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 Post subject: "Wave Epic" by John Galasi (Review)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Wave Epic: a Collection of Bran Wave/B-wave Effects
By James Galasi ... elasi.html


In the Interest of Full Discloser: So I may be new here at the Magic Café but I have been a regular poster at many other forums. One of the things I am known for are reviews(indeed I just launched my own website to house some of my card reviews). That being the case, occasionally I am approached to review a product and as such I get a free sample. This is one of those cases. I do my best to maintain a fair and balanced review regardless of the circumstances but I feel it is only fair to the readers when a reviewer is upfront about this.

Another point I should make clear is that in this case….I am not much of a “Packet Trick” guy. Because of that most of this review is descriptive in nature. Just because I don’t get excited about some of these effects doesn’t mean lovers of packet tricks shouldn’t check out this book. I certainly think that there are a lot of great ideas in here for people who like packet tricks.

Wave Epic is essentially a series of packet effects that are based on the theme of the B-wave, which I gather is the packet trick version of the Brainwave effect. There are a lot of effects where cards are counted out and then another card magically appears in between, effects where you thought you were looking at a packed of blue cards and then found out that they were red, where spectators think of a card and it turns out to be the only red card in a packet of blue cards, and other effects in keeping with the B-wave plot.

The Tricks taught and some thoughts about each one:


Effect: Four blank cards; a selected jack prints among them, jumps
between two cards, and then causes all of the cards to print into jacks. In
the end, the magician shows that he knew which jack the spectator would
select all along.

Method: There will be a set-up required however this entire trick pretty much exists in a card wallet. So the good news is that there is no set-up prior to performance. You just get it ready in you handy wallet and you are ready to go whenever. There than that there is a verbal card force and the usual packet count work. This one will require a gaffed card so it is not 100% inspect-able after performance.

Thoughts: The “printing” of the cards is a good presentational angle. I liked the thinking behind this and feel it could be further advanced if you get one of the “Gaff Packs” on the market that includes some faded court cards. Then you could reveal each saying that “ink” is running dry as each revelation is successively more faint. My only beef is revealing a prediction card after a verbal card force. It just kind of screams “I forced the card,” to me. So that aspect, good or bad, really depends on your own personal thoughts on revealing a card you force in that way.


Effect: You pull all four aces from a packet of cards and show them all to the spectator. You then have them think of any ace. The selected ace becomes the only ace in a packet of jokers and the other aces have vanished. The other aces then reappear in various places.

Method: There is a minor setup that can be done, pretty much, on the fly. After that there is a little memory involved, the usual packet counting, and a few interesting card reveals.

Thoughts: This is a really fun one. It will take a little work to get down but it is one of those jazz style effects that keep you always one step ahead of the spectators. If finds an interesting way to blend vanishes, sandwich effects, card reveals and a card to card box. That is always cool!


Effect: A selected ace is shown to be the only odd-colored card in the
packet, as well as the only printed ace (all the other cards are blank)! The
performer then demonstrates what would've happened if a different ace
had been selected, resulting in the blank cards changing color on the back!

Method: This effect requires a small set-up and several different colors of blank face cards. There is a only a small amount of forcing with this effect, the usual counts, and a few other simple sleights. Overall a pretty easy trick to learn.

Thoughts: The plot is good. It is kind of like a mini-prism deck. If you like the prism plot but hate the idea of carrying around an entire deck just for one effect then this little effect will fit in your wallet.

The Royal Wave,

Effect: Four cards are shown from the back and you are asked to imagine they are the aces. The spectator then selects a card from the pack. The performer then spreads the packet and you see that one card has turned face up in the packet. The card is the ace that matches the suite of the card they selected. Then the other cards are turned over to reveal that they are the 10-king of the same suit as the ace you just revealed.

Method: A pretty simple set-up that can be done on the fly. There is an interesting force that is used to determine the suit. It is then just a matter of counts and presentation.

Thoughts: The force taught in this effect has some potential though, I felt it was a little excessive just to force a suit. I also wasn’t crazy about the way the spectator is asked to “imagine” that the card you are holding was the aces. This one can be done from dealing the cards from the deck so you could, depending on your skills, add a packet switch(ie. Four-for-four switch) at the beginning of this effect to enhance the presentation.

Joker Wave,

Effect: A spectator selects an ace, say the Ace of Hearts. The magician
explains that made a prediction earlier, and shows a packet of four blue
backed cards, apparently a single ace among three jokers. With a snap, the
magician claims that he can make the selected ace turn face up. One card
does reverse, but a joker. Despite this, the performer show that he clearly
has three jokers and only one ace: the selected ace, the Ace of Hearts!
One of the jokers is now turned over to reveal another prediction: the back
is now red, and has writing that reads “Ace of Hearts”!

Method: A little verbal forcing and false counting is about all you need to worry about here. The set-up on this isn’t one that you can easily do on the fly so this one will likely need to be tucked in a wallet of some sort.

