Burned by Benedict Jacka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sometimes, every once in a great while, there comes a truly excellent UF book. A good deal are entertaining, a bit less are fantastic, and a handful rank up there with some of the best in any genre.
Of course, to actually make that claim, we've still got to take into account everything that has come before and see what kind of build in character, circumstance, pressure, and execution could possibly MAKE such a treasure.
Okay, let's ignore that for a second. It's a weight and a burden each of us carry willingly if we get through 6 books in a beloved series.
Of course, this does say a lot of good things about an author that not only improves their craft and weave, but keeps us loving the books long enough to slam us good with a book like this.
I love all types of books, but you expect these to have rising pressure, often in three acts, and a delightful release after each. You can also expect character arcs to do something very similar over the span of many books, until our MC has so many enemies and no where else to turn to, he's forced into horrible decisions after horrible decisions. A Mr. Dresden knows this well, and now we've got a certain Mr. Verus in the same boat.
It's been coming for a long time. He's been barely treading water over many books. It actually doesn't really matter that he's been able to make and keep friends, when the whole weight of magical society, whether light or dark, wants a piece of you in the end.
It's character tapestries like this that make me reaffirm my decision to keep up with my UF reading even though there are so many fantastic standalone novels out there. It's the difference between a tiny brilliant painting and a mural spanning the inside of a great dome. Both have their place and their joys, they're both glorious to take in, but you have to have a certain mindset and patience that's quite a bit different between each set.
All I can say is Bravo! This is a home run! Extremely good payoff, almost too good, because now I'm tempted to tear the rest of my hair out to get my hands on the next novel.
Oh, wait. This just came out. DAMNIT!
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