Sunday, 22 January 2012

CardSharp Blog Tour: Review of CardSharp by Paul Oliver Westmoreland

Hi!  This is CardSharp's first stop on the tour, so hi!  If you want more information on the tour, check out my post: here.  Also head over to Paul's site for awesome teasers and other things like that: POW Books.  And I'd like to that the wonderful organiser, Stormi @ Lightning Book Promotions.  Now, here's my review...

Series: Vincent War, Book One
Publisher: Self
Format: Paperback
Published: 12th December 2010
Number of Pages: Approx 176
Book: For Review*
Genre: Action-Adventure, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Realistic-Fiction, YA, YA-Adult Crossover, YA-Child Crossover
Recommended Age: 9+
Contains: Violence, Death
No Alcohol, Drug References
Available On: Amazon and Lulu
Author's Blog: POW Books

Burning houses.  Daring robbers.  Motorway chases.  Exploding boats.  Flying daggers.  Brutal policemen.  Ruthless pirates.  Beautiful women.  Deadly bullets.  Racing hearts.  Internataional Criminals.  Narrow escapes.  Tricks, stings and elextrocutions.  And a priceless painting by one of the world’s most notorious masters.
Welcome to the adventures of Vincent Ward, where getting through each day alive just isn’t enough.

Guns, car races, criminal masterminds, daring escapes, ruthless pirates, a pretty woman and one man caught up in the middle of it all: Vincent Ward.
Paintings, the treasures of the world: Vincent Ward sees the beauty in them, as did his parents.   The thieves who stole their paintings, burnt their house down and killed them only saw the money in the artwork.  Vincent was six when it happened – too young to do anything to stop them.  Now, though, with a priceless painting in danger and a master thief on the loose, Vincent finds himself in more danger than he’s ever been in before, in a race to protect what he loves most: art.
I wasn’t expecting to like Cardsharp so much – I’ve never really been one who loves James Bond and such, but I found myself really enjoying this as I read – the non-stop action, the history facts, the car chases…  I was on the edge of my seat all the way through, excited to know where the story would go.  I loved Cardsharp and Vincent Ward!
Vincent Ward was real cool, a real hero!  He was brave, fast-thinking, smart, observational, kind, sneaky and just brilliant!  Plus, sort of a lunatic: I mean, who runs after armed thieves when your hands are tied (as in, actually tied together)?  He was completely committed to art: he’d die for it, and when a painting was at stake he was as stubborn as a mule.  I mean, he was as enthusiastic about art as I am about books – which is saying something!
Jennifer Rorstand, sometimes known as Porcelain Woman, was beautiful, studious, intelligent, brave and tough.  I liked that she saved Vincent, so the heroism wasn’t just one sided.  She was a kick-butt porcelain specialist!
Now…  Who is this mysterious yellow-and-black-striped-tie man?  He’s tried to kill Vincent, he’s always hovering…  Hmm…  ‘He’ was the perfect villain: Ruthless, dangerous, heartless and merciless…
The artist this story revolved around was Caravaggio, one of the most famous painters of his generation, before “his spectacular fall from grace”.  I loved getting to learn more about him and his oh-so colourful history, especially as I know next to nothing about art!
The action in Cardsharp was non-stop from the word go.  Literally.  It was awesome- like an action movie with shoot outs, brutal policemen, robberies, car chases… literally everything you need to stay hooked to the book!  There were next-to-no breaks, constant twists, danger and action always lurking round the corner.  Loved it!
The writing was brilliant: somehow the author managed to get in loads of art history without it being boring!  The suspense was non-stop – I was always on the edge of my seat. I just loved the voice – it was really Vincent.  The suspense got stronger and stronger, the twists came thick and fast and the villains were pure evil.  I loved every new development, every new obstacle.  Overall: The writing was awesome!  Like a movie in my head (would make such a good movie, btw).
The weakness?  I didn’t feel I really got to know Vincent as much as I would have liked – we don’t know why he’s or his parents) were so obsessed with art, how Vincent feels about his parents’ deaths.  I hope in the next book his character is expanded slightly.
Robberies, villains, priceless paintings and shootouts, Cardsharp was a book that surprised me, had me hooked from start to finish.  I loved getting into Vincent’s head, and can’t wait for the next book in the series.  

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
Cherub by Robert Muchamore
James Bond by Ian Fleming
Jimmy Coates by Joe Craig

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading
* This book was received from Author in exchange for an honest review


Beth said...

BRILLIANT REVIEW!!! This book looks really good! I have just this blog, its is SO SO SO awesome! I am now a follower :-)

Here's my book blog, Page-turner! :

Stormi said...

Megan, thanks for being a part of this tour! That was a great review!