Hidden Reviews

hidden_front mech.inddLots of reviews in for Hidden.  Here’s a selection of them!

Whatchamacallit Reviews
The Bookbag
Mike the Paladin
Ami’s Hoard
Gareth Otton
H. Bala

In the meantime, I’ve been at work on the edits for Alex Verus #6 (which has finally got a title!)  Plan is to get the second draft done by the end of this month, so that I can get on to book #7.  We’ll see how that goes . . .


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Ask Luna #33

From: Tom

Can life magic cure diseases and illnesses?

Yup. Not all, but a lot. From what Anne tells me, it depends a lot on how built-in the problem is. Newly developed diseases are pretty easy to cure, and so are ones that basically boil down to “this part of the body needs repair” or “this bit of your biochemistry needs adjusting”. The ones she has trouble with are cases where the body’s actually growing or developing in the wrong way – most life magic healing works by taking the “blueprint” that your body’s trying to use and giving it a boost. If the body’s working to a bad blueprint, then basic healing actually makes it worse.

From: John D.

Hey Luna, back again!

What’s the age range on a mage (or adept, for that matter) discovering his or her power? Does it happen really you, or is it one of those things that happens at adulthood? And is it possible for a type of magic to be so subtle/subconscious that a mage/adept with it doesn’t realize that he/she has magical powers beyond the usual age of discovery?

Also, how much do mages rely upon gestures and other such trappings? Obviously focus items can help a mage/adept channel their power better/more efficiently, and some mages (like Alex) don’t seem to need more than thought to use their powers (which are mostly internalized), but assuming that they didn’t have a focus, would someone such as, say, Cinder have to use gestures to control his fire, or is it something that depends on the person’s belief system (i.e. Cinder doesn’t physically need to use gestures to control fire, but because he was taught to, he believes he has to)?

Thank you again!

Age range on mage/adept awakenings is one of those things that Light mages like to argue about. It’s been studied a lot, so they’ve got plenty data to argue over. General agreement is that it usually happens between 13 and 17, but you get outliers that start using their magic a good few years earlier or younger. (Apparently it’s actually later now than it used to be – we had one teacher telling us that back in the old days it was more like 10-15. Don’t know why that changed.)

You also get isolated cases where a kid uses magic a handful of times when they’re really young, even though they can’t use magic regularly yet. It’s one of the ways that mages track down potential apprentices early.

Subtle magic where you don’t even know that you’ve got it . . . yeah, it’s really common, actually, though as far as I know you only get it with adepts. We got told once that the Light mages think that the majority of universal and adepts are like that. They just think they’re ‘lucky’ or something like that.

Gestures and sometimes words are really common for spells, but as far as I know you don’t actually HAVE to use them. I asked Alex, and he said that most mages find it easier that way – you tie the spell to the muscle memory. Some mages learn to do it either way, but sometimes they get so dependent on doing it with the gestures that they literally can’t do it otherwise. It’s a mental block thing.

From: Jad Hoven

I read a webcomic called Dominic Deegan: Oracle For Hire. It features a diviner and a character named Luna. I was curious if you or Alex had ever read it, or met the author, or had any familiarity with it.

Never met the author, but someone told me about it a while ago, and I went and looked it up out of curiosity. It was okay, I guess. Not sure I liked the comic’s Luna all that much.

From: Steve

So when will Alex & Anne realize they’re falling in live?

If they didn’t both know that they were living, I’d be a bit worried.

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Hidden Release Day

hidden_front mech.inddHidden is out as of today!  Which means everyone finally gets to catch up to where the story of the Alex Verus series was as of, oh, about a year ago.  You can get it from Amazon here if you’re in the US and here if you’re in the UK.

Fated is also finally getting its UK audio release!  You can listen to a clip here.

It’s nice to see Hidden out at last – it had an unusually long road to publication, and the rewrites were a headache.  Still, they were most definitely worth it, and the book’s a far better one now than it was in its first draft.  I’m glad to see it finally released into the wild.

