Present tense, first person and teenage male narrator: not usually my first picks. This book had all three, and it worked.
The con life aspects were fun, the magic system was interesting and, while I hope the politics don't become too central a theme in future stories, the world was an appropriately cool yet somewhat creepy place to be. :) The protagonist enjoyed a decent amount of character development and there was enough mystery/suspense to keep the plot moving.
I think I'll be checking out the next book in the series. With a mom like Cassel's, the possibilities for trouble are practically limitless.