Last night I finished reading Joker's Wild, the third installment in the Wildcards series.
Joker's Wild reads a bit differently than the first two books of the series, in that instead of a collection of related short stories, this book reads like a regular novel. At the end of the book they have credits stating who wrote and invented what character, and each chapter is divided up into sections, so I'm guessing that each author wrote a "section" pertaining to one of their characters. It may be my untrained eye, or the fact that I was so into the subject matter, but I had a hard time telling the authors apart in this book. As I said, it read like a novel, but it was also quite a page turner, so I was swept up in the story most of the time, and perhaps not paying enough attention to the techniques of each particular section.
The plot centers around the Wild Card Day celebrations in New York City in 1986. I can't really get much deeper into it than that, because I don't want to add spoilers, but I really enjoyed the story. It spans a little more than 24 hours, but there is a ton of action and intrugue in that twenty-four hour span. As I said, I found myself swept up in the story many times, and can't really think of a part that I didn't enjoy.
All of the best known aces appear in this book, but we learn more about some of the jokers as well. I found myself watching the line between joker and ace blur in this book; for example, the character of Spector (aka Demise) is a big part of this book, but at times I could see how his power would be considered an ace power, but to others it would definately be seen as a joker. A deadly one, but still unwanted. Incedentally, I really like the character of Spector. He's very interesting and well written.
At times I found the focus on sex a bit much. Yes, I understand that Fortunato's tantric power relies on sexual energy, but we also have sexual murderers, sexual ice sculptures, old aces wanting to have sex with young aces, etc. I'm not a prude, but it was a bit much at times.
Other than that, this was a very satisfying addition to the Wildcards series. Now if I can just get my hands on the next book....