Blood Engines (Marla Mason #1)
by T.A. Pratt, Tim Pratt
What is it about:
Meet Marla Mason–smart, saucy, slightly wicked witch of the East Coast...
Sorcerer Marla Mason, small-time guardian of the city of Felport, has a big problem. A rival is preparing a powerful spell that could end Marla’s life–and, even worse, wreck her city. Marla’s only chance of survival is to boost her powers with the Cornerstone, a magical artifact hidden somewhere in San Francisco. But when she arrives there, Marla finds that the quest isn’t going to be quite as cut-and-dried as she expected…and that some of the people she needs to talk to are dead. It seems that San Francisco’s top sorcerers are having troubles of their own–a mysterious assailant has the city’s magical community in a panic, and the local talent is being (gruesomely) picked off one by one.
With her partner-in-crime, Rondeau, Marla is soon racing against time through San Francisco’s alien streets, dodging poisonous frogs, murderous hummingbirds, cannibals, and a nasty vibe from the local witchery, who suspect that Marla herself may be behind the recent murders. And if Marla doesn’t figure out who is killing the city’s finest in time, she’ll be in danger of becoming a magical statistic herself...
What did I think of it:
I enjoyed Tim Pratt's Liar's Island, so I went in search for what other books he had written. I decided to give his Marla Mason series a try. This series is released under the name T.A. Pratt btw, because heaven forbid the readers find out that a guy wrote a book with a female lead character. (This happens a lot! J.K. Rowling, Rob Thurman, Jes Battis, (to name a few) all authors who's name has been obscured a bit so people don't immediately know if they're male or female, and that they write lead characters who are of the opposite sex.)
I very much enjoyed this book. Pratt's writing is very pleasant and I really liked Marla and Rondeau. I especially liked that Marla is not a rookie, but an established sorcerer, who knows her way around a spellbook, so to speak. She's ruthless, with questionable morals at times, and for me she managed to stay on the right side of likeable, she did skirt the line a few times though.
Marla and Rondeau encounter lots of other characters. some were really cool and intriguing, others less so. There's a high body count in this book, but I'm hoping that I'll see more of some of the survivors in the next book in this series.
The story was cool and had me hooked from the start. I did wonder if Marla wasn't thinking much too difficult. In my opinion she could have dealt with the threat much easier and more direct than she was doing. But as her way of doing things led to a action packed story, I didn't grumble too much about that.
All in all this is a great Urban Fantasy read and I'm glad I already have the next book in my TBR pile, because I want more.
Why should you read it:
It's a cool UF read with a ruthless heroine.