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Posts Tagged ‘Alex Verus’

Benedict Jacka Cover Launch: The Bumper Issue

We’re delighted to launch the cover for MARKED, designed by Ceara Elliot and Emily Courdelle! This is the ninth book in Benedict Jacka’s magic-filled Alex Verus series, publishing in July next year.

MARKED sees probability mage Alex Verus tracking down dangerous magical items unleashed into the world by dark mages. When the Light Council decide they need his help in negotiating with the perpetrators, Alex must use all his cunning and magic to strike a deal…

MARKED continues the bold, colourful new look for the series that we established with BURNED and BOUND. Now – at Alex’s request (and who are we to deny a probability mage’s predictions?) – we’ve given the first six books brand new designs to match. If you think these new covers are vivid and irresistibly eye-catching, well . . . Alex Verus knew you would!

These fabulous new designs – also courtesy of Ceara Elliot and Emily Courdelle – will be appearing in bookstores throughout 2018.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cover Launch: BOUND by Benedict Jacka

Everyone’s favourite probability mage, Alex Verus, returns in April with the publication of BOUND – the eighth book in this thrilling urban fantasy series.

We’re excited to present the cover for your viewing pleasure, beautifully designed by Ceara Elliot.

bound2-2

Read on for a taste of what’s in store:

Alex Verus can see the future. But he never thought he’d see this day.

Manoeuvred by forces beyond his control, the probability mage has made a terrible choice: he’s agreed to work for his old master once more. Richard Drakh, the sadistic dark mage Alex escaped as an apprentice, has him in his clutches again. And this time, he won’t let go so easily.

Urban Fantasy at its best - the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka

 

Cover launch: BURNED by Benedict Jacka

BURNED: Alex Verus book 7

Alex Verus has a magic shop in Camden, London, and an uncanny ability to see the future.
But suddenly everyone can see Alex’s future. Because the Mage’s Council of Great Britain just named him a traitor and ordered his death in seven days’ time, and there’s no way anyone can get out of that.
Alex’s friends – Luna and the other apprentices he’s taken in – are tainted by association. They’ll be marked for death too when the ruling comes into play, and Alex becomes locked in a race against time to save them.
But with only seven days to work with, will he have time left over save his own skin?

BURNED is the seventh book in the Alex Verus series. While seven might be a lucky number for some, it’s most certainly not for Alex. Marked for death and on the run, BURNED is truly the book where everything changes for everybody’s favourite probability mage . . . and with talented designer Ceara Elliot, we’ve changed our cover to match.

“Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously – and be a little nervous around him. I just added Benedict Jacka to my must-read list.”
– Jim Butcher

“Whoop-ass excitement from the new master of magical London”
– Charles Stross

Is Urban Fantasy Dead? Or Undead?

We remember when urban fantasy first arrived on our shelves, but the genre has changed significantly since then. Are these stories still popular? If so, why? We asked some of Orbit’s authors for their take on the genre’s past, present and future.

Where does urban or contemporary fantasy come from?

JIM BUTCHER, author of the bestselling Dresden Files, as well as recent adventure fantasy THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS

Butcher

‘Urban fantasy is nothing more or less than the resurgence of fairy tales. We’ve changed what our big bad wolves look and act like, and our forests appear somewhat different than they used to, and Little Red Riding Hood is generally much more heavily armed than she has traditionally been, but we’re telling the same stories, in the same ways, with the same emphasis on the fantastic and the terror and delight of its clash with our everyday world.

It’s the everyday reality that so many of us find terrifying – to such a degree that we flee to tales of vampires and werewolves and dark sorcerers just to lighten the mood.’

CHARLIE FLETCHER, author of THE OVERSIGHT and THE PARADOX

CharlieFletcher

‘People have always created stories to try and make sense of stuff they could neither see nor understand. ‘Urban’ fantasy is just a logical step since as society has become less rural and more metropolitan so the old dark woods of the old fairy-stories have been replaced by a sodium-lit concrete jungle. And of course we may have moved to the cities, but we brought our darkness with us.

