Review: Bluff

Bluff by Michael Kardos
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blurb 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. 


I had read some of the previous reviews for this and felt this would be a great one to read. Rather I think I had my expectations high? I felt the story was pretty monotonous, like there's nothing much happening around. A main character who is a magician and has hard time being one to earn her bread and her struggle to something is all in the story. It felt totally one track thing to me. There were a few characters which were like left alone. Many characters were just there to have a dialogue or two nothing max. I felt there was a lot of scope where the author could've played more with the plot. Most characters were just underdeveloped or unused.

Since I do spoiler free reviews, I won't reveal which ones but pretty much story has only two characters used at most. There was a ton of backstory and reasoning for the ones who like to know more about the characters. I liked the fact there was a lot of explanation going on which can be good for a non poker person like me, but at the same time story lacked the spark. During the whole read I was waiting for something to happen, and at the climax I would give credit to that one single twist that made it a little enjoyable but when I see it as a book together, it felt a bit washed out.

I liked the writing style and the narration part though, the editing and formatting was done well( I read the ebook review copy). Although I said a lot of not-so-good things about it, the story was quite readable and nice. It's for someone who had a stressed day and needs a good book to read them to sleep. Not much of brain stressing twisters or story happening around.

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