ARC Book Review – Bluff by Michael Kardos

Author: Michael Kardos
Publish Date: April 3, 2018
# of Pages: 288
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Buy it*: Amazon


(From Goodreads) Michael Kardos brilliantly constructs his new novel Bluff as a magician would, delivering a perfectly calibrated performance of intrigue and, ultimately, astonishment.

At twenty-seven, magician Natalie Webb is already a has-been. A card-trick prodigy, she started touring at seventeen, took first place at the World of Magic competition at eighteen, and never reached such heights again. Shunned by the magic world after a disastrous liaison with an older magician, she now lives alone with her pigeons and a pile of overdue bills in a New Jersey apartment. In a desperate ploy to make extra cash, she follows up on an old offer to write a feature magazine article―on the art of cheating at cards. But when she meets the perfect subject for her article, what begins as a journalistic gamble brings into question everything Natalie thinks she knows about her talent, and herself. Natalie is dazzled by the poker cheat’s sleight of hand and soon finds herself facing a proposition that could radically alter her fortune―to help pull off a $1.5 million magic trick that, if done successfully, no one will ever even suspect happened. With Kardos raising the stakes chapter after chapter, Bluff is a breathtaking work of suspense from a writer at the top of his game.


Rating (1-10, 10 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 7
Pace – 9
Plot Development – 8
Ending – 9
Characters – 7
Enjoyability – 9
Ease of Reading – 9

Overall Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Bluff by Michael Kardos is a fast-paced adventure of magic, poker, and card cheats. Just when you think you know what’s going on, the novel turns you upside down again. Now you see it. Now you don’t.

Wow! What an awesome book! I was hooked by the description, and the book delivered on all of its promises of magic and intrigue. The book is simply written–all words have been chosen with care, and there are no fluffy filler words. The pace is swift. It starts out fast and ends at a gallop. This book is a real page-turner!

I loved the plot. Natalie Webb is a close-up magic prodigy and falls in with a card cheat. She is faced with a proposition that could greatly change her fortune–all she needs to do is cheat her to way to $1.5 million dollars using a deck of cards and sleight of hand. The stakes are high and tension mounts in every single chapter. Honestly, this book stressed me out. The author captures Natalie’s anxiety and stress so completely that I started feeling just as anxious and stressed out by the whole agreement. All of this build up made me turn the pages at lightning speed–I needed to know what happened!

The book did not end as I expected it to, which I liked. I really enjoyed the ending and couldn’t have chosen a better way for the story to close.

The characters in this book were engaging. They did not have a lot of depth, but I think it works for this book. You know what you need to know for each character and no more. Natalie’s character is brilliant–I loved her sass and her ability to think quickly on her feet.

Overall, this book was a lot of fun! This is a book you could easily read in a single sitting–the excitement of it will keep you glued to your seat.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.pro_reader_120


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