There’s a lot of product jammed in under the urban fantasy label that doesn’t do it for me, but the books that do mean something to me are the ones that engage creatively with the inevitable transition from the old to the new world and deal with its consequences as a central part of the story (AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman is a particularly fine and definitive example of this).’

What does the future of urban fantasy look like?

LILITH SAINTCROW, author of the Bannon and Clare Affairs and BLOOD CALL, as well as many other urban fantasy series

Lilith2

‘I think the last five years, as with any shiny new trend, have brought a certain amount of reader fatigue. Urban fantasy isn’t going away, but it’s not so much of a Wild West ‘let’s throw a vampire in there and hope it sticks!’ anymore. Which is very good, if sometimes frustrating when paranormal or urban fantasy is what you want to write.

After working in publishing for so long, I see “urban fantasy” as a genre title, nothing less, nothing more. There’s always a market for tales well told, and urban fantasy, like any genre, offers a set of tools and toys for a writer to play with.’

BENEDICT JACKA, author of the Alex Verus novels

BenedictJacka

‘I’d have trouble pinning down exactly how urban fantasy’s changed over the last five years, but I’m pretty sure that it’ll stay popular for the foreseeable future. The mash-up nature of urban fantasy lets it evolve easily, and the sources it draws on (comic books, games, epic fantasy) still have a lot of resonance for city-dwellers. So while I’d expect the type of urban fantasy stories to shift over time, I think the genre will stick around for a good while yet.’

PATRICIA BRIGGS, author of the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series

PatriciaBriggs2

‘There isn’t a reader appetite for urban fantasy the way there used to be. Five years ago, any book that was urban fantasy was guaranteed a certain number of readers. I think, and it is not a bad thing, that readers are pickier now. For me as a reader, right now, what I love about urban fantasy is that there are so many good storytellers working in this field. Good stories still work and can still find an audience, though it might take longer to find a readership than before.

One of the things that I actually like about this is that we are seeing more diversity in books that are published again. I love, love, urban fantasy. But I also love space opera, traditional fantasy, and contemporary fantasy – and those genres were getting drowned.’

ELLIOTT JAMES, author of CHARMING

ElliottJames

‘I like to read stories where the extra-ordinary and the ordinary mingle. Some people sneer at escapist literature, but “escape” implies relief, release, and freedom, none of which are bad things. Escape also inevitably holds a mirror up to the thing being escaped from.

Urban fantasy often gives ordinary characters a chance to demonstrate extraordinary qualities. It encourages readers to examine what it means to be human through contrast or by eliminating a lot of the obvious assumptions.

There have always been stories that introduced fantastical otherworldly elements into the everyday knockabout world that we humans optimistically call reality, and I expect there always will be.’

Benedict Jacka Works his Magic on Audiobook

Everybody’s favourite probability mage arrives on audiobook today! The complete Alex Verus series is now available to buy in audio. This London-based urban fantasy series by Benedict Jacka has a growing legion of fans including Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs and Charles Stross. The sixth book in the series, VEILED, will be out in August.

Listen to a sample here:

Cover launch: VEILED by Benedict Jacka, coming August 2015

We’re delighted to launch the cover for the sixth novel in the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka. VEILED will be released in August this year.

In VEILED, probability mage Alex Verus has agreed to join the Keepers, the magical police force who can protect him and his friends from his old master, Richard Drakh. Going legit was always going to be difficult for an outcast like Alex, and there are some in the Keepers who aren’t keen to see an ex-Dark mage succeed, especially when the Dark is making a play for a seat on the mages’ council, for the first time in history.
Alex finally has the law on his side – but trapped between Light and Dark politics, investigating a seedy underworld with ties to the highest of powers, will a badge be enough to save him?

VEILED – the new Alex Verus novel by Bendict Jacka, coming August 2015 Cover designed by Ceara Elliot.

London-based urban fantasy at its best – the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka

HIDDEN: Out Today from Benedict Jacka

HIDDEN is released today – the fifth book in Benedict Jacka’s addictive urban fantasy series about the adventures of Camden-based mage Alex Verus.

Alex has successfully fought Dark mages, assassins, golems, angry apprentices and even the odd Light mage or two, but what happens when someone close to Alex doesn’t want his help?

