Sunday, March 30, 2008

Its A Review. My First Good One If Memory Serves.

If you're looking for the round-robin writing game, Sophie From Shinola, its here.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I just finished Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt. I've been threatening to read it for a while and it kept falling off the top of the pile, so I just got around to it. Guess what. Its terrific. Really. I shouldn't have to say anything else since you guys all know how discerning I am, but for the one or two of you who may be skeptical, I'll elaborate.

Marla Mason is a Sorcerer with a problem. She has a rival in her home town of Felport and in the world Mr. Pratt presents, Sorcerers solve their problems with extreme prejudice...and wit. Marla's only hope lies in San Francisco so she boards a plane in spite of hating leaving her home. She takes Rondeau with her. Rondeau is a sort of mashup of protege, apprentice, hanger-on, foil, and thorn. And he's not really human.

The book is populated by characters, creatures, Gods and ghosts, the likes of which you'll rarely meet in one place. The pace is fast and full of wisecracks. Oh, and did I mention, Marla can kick most people's asses without magic. When she adds the magic, she doesn't leave a body count; she leaves a slime trail.

Throughout the book, she alludes to her love for her own town in spite of its obvious faults. She's imperfect and so is the town under her protection. This is a fantastic story and I'm telling you to stop reading this review now and just go buy the damned thing. As a special bonus, the next book in the Marla Mason Series was released into the wild 5 days ago.

I'm going to order it tomorrow. The only reason I'm going to wait that long is that I've got to track down Mr. Pratt and find out why there aren't more books yet.

In case my subtlety went over your heads, I liked this book...a lot.

PostScript: You may recall that Scalzi pimped this book during his Month of Writers, where he let authors talk about their work or whatever. Pratt's entry mentioned that he thought all writer's should be required to immortalize him in their novels as a swashbuckling hero. I can take a hint, but only so far. If you've been reading There's No Crying In The War Room, you'll know that Tim Pratt is the never-met, but somewhat described ex-boyfriend of Adelaide Rotholz. One day, he's gonna thank me...but that day may be far in the future. I can live with that.

4 comments:

Michelle K said...

So... not to be stupid, but is this a supernatural fantasy set in our time only the main character is a magic user, or our time and supernatural creatures are out of the closet, or some future time where magic users are in/out of the closet, or something else entirely?

Nathan said...

It takes place in present day San Francisco. There's almost no interaction with normal folks and most references to them mention that they either just plain don't "see" magic taking place or, in some cases it drives them around the bend because they can't comprehend what they're seeing.

And like most answers to questions about this book, its incomplete. There's one chapter where Marla is forced to endure about 15 hours of sliding among an infinite number of "possible" universes...ones that are vastly or slightly different from her own because of different actions causing different outcomes.

I'm not sure I'm describing that quite right, but you really should read this. Its the best thing I've read in a while.

Michelle K said...

OK, thanks. I just like to have a time frame of reference. (My grandmother is reading Sean Russell right now, and she initially thought it was just an historical novel. Then she got into it and is now the second book in the duology.)

Oh, is the story arc complete within the book? That's my biggest criteria for books right now. No leaving me hanging at the end of the story with all kinds of crap unresolved and the main character in deadly peril or some crap like that.

Nathan said...

All the crap is nicely resolved. :-)