Finishing Up

My Reddit AMA is almost done.  I’ll be around for another couple of hours, then I’ll answer any last questions and call it.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by, it was a lot of fun!

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AMA is live!

My Reddit AMA is active.  I’ll be answering questions for the next 24 hours.  Come drop by!

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AMA Tomorrow

My Reddit AMA’s 24 hours from now, at noon GMT.  It’ll run for another 24 hours before I wrap things up.  Come drop by if there’s anything you want to ask!

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Release Notes & Upcoming AMA

The big news for this week is obviously Fallen being released yesterday, but here are some other bits and pieces.  

Fallen’s been getting a very positive reception – both the number of good reviews and the number of nice emails I’ve received have been higher than any previous book in the series (actually, much higher).  So thank you for those!  I’ve got a bit of an email backlog as a result, but I’ll try to respond when I can.  

Usually by the time a new book comes out, I’m busy finishing the old one, and that’s the case this time as well.  Alex Verus #11 (no title yet) is around 80% done, and I’ve just gotten into the final chapters.  It should be finished in another month and a half or so.  

For those of you who’ve finished Fallen and want to ask me some questions about it, I’ll be doing a Reddit Ask Me Anything next week, on r/fantasy.  AMAs are exactly what they sound like – you can ask me anything about the current book, the Alex Verus series as a whole, or whatever takes your fancy.  I’ll be starting the AMA on October 17th at 12 noon GMT, and I’ll finish at around October 18th at the same time.  That gives a 24 hour window to get your questions in.  If you want to read my previous Reddit AMAs, here are the ones I did in 2016, 2017, and 2018.  

And that’s about it.  See you next week!

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Fallen UK Release!

And it’s finally here!  Fallen’s released in the UK and the rest of the world as of today, and now everyone outside the US and Canada can read it as well.  

I’ve written enough about the book at this point, so I’ll leave it at that.  The book’s available in ebook, paperback, and audio formats as usual.  Hope you enjoy it, and I’ll write more tomorrow!

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Fallen UK Release Week

Well, after what probably seems like a very long time to those of my readers based in the UK, Fallen is finally almost here!  The book will be released in the UK and worldwide this coming Thursday, on October 10th.  

As usual, the book will be released in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats.  

It probably doesn’t need repeating, but as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, while I personally think Fallen might be the best of the Alex Verus novels so far, it’s the absolute worst place to start reading the series.  The events of Fallen build on everything that’s come before, but especially on books #8 and #9, so if you haven’t read those, you’re going to miss a lot of the buildup to what’s going on.  Consider yourself warned!

Once the book has been out for a week, I’ll be doing an Ask Me Anything for 24 hours on Reddit, so if there any questions or comments you’d like to put to me, you can do so there.  

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Between Releases

Fallen is out in the US but not yet out in the UK, meaning that this two-week period is an odd sort of limbo where all of my US readers have been able to read the book but my UK readers haven’t.  So here are various bits and pieces in the meantime.  

Fallen’s had time to start getting reviews now, and they’re extremely positive on average.  Looking at the receptions of my past books, I’ve started recently to work out some theories about what my readers tend to prefer, and so far, Fallen’s reaction seems to be confirming them.  Here’s a selection of some of the earliest reviews:  Geeks of Doom, I Smell Sheep, and PrimmLife.  (Note:  don’t read these if you haven’t yet read the book!)

I occasionally get people asking if this site is going to have any online forums or similar.  The answer’s no (I do all the website admin myself, and managing a forum is way too big a time sink) but if you’re looking for an online discussion community, probably the best one is the Alex Verus sub on Reddit.  It’s still small, but it’s growing.

And on the topic of Reddit, my AMA is coming up one week after the UK release date, on October 17th.  If you want to ask me any questions about Fallen or anything else, come along and say hi!

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Fallen US Release Day!

Well, after what feels like a very long wait, it’s finally here!  The tenth Alex Verus novel, Fallen, is out in the US as of today! 

The book will be in ebook and mass market paperback versions, as usual.  The audio version should be released today as well, though if you’re not making the purchase from the US & Canada, it probably won’t be available until the UK and worldwide release on October 10th.  

I won’t link to reviews for a while yet, at least not until after the UK release – a lot happens in this book and it’d be very easy to give away spoilers.  Hope you have as much fun reading this one as I did writing it!

