Before I start this review I will provide a little bit of general overview of the series, just in case my wise words inspires you to pick up this series for the first time. Risen is the final book in this series, which I won’t lie, I am very sad to see end. The series follows a mage known as Alex Verus, who has the ability to see futures and use them to guide his actions. He is what I would describe as a neutral party, not siding with either good or evil. But unfortunately the usual happens and he is pulled into the drama, dealing with both sides whilst dealing with the chaos within his own life. The magic system in this series is brilliant – both wide in its scope but easy to understand.
Risen follows on from the events of the previous book – Alex has one final battle to face but within that several impossible missions to accomplish. Due to the nature of the story within Risen, it is action packed from the first chapter and Jacka rarely gives you a paragraph or two to get a breather before you are thrown head first back into the action. Jacka has perfected his ability to write magic within action, being able to glide between the physical manifestation of the magic within the world and the mechanics of how the magic functions within each magician. There were moments in this novel where – like Alex himself – I could predict roughly what was about to happen, however there were many times where I was absolutely not expecting what happened. The story was high stakes and you aren’t let down in the slightest.
What I liked about this novel was the cast of characters. Due to the aftermath of the previous title, Alex works alongside of a number of characters we have met throughout the series. In one part of another, pretty much every character in the series is referenced at some point. I enjoyed reading Alex’s different reactions to the various characters, conversing differently based on past experiences. This is not to say that recurring characters like Luna and Talisaid are absent from the book – they are major players within the novel. Each character played their part, with no one feeling as though they were only present for nostalgia.
Since this is the final book within the series, we can’t review this novel without referencing the ending. Obviously I won’t provide any spoilers. What I will say is that the ending felt satisfying – the epilogue less so. With this series being lengthy, the ending was always going to be thought about intently by the reader but I am pleased to say that Jacka has chosen to lean into the simpler resolution and not try and create some crazy situation that just fails to feel natural within the book. The epilogue, unfortunately felt a little bit unnecessary and could have taken a different route in order to demonstrate the story after the events of Risen. My sanctification was slightly dampened, not enough to spoil this novel.
Overall, I am extremely satisfied with Risen and how it ended the Alex Verus series. I would highly recommend this series to any reader – they are all easy to pick up and not too long. If you enjoy magic especially, then they is must read!