Smooth Operations by Kevin Ho

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by blue shirt, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. I got a friend of mine to pick this up and send it to me a couple of months ago. After reading the material through once, I picked up a deck of cards and got to work. After a month of practice and several performances of his tricks, here are my thoughts:

    PUNK'D
    Type: Trick
    Notes: This is my second favorite Reset routine, my first being Bebel's Repro Retro. It looks like a very simple and smoothly-flowing routine, but there are so many sleights crammed into about twenty seconds of magic that you REALLY need to practice to get this down. If I'm short on time, then this is the trick to use.
    Rating: 8/10

    STATIC 4
    Type: 4-Card Revelation
    Notes: A straight-line four-card revelation. I don't like this much due to the strange setup, but that's just a personal preference. There are better ones out there.
    Rating: 3/10

    INVERSE IMPULSE
    Type: Color Change
    Notes: Beautiful. Wave your hand, flick your wrist, snap your fingers, whatever you want to do and the card changes with the least amount of cover possible. It's so fast and so open that even I, after using an Ego Change for months, have to admit that this is one of the cleanest changes ever. It loses points because the card positioning seems a little funny to me(see the trailer), but it's still fantastic.
    Rating: 9/10

    LONG DIVISION
    Type: Trick
    Notes: At first glance, this trick looks utterly impractical. However, I took this to the streets and performed it, and the audience of ten loved it. A single card is stretched to twice its length then split straight down the center. It's a visual kick in the head to the spectator, a laugh for the magician.
    Rating: 7/10

    PEGASUS
    Type: 4-Card Revelation
    Notes: I LOVE THIS REVELATION. The first reveal alone has become one of my favorite sleights, and the revelation quite literally makes jaws drop.
    Rating: 10/10

    WINGLESS PEGASUS
    Type: 4-Card Revelation
    Notes: Not as good as the original, but if you can't do the first reveal, then here you go. The ending display looks a little cooler, but it's not quite as quick.
    Rating: 8/10

    FLORIDA COUNT
    Type: Sleight
    Notes: Very interesting. I use the original handling for Punk'd, but this is a more in-the-hands alternative.
    Rating: 6/10

    PCP
    Type: Trick
    Notes: The four jacks are counted but then turn into the 4 aces. I don't like this much, it seems a little bland for a four-card routine.
    Rating: 3/10

    CHASER
    Type: Trick
    Notes: An absolutely eye-crossing sandwich routine where not just the selection, but the sandwiching cards themselves get up and dance a jig for the spectator. Not really, but this is my favorite sandwich routine thus far.
    Rating: 10/10

    RACOON
    Type: Flourish
    Notes: A card spins around your thumb again... and again... and again... Looks very cool, and Kevin teaches a version where the card spins, quite literally, forever if you don't want to stop. Or if you need to eat or go to the bathroom.
    Rating: 8/10

    STUCK ON YOU
    Type: Kevin's Notes
    Rating: 10/10

    COLLECTOR'S REDUX
    Type: Trick
    Notes: Three selections are buried in the pack, only to form a hexagonal display with the queens which, quite literally, come from nowhere in a shuffled pack. Very visual, but like Punk'd, it requires a lot of practice for the many sleights in a packed space.
    Rating: 9/10

    VISA SWITCH
    Type: Sleight
    Notes: An interesting alternative to the Double Lift that we all love, despise, and attempt to perfect at the same time. Kevin teaches a trick with this as well.
    Rating: 7/10

    GETTING INTO SHAPE
    Type: Kevin's Notes
    Rating: 10/10

    FULLY LOADED
    Type: 4-Card Revelation
    Notes: One card is shot out of the deck and instantly forms a cross with three other cards when you turn the deck over. A heck of a revelation, but a little knacky.
    Rating: 8/10

    CONSPIRACY OF FOUR
    Type: Trick
    Notes: Meh. My least favorite of Kevin's routines, but not necessarily bad; it seems a little slow until you get to the kicker, which makes people run away screaming. I like tricks that punch spectators in the face every step of the way, but that's just a personal preference. It mixes reveals with switches to make use of a nice mix of routines.
    Rating: 6/10

    TAKING THE PISS
    Type: Kevin's Notes
    Rating: 8/10

    BOB CHANGE
    Type: Color Change
    Notes: I like it. It mixes the in-your-face of the Snap Change (with MUCH better angles) with the classic Shapeshifter to make a very quick color change. The spectator may or may not catch on quickly, but then again, why do it so many times? (Because it's fun.)
    Rating: 9/10

    THICKER THAN WATER
    Type: Kevin's Notes
    Rating: 8/10

    REPAINTED
    Type: Flourish
    Notes: The fan is shown blank, then instantly wiped across the back to show all the pips at once. My favorite bit of this book, simply because this is as visual as a flourish gets without being magic. But if you don't want to relearn your fans... don't try it.
    Rating: 10/10

    OVERALL RATING: 9/10
    Final Thoughts: This book is absolutely fantastic. Kevin's notes are clear and funny, but at the same time the things you have to do with your hands are difficult enough to merit practice and rereading. This book is not for the faint of heart, but I guarantee that many of the things you read in this book - sleights, tricks, flourishes, the whole nine yards - will stick with you for years to come.

    Thanks, Kevin. I really enjoyed your book.
    ~kkim~
     
  2. nice reveiw man enjoyed reading
     

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