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Vegas Knights (Angry Robot) Mass Market Paperback – March 29, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Vegas Knights is a smart, slick, noir fantasy. If Elmore Leonard had written Harry Potter for grown-ups, it would read something like this." - William King

"Matt Forbeck's work is unfailingly well-plotted, tightly paced, and imaginatively realized. He juggles humor and pathos with a deftness that defies literary gravity. I'm a huge fan." - John Kovalic

Praise for Amortals:
"Amortals (to paraphrase another sci-fi writer who, in my opinion, has nothing on Matt Forbeck) blew down the walls of my imagination. It then stepped over the smoking rubble, seized me by the throat and kicked my ass. Was this your first novel, you bastard? Holy crap!"- Billy Campbell, star of The 4400

"It kicks like a mule & whispers sweet nothings in your ear like Mike Tyson in a boxing match." - Ben Templesmith

"an action-packed thrill-ride with the occasional sucker punch to the brain you won't see coming." - Monte Cook

"Vegas Knights had me racing through it's pages, something a book hasn't done to me in quite awhile." - www.livingsocial.com

"...my expectations were not only met, but also exceeded." - The Eloquent Page

"Vegas Knights is quickly paced, and well-written in quite a breezy style with a very natural flow to Forbeck’s prose that pulls the reader along." - Civilian Reader

"You’ll find that you can get through this book pretty quickly, mainly because you simply won’t be able to put it down, there are a lot of fantastic scenes in this, and did I mention that there’s also zombies? " - The Founding Fields

"The action sequences in Vegas Knights put to shame even the highest-budgeted action movies.  Where directors need millions of dollars in special effects and stunts, Forbeck uses language to much greater effect. " - The Ranting Dragon

"Overall this is a fresh and suspenseful Urban Fantasy novel.  It is great entertainment, and if you have a taste for fantasy in a contemporary setting this is definitely worth checking out." - Wierdmage's Reviews

"It's fantastic entertainment and I loved every minute of it, Viva Las Vegas (Knights)!"
- SF Book Reviews

"Vegas Knights is one of the best Urban Fantasy books I've read in a long time; it's cleverly written, fast paced and wonderfully fresh."

"I started this book and realized right away that I was in for a great (and fast) ride."

About the Author

Matt Forbeck has worked full-time on fiction and games since 1989.

He is a popular and prolific writer of fiction books, short stories, non-fiction (including the acclained Marvel Comics Encyclopedia), magazine articles and computer game scripts. He has designed roleplaying games, miniatures and board games. He's currently working on a film script and a novelisation of the online game Guild Wars.

His work has been published in at least a dozen different languages.

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Product Details

  • Series: Angry Robot
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857660853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857660855
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,183,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As with all of Mr. Forbeck's books, Vegas Knights is tightly plotted with plenty of plot twists and surprises. And as always, he's created a complete new world that's believable and entertaining. The characters are well developed and engaging and you come to care about what happens to them - there are quite a few situations where something is going wrong and you find yourself toting for the characters and thinking of ways for them to get out the situation! The setting and background of the world is provided within the narrative (not as separate explication) so it helps to move the story along. This book is great fun and highly recommended: if you like action, poker, and magic, don't miss this one!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although I had a number of issues with this book, the premise was irresistible. I like the fact that the protagonists are college students--very few writers seem to tap into that stage of life. On the downside, I thought the overall execution of the story was too cozy. Some may not mind that, but except for an occasional hell or damn, there is no profanity in the book--highly unrealistic when you consider that it's Vegas and a number of characters are mob goons and hit men. Another issue is that the protagonists are eighteen or nineteen, in Las Vegas on their own, and neither of them has a single thought about sex, just an occasional kiss or two. They don't shy away from drinking, however and except for the drinking, this is milder than many of the recent young adult novels I've read. There's a lot of intrigue and action, especially near the end, but the action is hamstrung by talky interludes and discussion. But the real prize of this novel, at least for writing students, is the backmatter. Forbeck (also a game designer) tells the story of how the book came about and includes his original pitch, author's notes, the film treatment and novel proposal--great examples of items that often plague new writers. It's interesting to see his original vision for the novel and compare that to how it turned out. The backmatter alone gets it an extra star.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The cover of Matt Forbeck's Vegas Knights describes the novel as "Harry Potter meets Ocean's Eleven," but it may be slightly more accurate (if not quite as effective, marketing-wise) to replace Harry Potter with Lev Grossman's The Magicians. Vegas Knights' main characters, Bill and Jackson, are two college students on Spring Break in Las Vegas. Sounds fairly normal -- except the topic of their studies is magic, and they're not just in Vegas to party. Instead, they're planning to use their magic skills to become rich by cheating at the gambling tables. However, they quickly find out that this is easier said than done, because Vegas is very different from what they expected...

Vegas Knights is a fun, entertaining urban fantasy novel that starts off with a bang and rarely slows down. Matt Forbeck gives the reader a great feel for what it's like to gamble and party in Vegas, and combines this with an exciting and action-packed plot. As someone who's spent a good amount of time in the "City of Lost Wages," I felt that Matt Forbeck recreated the atmosphere of the place very effectively, even while adding a few fictional casinos (and of course, well, magic) on the Strip.

A large part of the first half of Vegas Knights is one long and excellent action scene that's genuinely exciting and impossible to put down. Starting from Bill and Jackson's second gambling adventure and running through their first meeting with the primary antagonist (whose identity is one of the best surprises of the novel), the story rarely slows down and is jam-packed with action and excitement. The pacing is so hectic that it occasionally feels as if this could have been turned into a much longer novel, but on the plus side, this also means there's not a dull moment to be found.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The following is an exclusive interview with Matt Forbeck and thumbnail review of VEGAS KNIGHTS that appeared in International Thriller Writers' March 2011 issue of "The Big Thrill".

With 14 previous titles, Matt Forbeck now delivers an intriguing tale of a magic "show" on the Vegas Strip, only college freshmen Jackson Wisdom and Bill Chancey try using what they learned in Magic 101 to snooker the Big Boys. This is no mousy Rat Pack!

Think OCEAN'S ELEVEN, using magic as an instrument for the heist. What happens in Vegas is that these two young men should never stay in Vegas, which harbors a dark, magical secret all its own. The whole place is run by magic--it's founded on magic--and Jackson and Bill won't believe who's in charge. Forbeck added: "The young protagonists believe they've figured out a way to beat the system, just to find that their edge lasts only for so long."

William King, the author of TROLLSLAYER, said, "VEGAS KNIGHTS is a smart, slick, noir fantasy," as though Elmore Leonard had written the Harry Potter series. Alan Cranis at Bookgasm said Forbeck's "portrayal of the glitz and excess of Vegas is equally strong." VEGAS KNIGHTS is a cutting-edge paranormal thriller made real in the city of secrets.

Forbeck added, "Breath-taking chase scenes involve innovative use of magic to escape from gun-toting thugs and even zombies. Mojo Poker is the type practiced by real-life magicians, and that figures prominently in the novel. Many of the characters are historical. Harry Houdini, for instance, plays a large role in the book, though more about the way the heroes decide they're going to outfox the all-powerful villains.
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