Thoughts: You learn how to force one of the aces in this pack. If you actually were to force any card of an entire pack this one would fry people.

Another Wave Pun,

Effect: Two packets of aces. One ace is selected, say the ace of spades,
and it turns out to be the only printed red-backed ace in a packet of blank
blue-backed cards! The magician claims that the second packet of aces
may have influenced the spectator’s selection: the ace of spades in that
packet has “Pick me!” written on its back, while the other three have “Don’t
pick me” on their backs!

Method: This is a very simple effect that requires almost no sleights. It includes a nice little force that could be very deceptive. You will need to dedicate some aces to this trick as you will be writing predictions on them.

Thoughts: For a practically self working effect….great! Ticks all the boxes. Easy, surprising, and visual.

Making Waves,

Effect: Two packets of cards are used: one blue, and one red. The
audience is asked to imagine that the red cards are the four aces, and that
the blue cards are the four Queens. An ace is selected, say the AS. The
other three cards in the packet of reds are shown to be completely blank!
The blue packet is now spread to reveal one Queen now is reversed: the
Queen of Spades! The magician then changes the back of the Queen of
Spades from blue to red! The other three cards in the Queen packet are
then shown to be the KS, JS, and 10S, to complete the royal flush in
Spades! All cards may now be examined.

Method: Minor set-up is required and you will need a few blank facers. There is a pretty nifty force taught in this one and from there it is just a few false counts and then the reveal.

Thoughts: This is kind of a beefed up version of A Royal Wave. For the most part I really liked this effect but there is a minor incongruency between asking the spectator to imagine 4 Queens but then revealing the extra cards necessary to complete the royal flush. Not sure why that bugged me but it did. Certainly something that could be modified with nothing more than altered patter so I wouldn’t disregard this effect. It is certainly worth study!


Effect: A card selected at random by a spectator is predicted in a packet of
Queens. All the other cards are revealed to be aces; the only queen is the
one that matches the suit of the spectator’s selection.

Method: There is a very minor set up that can be done on the fly by most intermediates. You will need to have a few chops to perform this but it is all sleights that most will learn in their first few months of card study. An interesting procedure is used to determine the suit of the card. After that it is all patter and reveal.

Thoughts: The procedure used to determine the suite of the card is interesting but could easily be complicated for a laymen to follow along with. Still, it allows the laymen to handle the cards completely during the procedure. The “Imagine these are four X cards” ploy is used again without any prior proof. In this instance I feel it could easily be performed by showing four different cards and then having them imagine that they are something else. A small point, but one that most magicians could add by altering the patter only slightly.

The Writing:

The writing is clear and straight forward. It is concise to the point where I wouldn’t recommend this for a rank beginner. You will need to already be familiar with some basic card magic skills such as, False counts, false shuffles, DLs, etc. Another thing that might add to the performance of some of these effects would be a good packet switch.

The layout:

The layout is clean and organized but there are not many pictures included. Now, if you are versed in most of the prerequisite moves, photos are not a must to learn these effects, but more photos would be nice for the beginners who might be interested in this material.

Overall thoughts:

I would say this is a good book if you are into packet tricks. As for some things that I wasn’t excited about, I would say the biggest was a few effects in which you display a face down packet and ask a spectator to “imagine these are Aces(Queens, Jokers, Jacks, whatever). I am so used to working with a full deck(…errr…not saying packet trick fanatics aren’t working with a full deck mind you) that showing a card and switching it is just kind of what you do. I mean, you never do an ACR by sayin, “trust me this is the ten.” You visually show the ten, then switch it(pass, control, whatever) and then show it come to the top. So perhaps that is just my prejudice from spending most of my time studying full deck performances and neglecting packet work. One thing that might add to the performance of some of these effects would be a good packet switch. Many of these effects can be performed by controlling the stock and dealing it off. In those cases you could satiate my lackluster imagination with visual confirmation, then switch out the packet and go into the trick. Perhaps that was Galasi’s intention in the first place?

Now for the good stuff. All and all there are a lot of good effects taught in here and, even in effects that I may never perform, I usually found a useful principle that could be applied elsewhere. This is a good example of a magician who really tackles a problem from every angle he can and focuses on pushing the envelope of a particular plotline.

And the best stuff….Scatterbrain! I LOVE that effect. That is such a clever plot. People do multiple cards to multiple location plots all the time but seeing it done in a packet trick was just beautiful. I have already admitted that I am not one for packet tricks but I will definitely make an exception with this one. There is a lot of potential in that routine!

Final Verdict:

If you like the sound of the Scatterbrain plot then buy this for that effect. If you are a packet trick lover who would like to see some clever thinking on the B-wave plot, then this is a worthy buy. I would guess that most people who like packet tricks would get value out of this book regardless of whether or not they are into the B-wave plot. Not being a packet guy I won’t stake my rep on that though. And finally, if you don’t like packet tricks at all you may want to pass on this. Overall a good book for the right kind of performer.

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