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Fallen US Release Week

It’s been a long wait, but at last, we’re nearly there!  The tenth Alex Verus novel, Fallen, comes out this week in the US & Canada on Tuesday 24th September.  

As usual, the book will be released in the US in mass market paperbook, ebook, and audio formats (you can see them on Amazon here.)  Gildart Jackson will be returning as narrator for the audiobook.  

UK readers will have to wait for the UK release on October 10th.  Once that’s done, I’ll be doing a Reddit AMA on October 17th.  In the meantime, if you can’t wait, or want a sample, you can read Chapters 1 & 2 of Fallen here.  

One bit of advance warning that I should probably share – Fallen is very much a series book rather than a standalone.  I always try to put enough recaps in my books so that they’re not totally incomprehensible to new readers, but Fallen follows on very closely from book #9, Marked, and while you don’t have to have read Marked to understand what’s going on, this is the absolute worst book to be starting the series with.  This is going to be the pattern from now on – the last two books in the Alex Verus series, numbers 11 and 12, will follow on very closely from Fallen, and if you read books #7-#9 but skip Fallen, you are going to be REALLY confused at how the hell Alex ends up where he is at the beginning of book #11.

The positive side to this is that it allows me to tell a much more involved story.  With Fallen, we’re getting into the ‘endgame’ of the Alex Verus series.  Fallen wraps up the storylines of three minor series characters, and book #11 will wrap up a lot more.  If you’ve been enjoying the series this far, I think you’ll like it!

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Ask Luna #144

From: Sheryl Mason

Maybe this has been asked but I’m curious.

Richard’s blood sacrifice and move to another world has to have some significance on his magic. I’m just trying to figure out what that change might be.

We’ll probably never know the details, but given recent developments, he apparently spent at least some of that time getting really knowledgeable about jinn.

From: Lucas

1. Alex mentioned that the black threads Richard used in the Vault had counter magic that could get through an elemental mage shield depending on its frequency. Is this limited to only that or can other elemental mages do the same thing?

2. Have you heard of mind or charm magic being paired with space, time, chance, divination, or other universal magic for a hybrid? I heard some of the Senior/Junior Council were one of them but I don’t know what it could be.

3. Do you know if dreamstones can work on or against one another? I remember Arachne saying that the dreamstones you guy found in the Shadow Realm could both be used for compulsion but the one Alex chose could also form connections with others. Do you think he could use it against Richard’s, it could be the edge Alex needs against him.

1. ‘Frequency’ isn’t exactly the right word, but yeah, it’s a technique you learn about in duelling. It’s not very common because it requires a ton of precision. Most mages find it’s easier to just smash through a shield than find exactly the right type of countermagic to go through it, so it’s generally only used by mages with a lot more skill than power.

2. I’ve heard of mind/time hybrids and charm/chance ones, I think.

3. I don’t know if they work on one another exactly, but it turns out they’re pretty good counter tools, yes.

From: Thomas

Is Rachel officially Richard’s Chosen? This might not turn out to be anything but I remember Richard telling Alex he wasn’t his Chosen at the beginning of Bound, but the way he said it made me wonder if the position still wasn’t filled and that the contest over it was never finished. Think of what has happened over the last ten years while he was gone.

1. Deleo spent her time watching over Richard’s mansion and doing little else, while Alex was forging his own path as a mage, getting his own shop, allies an apprentice and honing his skills. And during his dealings with Rachel, Alex has always come out ahead.

2. During the business with the fateweaver Rachel lost in combat to Onyx, while Alex defeated him and also overcame Abithriax.

3. When Rachel and Alex were captured by Belthas, Alex broke free, rescued Rachel and ended up causing Belthas’s demise.

4. When the Nightstalkers attacked Alex he turned it to his advantage and used Rachel to take most of them out.

5. And ever since Richard returned, Rachel has followed him unquestionably and has been demoted and sidelined. Alex on the other hand has not, even when he was forced to work for Richard, he eventually broke out of it and has since become a Junior Council Member with enough power that most of the mages in Great Britain fear/respect/are aware of him, something I don’t think Rachel can come close to claiming.

Again this could just be me overthinking this, titles seem to matter little to Dark Mages, but if I had to choose a Chosen who would follow in my footsteps and was strong enough to do I would pick Alex. Perhaps that is another reason why Richard wants Alex on his side so badly, if he wants to leave a legacy and Rachel was the only alternative, no wonder he seems to overlook Alex’s actions that are against him.

