1. Home

Book Review: Uncovered (Secrets For The Serious Magician) - John Luka

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Book Review: Uncovered (Secrets For The Serious Magician) - John Luka
John Luka’s “Uncovered” offers a strong compilation of first class card magic and a few non-card items that will appeal to serious and commercially-oriented magicians. The effects in this book are visual and have a strong impact on spectators and Lukas serves excellent and detailed instructions. And despite the power of his routines, none are “knuckle busters.”

This is one great book that I highly recommend.

Ambitious Book

The Ambitious Card” is Luka’s powerful, five-phase version of the card classic. In “Ambitious Card,” a selected card repeatedly makes its way to the top of the deck. I like the way that Luka mixes up the action and explains a move by Wesley James and Tom Ellis for the third phase and offers a slick “Screened Leipzing Pass” in the fourth phase. I can attest to the strength of the James/Ellis move which is a regular part of my “Ambitious Card” that has served me well.

The advantage with this routine is that Luka builds-in the “readies” so there’s need to hide the preparation for each phase. There’s no climax with a card to envelope, box or wallet. Just five strong phases that are short, sweet and strong.

A Triumph

Licked At Last” is based an visual and good “in the hands triumph” from Mike Powers in his book, Power Plays (click here to read our review), another great book. In traditional “triumph” fashion, a selected card is mixed into a deck that is shuffled half face-up and the other face-down and the magician rights the deck, all of the cards are facing the same direction with the exception of the chosen card.

Luka also throws in a few phases where the cards change directions. You won’t need a table for this one, although you do need to know how to faro shuffle.

As the name implies “The Card To Wallet” is a first rate routine where a signed card ends up in a wallet. The difference here is that there’s no palming. The routine relies on a clever card switch and other means to accomplish the task. It’s among the easiest versions of this classic trick that I’ve seen. Of course, as in most methods you’ll need a special wallet.

With “The Fun Routine,” Luka melds three classic and powerful routines that are explained in detail in the book. By combining these routines, you’ll be “twisting” cards and then transforming them into other cards and finally make them “travel” to different pockets. This excellent routine brings together three great effects that are usually performed on their own, and Luka explains how to seamlessly blend them together.


Wow Revisited” is Luka’s variation on a classic that is often performed by magicians. The magician can’t quite find a selected card but narrows it down to four. After deducing the spectator’s card, it is found to have vanished from the four card pack and is now found in the deck. I’ve performed a variation of this effect for some time and it’s powerful material.

The rare non-card tricks in the book, “Chromo Balls” provides a routine where balls transpose and change colors and there’s a first rate “Coins Through the Table.” Another great card trick, “The Airplane Card” is Lukas take on Vernon’s “Homing Card” where a card continually finds its way to the magician’s pocket.

Michigan Monte” offers an excellent no gaff version of “Sidewalk Shuffle.” In classic “Sidewalk Shuffle,” the magician shows three blank cards and a single ace and asks spectators to find the ace, but they’re always wrong. At the end, the spectators find that the magician is holding three aces and only one blank card. This routine is usually performed with gaffed cards, but Luka offers a compelling version that allows you to be completely clean at the end-you can hand out the cards. Furthermore, Lukas says that this routine can be performed with regular-sized or jumbo cards.

Get Your's Today

Throughout, Luka offers thorough instructions with lots of photographs to walk you through each step. The material here is commercial and serves a high level of impact on spectators. It’s not the usual collection of boring card effects. And while this book is for serious magicians, the techniques aren’t “knuckle busting.”

I can’t say enough good things about John Luka’s “Uncovered (Secrets For The Serious Magician).” If you buy just one thing this year to enhance your close-up card magic, this is the item to purchase.

Dealers can purchase from Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

MSRP: (US) $35

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.