We also release the first volume of this fantastic series, FATED, in audiobook today. Go to Soundcloud now to listen to a sample of FATED read by the fabulous Gilbert Jackson who does an amazing job with Alex’s voice:

‘It was a slow day, so I was reading a book at my desk and seeing into the future . . .’

With five Alex Verus novels now to enjoy and big name fans such as Charles Stross, Patricia Briggs and Jim Butcher, this is an urban fantasy series well worth sinking your teeth into. Try it in paperback or audio today!

The Alex Verus series, books 1-4

 ‘Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously – and be a little nervous around him.  I just added Benedict Jacka to my must-read list’

Jim Butcher

‘Jacka writes a deft thrill-ride of an Urban Fantasy – a stay-up-all-night read.  Alex Verus is a very smart man surviving in a very dangerous world’

Patricia Briggs

HIDDEN: Benedict Jacka Cover Launch

The cover to Benedict Jacka's fifth Alex Verus novel, HIDDEN.

We’re proud to release the cover of the fifth Alex Verus novel by Benedict Jacka, designed by Ceara Elliot. HIDDEN will be released in September 2014, but until then you can catch up with probability mage Alex Verus in the first four novels, FATED (UK|ANZ), CURSED (UK|ANZ), TAKEN (UK|ANZ) and the recently released CHOSEN (UK|ANZ). 

 The Alex Verus series

CHOSEN: Out Today From Benedict Jacka

Happy publication day to Benedict Jacka! The latest Alex Verus novel, CHOSEN (UK|ANZ), is released today, after much anticipation from the fans!

Alex Verus, the Camden-based mage who just can’t stay out of trouble despite his ability to see the future, returns in CHOSEN, when someone comes looking for revenge for deeds Alex commited in his past, as an apprentice to the Dark mage Richard Drakh . . .

See Benedict talk about CHOSEN’s moral abiguity here in John Scalzi’s The Big Idea: ‘In FATED, CURSED and TAKEN, Alex had gotten into quite a few fights, but not because he wanted to – it had usually been a case of self-defence. But what would he do if someone was coming after him for a justified reason? What if they wanted him dead for something that really was his fault?’

Alex Verus has a considerable number of readers rooting for him, including Harry Dresden author Jim Butcher and Laundry Files author Charles Stross, so let’s hope he survives the experience!

Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously – and be a little nervous around him. I just added Benedict Jacka to my must-read list.”

– Jim Butcher

Whoop-ass excitement from the new master of magical London”

– Charles Stross on CHOSEN

Banner shows the Alex Verus series: magical London urban fantasy by Benedict Jacka

Francis Knight interviews Benedict Jacka, author of the Alex Verus novels

In September we release CHOSEN (UK|ANZ), the fourth Alex Verus urban fantasy novel from Benedict Jacka. In an interview below, another Orbit fantasy star Francis Knight
(author of FADE TO BLACK – UK|US|ANZ, and the soon-to-be-released BEFORE THE FALL  –UK|US|ANZ) finds out more about the writing of this highly popular series . . .

Chosen, an Alex Verus urban fantasy novel by Benedict Jacka, perfect for fans of Jim Butcher, in an interview with Francis Knight, author of Fade to BlackFrancis Knight: So, Alex Verus, wizard in London. I suppose certain comparisons are inevitable, if a bit easy. So who and/or what were your inspirations for this series? I know when I start, the first idea generally morphs into something bigger. What was the initial spark, the first ‘what if…’ that led to the book becoming reality?

Benedict Jacka: The Alex Verus setting is an adult version of a YA setting that I’ve been using on and off for almost 15 years – the whole mage world and the magic types was something I first came up with back in 2000-ish.  Between 2000 and 2008 I wrote four YA books in the setting, all with teenagers as the main characters who all had elemental powers of some kind.  None of the books got published, so I kept giving up and shelving the series and trying something else.

In 2009 I decided to pull out the setting yet again to give it another shot, with an adult main character this time.  I was getting dissatisfied with the elemental mages as protagonists, though, and at some point I had the idea of using a protagonist whose abilities were information-based instead of brute force.  The rest of the story snowballed from there! Read the rest of this entry »

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