Now, back to the edits for Alex Verus #6 . . .

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Hidden Release Week

And it’s finally here!  Hidden will be out this coming Tuesday, September 2nd.  Here are the Amazon links for the UK release and for the US release.

Feels like a very long time ago now that I finished writing Hidden.  Right now I’m spending all my time on books #6 and #7, so the actual publication seems weirdly out of date.  I’ll link to reviews, etc when I have the time to collect them.

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Back To St. John’s

A nice piece from the website of my old Cambridge college: Magic and mystery awaits in Johnian fantasy author’s new novel.  (In case you’re wondering, yes, anyone who graduated from St. John’s College is a “Johnian”.)

Long time since I’ve been back to my university.  Brings back memories!

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Early Prep

While the countdown to Hidden ticks away (only a week and a half now) I’m spending nearly all my time thinking about Alex Verus #7.  For this book, I’m intending to go back to the model I used for Chosen – planning things out from the beginning (at least the first third or so).  For Alex Verus #6, I just made the whole thing up as I went along.  While it was kind of fun to do – it was pretty much the same way I wrote Fated and Cursed, which made it feel like a bit of a blast from the past – it was also really stressful.  I’d like to have a slightly more relaxed time of it this turn around.

Structurally, I think AV #7 will end up being most like Chosen, in that it’ll be a shake-up book that changes things.  Hidden and #6 have been a bit quieter in terms of major developments – while there’s been a lot going on, it hasn’t changed the landscape of the series in any obvious way.  I think I’ve done enough long-term preparation now that I can start messing with things.  Which should be fun!

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More Bits and Pieces

Some odds and ends for today:

  • Nine Worlds was fun!  Did a panel, signed quite a few books, had some entertaining conversations with readers, saw a couple of really cool cosplays, and got to practice my fencing.
  • Hidden’s release date is drawing closer – only two and a half weeks to go now until it comes out on 2nd September in the UK and US.  The author copies were delivered this week and now my room’s filled with UK (green) and US (red) Alex Verus books.
  • On Wednesday, Orbit (my UK publisher) held their 40th birthday party, which I was invited along to.  It coincided with Worldcon, meaning that loads of authors were in town who might otherwise not have been.  These conventions and parties are pretty much the only time I ever meet other people in my business – it’s nice to get to talk shop!
  • And finally, I’ve started at last to get some solid ideas for what I’m going to be doing for Alex Verus #7.  It’s still a long way off being started, but it’s a lot closer than it was a week ago and I’m looking forward to getting going on it.

Meanwhile there are the Alex Verus #6 edits, Hidden publicity thingies . . . business as usual, really.  Holiday month’s over, time to get back to work!

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Off at Nine Worlds

I’m off conventioneering; no post today.

In the absence of any other content, here’s the UK cover of Hidden.  I just like looking at it.  (And it’s even better in paper format.)


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Nine Worlds Friday 8th

I’m going to be at Nine Worlds next Friday, 8th August.

My schedule so far:

10:00 AM – 11.15 AM:  Urban Fantasy panel with Ed Cox, Laure Eve, and Paul Cornell.

11.15 AM – 12:00 ish?:  Signing at Forbidden Planet.  Not sure how long this one will last, but probably until noon or so.  Ed Cox will be there too.

After that I’ll probably be wandering around the convention poking at stuff.  Haven’t figured out where yet!

In the meantime, I’ve mostly been enjoying the hot weather.  July’s been my break month this year – now that August’s coming around, I’ve got the plans for Alex Verus #7 and the edits for #6 to do.  (I should probably think up a title for that one while I’m at it.)

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Hidden Chapter 1 Online

The first chapter of Hidden is posted!  You can read it here.  Full book will be published in the UK and US on September 2nd.

In other news:  I’m waiting on the edits for Alex Verus #6, planning my schedule for Nine Worlds, and starting to make the first tentative plans for Alex Verus #7.  Busy summer!

Edit: Link was broken; fixed now.

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