Sunday, November 17, 2013

Early Review: Wild Card by Jamie Wyman

Release Date: November 25, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Edge
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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.

I think Wild Card is a good start to (I'm assuming) a new urban fantasy series. I don't see any other books in the works, but that's never stopped an author before!

Cat is an extremely skilled computer tech who lost her soul to Eris in a game of poker.
The hows aren't explained till toward the end of the book, but it's not exactly what you think...
Since then, she's been the goddess of Discord's unpaid lackey. Thanks to being on call 24/7, she has no social life, no love life, and no money.
So when Eris announces that there may be a way for her to get her freedom, Cat jumps at the chance. Supposedly all she has to do is attend a party, but Cat's under no illusions that it will be that easy. When Eris insists that her obnoxious personal assistant Marius escort Cat to the gala, any leftover hope she had about a mundane evening flies right out the window. Cat's contempt for Marius is only rivaled by his disdain for her. Since they both work for Eris, they've had years to dig and poke at each others nerves. So at this point, they're both pretty raw.
Such a cute couple!

At the party, Cat finds out from Coyote that Eris has put her soul up as a bargaining chip in the mother of all poker games. It seems that all of the trickster gods across mythology like to get together once in a while and test each other out. The party is being held so the other gods can decide whether Cat is worth it.
Cat's job is to retrieve all of the chips from the other gods in order for Eris to free her.
Now here's where the story fell a bit short for me. 
And possibly this is because of my limited knowledge of poker, or gambling in general...
I didn't get why she had to run around trying to get all of the chips. Eris gave them the chips. They were supposed to give them to Cat if they found her an acceptable bargain. Just sit still and let them come to you, right? 
I also didn't understand why Cat thought Eris was going to free her. The instructions about getting all of the chips back didn't even make a whole lot of sense to start with, and the goddess lies for fun, so she had to know she was probably going to pull something at the last minute.

Other than the wonky plot holes, I really enjoyed the story. Marius and Cat were funny together, and after a while he grew on me. The author even managed to make him sexy, which is no small feat considering he's a satyr.
Still not too sure about the goat legs, though. *shudder*
It was interesting to read about some trickster gods that I hadn't heard of before, and I also liked the way the more familiar gods were painted in a different light. Loki is my new favorite!

If you're looking for a new urban fantasy that mixes things up with mythology, then this might be something you'll want to check out.


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