Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review - Sleight of Hand by Mark Henwick

"Vampires are the flickering illusions of Hollywood. They don't exist. We do. We are the Athanate."

For Amber Farrell, post-military life as a PI has its ups and downs: She's been hit by a truck. She's being sued by a client. Denver's newest drug lord just put out a contract on her. The sinister Athanate want her to come in for a friendly chat. And it's only Tuesday.

Enter Jennifer Kingslund: rich, gorgeous--a tough businesswoman who's known for getting what she wants in the boardroom and the bedroom. Someone's trying to sabotage her new resort and destroy her company--and she wants Amber to find out who.

The answers lead Amber past Were and Adept, right back to the Athanate--and a centuries-old war that could threaten not just Denver, but the nation that Amber swore to protect and serve.

And all sides want to claim her for their own...

Review by: Scott

4 stars

Sleight of Hand by Mark Henwick has a lot of great things going for it.  It's got a solid heroine and a lot of unique twists to it.  Amber Farrell is ex-military, kind of, she has also been bitten by a vampire and has not turned yet.  She gets some pretty awesome physical benefits from her condition including a fantastic healing rate.

Another thing that makes this book a stand out is how it deals with some common paranormal elements.  The mythos around vampires and werewolves is completely changed and that keeps you wanting to turn the pages.  There are some interesting characters on each side and as Amber learns more about herself and her condition the world that is revealed pulls the reader in completely.

The only downside I found in the book was the relationships being set up.  Amber finds herself attracted to a woman, which is a first for her, while also being attracted to a man.  She spends a lot more time with the woman through the book, but the man has certain aspects that make him extremely appealing to her as well.  I feel that the additional layer that this added to the story wasn't necessary at all and worry that it could severely detract from what made the first book great in the second.  This does come from someone who really does not enjoy books that have a lot of relationship drama or overly romanticized plots.

This book definitely had me interested enough to check out the follow up.  I have already downloaded a novella that is available featuring the characters and it only took me to about halfway through the book to start looking to see if the second book was available yet.  This is for sure a book that is worth checking out for anyone who is a fan of the urban fantasy genre.

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