Bound by Benedict Jacka (Alex Verus series: Book 10)

6/10 Not the best in the series

Urban fantasy is one of those fantasy subgenres which can be a little hit-and-miss for me – not every brand of urban fantasy is up my alley. If it is set in London then I’m pretty much in no matter, but otherwise it’s a bit up in the air whether or not I’ll love it or not. I know what I like and it’s hard to describe what I’m not a fan of.

One of my favourite urban fantasy series is Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus series of books. I’ve been a big proponent of them since I first encountered Fated, the first book in the series, and I’ve followed them closely ever since. Unlike many fantasy series, Benedict Jacka is essentially telling one big story – and each book is one more chapter in that story. While this can be good in some regards, now that we are at book eight, Bound, I’m beginning to feel a little strung out.

Bound continues literally less than two days after the conclusion of Burned, the seventh book in the series, and tells yet another small part of the overarching story Jacka is telling. It certainly moves the story forward, but only as much as you’d expect from a few chapters of another book.

So I’m not entirely sure how I feel. I loved reading this book, but upon turning the final page I was left a little empty. It’s not that I was left wanting more – I was, but I was left wanting more because I felt I hadn’t been given much to begin with; sort of like ordering a full-priced meal but finding out you only received another entrée.

Benedict Jacka is definitely telling a slow story. The overarching story is being unfolded slowly, and the character development is similarly slowly being revealed. At just under 400 quick pages, Bound is over before you want it to be, and while it is fast-paced action almost from the get-go, you’re still not really sure what’s going on and where we’re going.

All we know is that Alex Verus’ life is very difficult.

Similarly, the life of his compatriots are also difficult, but sometimes it feels like they are only difficult and threatened because the author wants them to be. My favourite character, Anne, seems to have been manipulated into her current fate not by the characters around her, but by the author. Maybe if I had been given more of the larger story in this book I wouldn’t feel that way, but given how little I’ve been handed it’s hard to tell.

In the end I wouldn’t recommend a newcomer start with this book – though, given that it’s book eight, that is unsurprising; to recommend an eighth book in a series to a newcomer, the book would have to be mind-blowing. For those already invested in the series, you’re obviously going to want to read this book, but I’m warning you that it might not be the best in the series.

Review by

Our interview with Benedict Jacka

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – J. R. R. Tolkien, The [...]

Read interview


Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus series series


Alex Verus series: Book 1


Alex Verus series: Book 2


Alex Verus series: Book 3


Alex Verus series: Book 4


Alex Verus series: Book 5


Alex Verus series: Book 6


Alex Verus series: Book 7


Alex Verus series: Book 9


Alex Verus series: Book 10


Alex Verus series: Book 11

Bound reader reviews

6/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

Books you may also enjoy

Seven Blades in Black

Sam Sykes

The Obsidian Tower

Melissa Caruso

The Limits of Enchantment

Graham Joyce

Silver Mage

CM Debell

Dawn of the Exile

Mitchell Hogan

The Magicians

Lev Grossman

Storm Front

Jim Butcher

The Autumn Republic

Brian McClellan

Following reviews

A Closed and Common Orbit

Becky Chambers

Roses and Rot

Kat Howard

Symphony of the Wind

Steven McKinnon

Empire of Sand

Tasha Suri


Snorri Kristjansson

The Mage Team

David J Normoyle


Peter F Hamilton