By Richard Lee Byers
Night Shade Books, $14.99, 265 pages
In Blind God’s Bluff, small-time gambler Billy Fox has gotten in over his head. While attempting to elude his debtors, he stumbles upon a blind man under attack by bloodthirsty fairies. Hoping to escape his own trouble, Billy agrees to play as the man’s proxy in a magical game of poker. Entering a world of wonder and danger, Billy’s opponents include a mechanical man, a succubus, and an Egyptian mummy. Each of them has its own tricks and will stop at nothing to win. The chips are down, the stakes are high, and it’s time to find out just how well Billy Fox can play.
Blind God’s Bluff is an enjoyable romp with a colorful and diverse cast of fantasy creatures. Never the most powerful character in the room, Billy has to rely on his own wit and trickery to persevere. Poker is at the heart of the story and the author brings a detailed knowledge of the game to the book. That same detail can bog things down in lingo and strategy the reader can’t follow, but those moments are quick in passing, and the adventure ultimately shines through in this fast-paced sci-fi offering.
Reviewed by Meg Gibbs