I am not one to slate magic effects, mainly because I buy one or two magician's material (who I know deserve buying their material). And really, this is not me slating this e-book. It's more of a disappointment. Let me explain.
I am nineteen and have been studying magic for about fourteen years. When I was nine I started focusing on sleight of hand with cards. When I was fourteen I read about a memorised deck. Although I was intrigued, I put off learning one (mainly because I was getting ready for exams and I hadn't the time). This was a big mistake. I should have learnt the memorised deck regardless of time restrictions, because now at nineteen it is only recently that I actually sat down and learnt one... and the reason why? Darwin Ortiz. I have everything he owns and the only things I did not learn were the memorised deck material. I wasn't that phased until I saw him perform them. I needed to learn a memorised deck. But which one?
I had heard about the Aronson Stack but I had also heard about the Mnemonica stack. There are thousands of arguments on which one is the best to learn ... or whether you should learn your own. Well I prefer references (such as which card goes where) and so it was between Juan's and Simon's. I looked at the wealth of material on each ( Simon has the most) and so went with the Aronson stack. I managed to learn it in a day.
The only thing I did not like was the fact that I had to switch in the deck. I needed a way to get into it somehow ... and then I stumbled upon Eric's T.O.U.R and the solution (or so I thought) was in view. I bought the e-book and learnt the shuffle needed to get from NDO to memorised deck. It is too long. You would have to do this at the beginning of your set (by which time you will have bored the audience). It is too long, too sloppy, and the effect used to get from memorised deck to NDO is the worst effect to close an act with. Terrible.
Some of the effects are good, but not too good. It seems to me that Eric has found some way into producing four Aces and has created a four Ace production for four Ace productions sake. You can do that with a regular deck! Yes it preserves the stack, but it is a lot weaker in terms of design compared to an impromptu sleight of hand production.
This is not to say that some won't benefit from this e-book. It depends on your mind-set. I'm a Darwin Ortiz buff and so will obviously hate this e-book. It gave me some good insights but its not for me.
I bought Simon's Simply Simon, which has some memorised deck magic in. I bought Jason Ladanye's Confident Deceptions, which has some memorised deck magic. I bought Michael Vincent's DVD box sets, which has memorised deck magic in. And it seems that switching in the memorised deck is easier than boring the audience before performing a really good selection of card magic.
So what I would say is that if you are wanting to perform strong magic, don't buy this. If you are wanting to perform magic regardless of the audience's perspective. Do.
Again, this is not a definitive criticism. I don't like this book and that is a personal opinion. Others may. For me 3/10 because it has some good ideas in there. For others, possible 8/10.
Either way, learn a deck switch.