I read the first two Alex Verus books a long, long, time ago, so it kind of took me a while to get back into the swing of Alex’s divining possible futures thing. He’s trying to hang out with his apprentice (Luna- cursed with a powerful magic that pretty much hurts/kills folks who she touches) and open his shop for more than 1 day when people start showing up telling him to go to an estate called Fountain Reach. And figure out why mage apprentices are disappearing.
While Alex spends a lot of time in his head talking about plans, and possible futures, and judging people from his past like annoying Lyle and dangerous Onyx (still bent on assassinating him even when it goes against his own good), this tale serves layer upon layer of villain and intrigue.
People keep attacking him when he’s near Anne, a new apprentice friend of Luna’s, and it seems like multiple parties want her to disappear.
Can Alex protect Anne even when he suspects her? Will Sonder ever get some action or will he be relegated to research-only? Can Alex find new guerilla attack methods to save himself from Mage hierarchy crap? How does Arachne make such incredible magic artifacts (with little to no effort on Alex’s part. she’s like a magical James Bond Q)
This is a fun Urban Fantasy with an engaging hero who really isn’t all that powerful, but super sneaky. Sometimes his planning made me want to skim a bit, but all in all a great chapter in this adventure.