My First Wild Card Novel

Mississippi Roll was my intro into the Wild Card Universe. In all honesty, I was expecting a pocker-game-gone-wrong-in-the-wild-wild-west kind of novel. Boy was I in for a surprise! Mississippi Roll is not the kind of novel I usually read. I flee from the science fiction side of the fantasy genre and prefer elves, dragons, and far off kingdoms. But I persisted and I’m glad I did.


Initial insights


George R. R. Martin assembled a gifted group of writers who chronicle the Natchez’s final voyage on the Mississippi River. Mississippi Roll has something for everyone. From an old-school haunted ship story to a rescue mission, showbiz, and a who-done-it crime. Each story had a unique voice that added to a greater story.


A Captivating Mystery


I thoroughly enjoyed Death on the Water by Cherie Priest. One of the staff members on the boat Natchez is murdered and it’s up to Leo Storgman, an insurance investigator, to find the truth. I really liked Priest’s humor and storytelling. Usually, I’d try to figure out what happens next but I was so enthralled that I didn’t even think about it. I simply relished in following Priest’s trail to the final reveal. A Big Break in the Small Time by Carrie Vaughn, was another favorite of mine.


Not What I was Expecting

I was unprepared for the lengthy “chapters”. I wasn’t expecting a collection of short stories, so it took a while to adjust to the length of each story. I couldn’t follow Wingless Angel by John Jos. Miller. I attribute most of this to the fact that I didn’t understand the world and as a result, felt lost. I didn’t really care for In the Shadow of Tall Stacks either. Those chapters just felt really long. I only realized what the Wild Card universe is about in chapter three and struggled to remember the difference between jokers and aces through much of the book.


Final thoughts


I was pleasantly surprised by Mississippi Roll and I would probably read future books in the Wild Card series. I’ll give it 4 out of 5 stars. I’d like to thank MacMillian Tor Publishing and NetGalley for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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