Invincible by Jack Campbell
Heaven’s War by David S. Goyer

Archaia:
Judge Bao and the Jade Phoenix by Patrick Marty
Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #4 of 6
Black Charity
Primordia by John R. Fultz
Genetiks: Volume 1 by Richard Marazano
The Dare Detectives! Collected Edition: The Snowpea Plot by Ben Caldwell

Chicago Review Press:
Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky

Daw Books:
Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines

DC Comics:
Batman: Death by Design by Chip Kidd

Harper Collins:
The Emerald Storm by William Dietrich

Harper Teen / Balzer + Bray:
Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier
Insignia by S. J. Kincaid
The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children / Graphia
Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Kensington Press:
The Lingering Dead by J.N. Duncan

Macmillan Audio:
Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins: Rebel Fire by Andrew Lane

Paizo Publishing:
Pathfinder Tales: Song of the Serpent by Hugh Matthews

Penguin Teen / Dial:
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Pocket Books / Gallery Books:
Blood on the Bayou by Stacey Jay
Deadly Descendant by Jenna Black
Summoning the Night by Jenn Bennett
Gears of War: Coalition’s End by Karen Traviss
Gears of War: The Slab by Karen Traviss

Pyr Books:
False Covenant by Ari Marmell
Vampire Empire: The Rift Walker by Clay Griffith

Roc:
The Impossible Cube by Steven Harper

Scholastic:
Infernal Devices by Philip Reeve
Zac and the Dream Stealers by Ross MacKenzie
The Fire Ascending by Chris d’Lacey
The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen
Grim by Anna Waggener

Tor Books:
Rage of the Dragon by Margaret Weis
The Gift of Fire / On the Head of a Pin by Walter Mosley
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Blu-Ray Review: New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve available on Blu-ray Combo pack, DVD and for download 5/1

Synopsis from Warner Bros: Ingrid (Pfeiffer) is a woman looking for her purpose in life, helped along the way by Paul (Efron). Tess (Biel) and Griffin (Meyers) are in a race against the clock to have the first baby of the New Year. Randy (Kutcher) and Elise (Michele) are trapped in an elevator, one desperate to get out and one not eager to leave. Claire (Swank) is the in charge of making sure the Times Square ball drops at midnight but she runs into a major problem.

Following the converging stories of dozens of characters, “New Year’s Eve” tells these stories and more, showcasing love, hope, excitement, sadness, joy, laughter and sorrow on the most exciting night of the year.


Much like the movie Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve follows many people’s lives for one day, some whose lives intersect in unique ways. New Year’s Eve isn’t just about love though. They push the message several times to self-reflect and to do more, love more, and experience more. And while it’s mostly a feel-good movie, there are some tear-jerker performances by Robert DeNiro, Halle Berry, and Hillary Swank. With plenty of humor, romance, drama, and a plethora of familiar faces – this gathering of fantastic actors and actresses is fun and entertaining. Unfortunately, both Bon Jovi and Lea Michele’s musical performances fall flat and don’t add anything to the film. In fact, I finally had to fast forward through some of the songs as I was either cringing or bored. While the holiday isn’t one that most people care or get excited about, it certainly makes the party in Time Square seem like quite the event, instead of the crowded chaotic mess it looks like each year on television. Fast-paced, humorous and heart-warming, I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed all of the separates stories and the final, climactic ending.

Blu-Ray Combo Pack Includes:
• Dual-Format Disc
• Blu-ray Side
o Theatrical film
o Special Features:
– Commentary by director Garry Marshall
– Gag Reel
– Magic of Times Square
– New Year’s Eve Secrets of the Stars
– Jon Bon Jovi & Lea Michele Rock New Year’s Eve
– Deleted Scenes with Garry Marshall
• DVD Side
o Theatrical Film
• UltraViolet Digital Copy

DVD Version Includes:
• Theatrical Film
• Special Features:
o Commentary by director Garry Marshall
o Gag Reel
• UltraViolet Digital Copy

Read moreBlu-Ray Review: New Year’s Eve

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