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Sleight of Hand: Bite Back Book 1 (Volume 1) (edition 2012)

by Mark Henwick

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36None311,154 (3.87)None
Member:dearheart
Title:Sleight of Hand: Bite Back Book 1 (Volume 1)
Authors:Mark Henwick
Info:Marque (2012), Paperback, 574 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Kindle

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Sleight of Hand by Mark Henwick

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Showing 5 of 5
I loved this book. What a great start to a series! Once I got into the book I couldn't put it down. The character development was very good and there was plenty of exciting action. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. ( )
  AnotherDarnReader | Apr 4, 2014 |
It's really hard for me to get invested in new urban fantasy books these days. They use the typical cliches that exist in the urban fantasy genre and it turns me off. Those cliches exist in this novel as well, but it's still strong and has great potential as a series.

Amber is a great heroine. She's strong, smart, kicks ass on a daily basis, but knows that she's not invincible and calls for backup. Even as a private investigator, she has strong ties to the police and the military she used to work for. In fact, I really enjoyed the relationships she had with law enforcement because it would have been expected of her to be a lone bad ass. I love her sarcastic quips, and I related to the way she handled things. She didn't cower or cry, and she rarely became a victim of self-pity. However, I couldn't connect with the military part of her.

The plot is well thought-out, but there were a lot of threads. There were so many aspects to focus on in Amber's life that it became slightly too complicated and it was hard to keep everything in mind, especially since there were so many links. While I enjoyed learning about Amber's relationship with her family and friends, there was sometimes a lot of information overload. Also, some of Amber's baggage (view spoiler) came out of left field and was really unnecessary. However, the writing is good and the action scenes were enjoyable.

This was a great start to the series and I'd be interested in reading more from Mark Henwick. ( )
  jadestar31 | Jan 12, 2014 |
~3.5.
Quite fun, with the added bonus of passages that are almost as entertaining as Shades of Grey to read out loud.
No, seriously, it's a solid indie read.
Review eventually.
Probably.
When I collect a selection of said passages and some statistics on the repetitions of the term "stroked."
And when I stop laughing.
And when I can settle down enough to write about the worldbuilding, action, and characters, which were really quite good. ( )
  page.fault | Sep 21, 2013 |
I rarely do this - but I am actually willing to compare this new author to my favorites. The team of Ilona Andrews and their "Kate Daniels" series and Patricia Briggs and her "Mercy Thompson" novels, as well as Faith Hunter's "Jane Yellowrock" are a hard act to follow. Intense storylines, fully developed realistic characters, exceptional world building, the list goes on and on. And, so far, the author of "Sleight of Hand" fits right in there with my favorites.

There are a lot of things to talk about, but first, a guilty admission. When I came across this book while looking at the "customers also bought" on my Kindle, I didn't look at who wrote it. I clicked on it, saw the premise and the five star reviews, wanted a new author to read and snapped it up. While I am incredibly glad I did, I have to admit I was absolutely shocked when I went to do my own review and saw that the author was actually a male. I know,I know, it is prejudiced, but after reading the book, I was embarrassingly shocked that I was dealing with a "Mark" who could write a female character so exceptionally well. I really believed that I was reading a woman author. Guess that shows me, huh? Yes, Gordon writes exceptionally well, but I always figured that Ilona wrote Kate and Gordon wrote Curran, right? Well, that shows ME!

Henwick has written an exceptional urban fantasy. I would call it Urban Fantasy rather than "paranormal" for a few different reasons. First and foremost, the action is set in modern-day Denver. This is not 'alternate' Denver, but rather, a Denver as I know it myself. The story encompasses 'paranormal' beings, but in a fresh new way that was both believable in a scientific manner and highly interesting. There is action, suspense, a very likeable main character going through an incredibly tough time, and some exceptional additional characters. There are a couple of love interests (and one of them wedgies the shorts of some readers, but that is their problem) but the book doesn't disintegrate into a 'wham-bam-thank-you-mame' as so many other fantasy books do. And come on, who falls in love and gets married in a week? Instead, Henwick focuses on the character development, the world building, the science and military/police procedure, all to the good of his story. Everything about the story is well developed and leaves plenty of room for exceptional follow-up novels. One of which I am very much hoping to read quite soon!

Amber is much more interesting than many (most?) of the other female characters out there today. Well, other than Kate, Mercy, and Jane, of course! She is ex-military and as such, is highly trained. However, she is also damaged, highly mature in some ways, immature in others. Strong enough to protect others, but in terrible pain herself. There isn't the kind of instant sex you find in many books, but she is going through a vital change, which causes her to suffer from a heart-rending difficulties, both emotionally and physically. The creature she is changing into is 'highly charged' - much more so than she is comfortable with. Dealing with these changes will be interesting to watch, given the whole dynamic of the community she is moving into. It will be fascinating to see her grow and mature, hopefully without her falling into the whole "Anita Blake" sleaze fest. I like very much that there is a mixed dynamic in her love interests, to be honest - it is more realistic within the context of this bright new world that Henwick is developing. I look forward to a brilliant future with Amber and her friends and enemies, and hope very much that I can continue to be so wonderfully positive about this series. ( )
  Leiahc | May 4, 2013 |
Book 1 in the Bite Back series was a nice surprise to me. Amber, a PI with both a black OPS background as well as a year in the Denver PD, had been bitten by a vampire--known in this series as Athanate and not at all like the Hollywood vampire--a couple of years ago. She's not feeling any urge to bite anyone's neck when suddenly she's thrust into the Athanate world and politics. It doesn't help that the military still has hooks in her and wants her to infiltrate the vampires.

The story definitely has a paranormal angle to it, but the fact that it exists is a bigger factor in the tale than relying on the supernatural to accomplish things. This is more of an action suspense novel with a great deal of investigation, street fighting, guns and military-type maneuvers while we slowly learn, via memory, Amber's past. And the story doesn't slow down much as Amber is dealing with a lot and constantly on the go.

Her biggest case in this story is finding out what's going on to undermine a business run by Jennifer Kingslund and there are plenty of twists with that story arc alone. Amber and Jennifer quickly become friends which at times can feel somewhat awkward. But it is important to the story.

And the name of the book, well now that comes from financial machinations uncovered during an investigation and we get the low down on exactly what that entails.

My only criticism is that while the plot and characters are well done, the author--a male--doesn't quite get female emotions, especially when it comes to relationships or sex. Most of that is hidden pretty well, though, with the how and why of the relationships.

On the whole, though, definitely a great start to a new series that can easily be enjoyed by both genders and thankfully the 2nd book is already out - so no waiting! ( )
  dearheart | Jan 15, 2013 |
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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 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...

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0957374615, Paperback)

"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... 

Reader feedback: "I couldn't put it down!" "This book was a blast!" "I can't wait until the next one!" "Loved it, loved it, loved it."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:49 -0400)

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