Sometimes you need a Wilde Card to win the game
Wilde Card: Immortal Vegas Book 2
by Jenn Starke
Pub Date: November 17, 2015
All that glitters may not be gold. When an antique gold show comes to Vegas, artifact-hunter Sara Wilde's job is simple: to locate and liberate a set of relics rumored to give their bearers access to an ancient, incredible power. Yet within the Connected community, whispers of a war against magic draw every psychic, mystic, warlock, and witch to Sin City. The most powerful Connected also covet the infamous relics, but no one wants them more than Sara's client—the insufferably arrogant, criminally sensual, and endlessly evasive Magician. And what the Magician wants... Sara's heist takes a turn for the trickier as the smoky-eyed specter from her past, Detective Brody Rooks, is assigned to investigate a break-in at the gold show, forcing her to confront the one man in Vegas she can't bluff. Even worse, just as she finally gets her hands on the goods, the game changes anew. The resulting chase leads her across the world to an ancient Egyptian temple filled with secrets, deception... and hints about her own abilities that could change everything. Desperate for answers, Sara is forced to turn to the one person she knows will manipulate, obfuscate and beguile to get whatever he craves. Only now, it seems, the Magician wants her. Sometimes, when the deck is stacked against you… you've got to play the Wilde Card.
When I first read Getting Wilde, I thought 'Jenn Stark is a remarkable writer'. After finishing Wilde Card, I am more than convinced that this up and comer is as capable as the big names in urban fantasy.
Tarot lies at the heart of Jenn Stark's immortal word. When the powerful join the council, they assume the identity of the Major Arcana symbol most closely connected to their characteristics and abilities. They are both individuals and archetypes. Not all of the Connected, those with magical abilities, are aware of the council and its members. Sara Wilde is literally a wild card. Utilizing her skill with the tarot and her psychic talent, Sara's abilities as a finder of magical relics and individuals is unsurpassed. The money she earns as a contractor goes to protecting Connected children who are in danger, both from black magicians who use them for body parts and from Sanctum, an extremist segment of the Vatican.
In Wilde Card, the second Immortal Vegas novel, Sara is faced with a unique challenge. Vegas is hosting a gold show, but amongst the many artefacts are a few very special and very powerful items – scroll cases that endow the reader with the ability to understand the language of the gods. These are desired by many with ill intentions. At the same time, more and more of the Connected are being drawn to Vegas, providing Sanctum with a tempting target.
Wilde Card draws the reader deeper into Sara's world, slowly revealing some of the many layers of secrets. There is some sexual tension that plays an important role in the plot, but this isn't a romance novel. Sara is a strong woman in her own right, driven by her own agenda. Like many heroines of urban fantasy, she doesn't fully know or understand her abilities. Unlike many heroines, she doesn't act blindly or without planning. Jenn Stark does a great job of making her world real and the characters believable.
Wilde Card is a thrilling urban fantasy novel, and a terrific follow up to Getting Wilde. Jenn Stark is definitely an author to watch. I look forward to the next book in her Immortal Vegas series.
I received a copy of Wilde Card from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Wilde Card will be released November 17, 2015.