What are your thoughts on all of this?

I still don’t know exactly what Richard’s attitude towards Alex is, but I’m pretty sure he’s disappointed in Deleo, since whatever it was he was hoping she’d grow into, she apparently hasn’t done it. God knows why he thought she would, but whatever the test was, she seems to have failed.

I’m not sure that has anything to do with the contest for Chosen, though. I’d always assumed that Rachel won, and now Richard’s not happy about how it turned out. Hadn’t considered the possibility that he might not have seen it as having ended, that’s a weird one. Though I suppose it’s not as if he ever made an announcement . . .

From: Phillip

Why the heck did Richard make Rachel use the crystal to steal her friend’s powers, knowing it would drive Rachel insane (we have evidence he’s seen reports of the effects of this magic on past users)? I mean, who wants an INSANE chosen?! It seems self-defeating! Is this just a weird experiment he did on Rachel, and he used the promise of a “chosen” to manipulate someone into doing it to see what would happen for himself? Might this point to some plan he has to increase his own powers/steal someone else’s power?

I don’t know, some of Richard and Morden’s process in developing a “chosen” seem to be silly to me. Is there a stage we haven’t seen where these powerful bullies get smart or die, and only the bullies who smarten up last?

So based on some recent developments, I think your middle guess is the right one. Deleo being insane isn’t some master plan of Richard’s where he’s playing some elaborate chess game years in advance and having a crazy super-powerful water mage is Step 11 or whatever. He just wanted a super-powerful and super-loyal Chosen, and the process had some issues. Deleo isn’t that way because Richard wanted her to be, she’s a (mostly) failed experiment.

And yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what happens with Dark mages. The powerful bully types cause a lot of trouble for a few years, then they piss off the wrong person and they die. The ones who last are the ones like Richard and Morden and Chalice.

From: Kurt Von Bosse

Hi Luna, just a few quick questions today. The first ones are about Dreamstones.

Is it your’s and Alex’s understanding that Richard used his dreamstone to compel the jinn to offer a deal; a partnership of sorts, with Anne? Now that I think about it, not with Anne, but with Anne’s hidden alter-ego, or maybe alter-id is a better description.

Has Alex tested his dreamstone under different conditions to find its limits? For example, has he asked you, Anne or Vari go to the Hollow and try to contact you there or vice versa? Alex went to the shadowrealm and tried to contact you in London?

Has Alex tried to contact Starbreeze with his dreamstone?

My last questions aren’t about dreamstones, it’s about mage ranking. Technically, you could be described as a journeyman mage, even though you don’t work directly with the Light Council. Caldera is a journeyman mage, and her former partner; I can’t remember his name at the moment, told Alex that Caldera is stuck at her current level because she doesn’t know how to play the political game (of sucking up to higher ups in one the factions within the Council.) I could be wrong, but it seemed that getting promoted means more than getting a new job title. What I’m trying to ask is what is the next level beyond journeyman? If, in a more just world Caldera was promoted to Rain’s position; assuming the position became open, aside from being being called Captain Caldera, is there a mage ranking she would be called, or would she just be referred to as a full mage?

Finally, there have been a few times when Alex has used the term master mage when referring to a mage with great ability in a given area. Is that just an honorific, acknowledging someone’s experience and abilities but not a title, or is it an actual title that is earned through experience or tests?

‘Quick’?

Richard understands jinn a lot better than we do, and he can do things with his dreamstone that tie into that. Somehow he can exercise a lot of control/influence over Anne’s jinn. I don’t think it’s complete control, though: the jinn can make separate deals with Anne, and I don’t think Richard gets a say in that.

Yes, Alex has done some testing of his dreamstone’s limits, and what it can do. More on that soon.

‘Journeyman mage’ just means ‘mage’. As in, you’re not an apprentice any more. Within the Keepers, it’s also a rank, but it’s a rank because mages use it to mean an ordinary mage, if you see what I mean. I think the next Keeper rank after journeyman is lieutenant or something, but that’s only if you’re a Keeper.

There’s no test for master rank, probably because most mages who are that high ranked have way too big an ego to follow the rules of anyone else’s test. It’s mostly to do with respect.

From: Bob O`Bob

Now that Alex has the Dreamstone, has he considered whether it might help him contact Starbreeze?

Turns out he has.

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