Saturday, April 13, 2013

Review: Sleight of Hand by Mark Henwick

Title: Sleight Of Hand
Author: Mark Henwick
Series: Book One in the Amber Farrell Series
Published By: Marque (August 1, 2012)
Source: Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 to 4 Stars!

Book Description:

“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 Adepts, 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…

My Thoughts and Review:

I saw a lot of mixed reviews before I started reading this one. I try not to look at too many reviews before starting a new author but I do like to glance at the ratings and skim through reviews just so I can get an idea of what to expect from the author's writing style (although, admittedly this does sometimes backfire on me if there are spoilers in the reviews). 

Even so, I still wasn't sure what I was going to get with this one and I am not ashamed to admit that for whatever reason I usually shy away from male authors in this genre. Mostly because I haven't had good experiences with them for one reason or another, having said that, I did go into this with a very neutral attitude.

It took me a little while to warm up to Amber, I won't lie but I did warm up to her. There was a lot of information about her slowly revealed throughout the story that was very interesting and made me like her more and more as the story progressed. 

Really there was a lot to take in, a lot of different things going on. A lot of information and tid bits here and there being revealed along the way. I started to wonder how it all was tied in together but it was and even though it sometimes felt I was getting more information than maybe I needed, that wasn't the case. The author did a very nice job on tying everything together and leaving lots of room for more books in the series in the process without leaving me with too many unanswered questions to drive me crazy once the story was done.

This was a long book but again, a lot of stuff was fleshed out and I really did get a good feel for the world that Henwick created. I got a great feel for Amber, her struggles, strengths and personality. 

I loved the paranormal aspect to this one with Athanats, weres and maybe a few other sups along the way. The mystery aspect was very well done, nothing too obvious so that I wasn't 50 pages in and knew who the culprits were already (which does sometimes happen). My only regret with this one was that the relationship that Amber started to have with a certain sup wasn't sooner in the story. That we didn't get more romance along the way. The slight love triangle at the end was sort of...well, it was a little weird to be honest and I am not sure what I thought about it. 

Other than that I really did enjoy this story and I would certainly pick up the next book in the series. 


  1. If you want a good male author in the UF try Kevin Hearne :)
    I am glad you took a chance and it worked out for you with this one. I am wondering about the weird love triangle at the end?

  2. I know, I know! I need to read that series..soon!

    I can't say about the love triangle, it would give too much away!

  3. Sounds like there was heavy world-building and that happens in a first book, I am glad you warmed up to Amber though.

  4. I'm seconding what Heidi said. LOVE Kevin Hearne! I love UF books but I just don't squeeze in enough of them!

  5. I'm thirding (lol) Heidi and Candace! Kevin Hearne rocks my book world. And Atticus is my true love.

    Anyway... this sounds like an interesting book. Glad you ended up liking it since it was so long.

  6. Sometimes, I love being confused and under total information overload IF it pays off in the end. And I totally agree with Heids, Atticus is a must-read.
    GReat review, my friend.

  7. This sounds pretty good overall! I can sometimes be guilty of shying away from male authors in this genre too, though I'm not entirely sure why. It's a shame about the love triangle at the end. Great review!

  8. This sounds like a promising series. Great review!

  9. I know the feeling. I approach authors that are new to me the same way. I tend to give them a shot with the first book, despite what people say. After all, everyone's opinion will vary anyway, right? Hehe. Have you ever read the Dresden Files though? It's an urban paranormal written by a man and i love it. Thought thinking about it, I don't know a lot of male authors that write Urban, so I can see why you would be wary.