Home > Literature, Reviews > Review of Dealer’s Choice edited by George R R Martin

Review of Dealer’s Choice edited by George R R Martin

Dealer's ChoiceEven from the opening page I could sense that this book (the eleventh Wild Cards instalment) would be a return to form for GRRM’s superheros and mutants shared-world saga. The writing had a sparkle to it, and the narrative was a much more effective multiple viewpoint, third person limited mosaic novel. And Martin was a contributing author for this volume.

Which is just as well, as an important part of the plot concerns his creation, Tom Tudbury, the Great and Powerful Turtle – one of the best Wild Cards characters. Also along for the ride are Bloat and the denizens of the Rox, Billy Ray (Carnifex), Australian shaman Wyungare, and another old favourite, Modular Man.

As the book opens, the Turtle has recently seen Dr Tachyon, Jay Ackroyd and Mark Meadows off on their journey to Takis – a story which is told in book ten, Double Solitaire and takes place over a good few months. By contrast, Dealer’s Choice covers a period of about three days (or less). The military is intent on dealing once and for all with the joker and jumper base on Ellis Island; meanwhile, Bloat, governor of said base, is equally determined to fend off anything the government can throw at them. Dealer’s Choice is the story of that fight.

It’s pretty intense, with the story darting back and forth between the sides, each having a moral imperative to win, while the individuals waging the war struggle with their consciences and come to desperate conclusions. There are two or three incipient romances in amongst all the fighting, and the climactic scenes provide heart-rending experiences all round. And, unlike, say, the conflict with the Swarm earlier in the series, there is no obvious division between a good side and a bad side – which raises the tension still further as this four-book sequence within the the Wild Cards series draws to a close.

This was by far the best of the Wild Cards books I’ve read recently. However, after reading four in a row, I’m going to take a break before I move on to volume twelve.

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Categories: Literature, Reviews
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