Hidden – Benedict Jacka

I continue to love this series. Possibly more than I should, I think. But I also don’t have very much to say about it. What I’ve loved hasn’t changed since the last book in the series, and nor has what the series is doing. What’s changed has continued to change in the progression present in the previous books, and everything’s been kept neat and tidy and similar. Which is not to say boring. Much like the Matthew Swift books, the author has a strong, enticing formula, and frankly, why would you change that if you’ve already got it?

So instead of going over all that again, when I’ve said it (probably more eloquently) in the past, I’m going to talk just about the one thing that really keeps drawing me back to the books at all – the main character.

There’s nothing particular about Alex Verus as a character that should stand out against the hoards (hordes? I always get these mixed up) of other male leads in everything I’ve read. On paper, he’s a fairly typical hero with a tragic and morally grey past, trying his best to forge relationships and become a better person, while living with the consequences of that past. It has, I think we can all agree, been done. And yet, I find Verus one of the most enjoyable characters to read. It’s a trope I don’t dislike anyway, but he manages to be so… pleasant with it. There’s a very minimal amount of angst going on. He’s not a horrible person. He acknowledges when he messes up without going overboard on the dramatic upset. He spends a reasonable amount of time fussing over the other people in his life, but doesn’t do the broody and dramatic “I MUST KEEP SECRETS TO PROTECT THEM” thing. He has fairly moderate views the reader can sympathise with, but without coming across as pandering or just fake.

Basically, he’s a study in moderation, and rather than being boring, he is entirely successful. I feel like more books should take note of this.

(Hopefully next post will be normal; this one came a while after I finished the book and had begun reading Player of Games, so I’ve been away from focus on Hidden. But I’ll be reading Veiled soon and will try to discuss more in depth there).

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About readerofelse

A student of a redundant, useless and thoroughly interesting subject and reader of many books, particularly fantasy, science fiction and plenty else besides.
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