Review: Wild Card by Jamie Wyman

November 28, 2013 Review 0

Review: Wild Card by Jamie WymanWild Card by Jamie Wyman
Published by Entangled Edge on November 25, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Pages: 280
Source: Publisher
Sexual Content: Kissing, references to sex, a non-explicit sexual assault.
Reviewed by: Julia
3 Stars

It was bad enough that gods gambled with human souls, but Catherine Sharp’s soul just had to be won by the Greek goddess of Discord, Eris. As if working a dead-end tech support job didn’t suck the life out of her as it was. Now, Cat finds herself performing random tasks for the goddess in her free time.

But when Coyote, the Native American trickster himself, claims to have won her own soul in Mayhem’s weekly poker game, Cat wants in on the action. With five sneaky gods upping the ante, Cat needs to find a way to collect the winning chips that could save her soul.
Marius, a handsome yet irritating satyr with his own debt to Eris, might finally come in handy for something. If they play their cards right and work together, Cat and Marius may just get their freedom back. If they don’t kill each other—or fall in love—first.

WILD CARD makes perfect use of Las Vegas, turning the lights and the glamor of the Strip into a backdrop for battling gods, deadly monsters, and the battered and broken bit players just trying to break even. Both Cat and Marius have quite a bit of baggage, and knowing who you can trust in the city of sin is even more difficult with immortal agendas muddying the waters.

Both the strength and weakness of WILD CARD is how many unanticipated twists move the story. Some work beautifully, adding extra momentum and adrenaline to an already breakneck pace. Others feel unfinished, and their rough edges snagged the story and slowed things down. Perhaps the worst example of this is the mechanism of the poker chips. Lies and hazy rules swirl around them, making it hard to understand where Cat will find them, what they represent, or why powerful beings keep handing them over. This mechanic spans the whole book, so the entire flashy and fun adventure is built on a weak and wobbly foundation.

But make no mistake, WILD CARD is an entertaining way to fill an afternoon.  Cat's genuine interest in problem solving dovetails beautifully with the story, and helped me remain interested despite the elements that didn't work as well. Perhaps like any Las Vegas tall tale, WILD CARD is an adventure best enjoyed without too much scrutiny.

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