REVIEW: Blood Engines, by TA Pratt
I’d enjoyed Pratt’s (hugo award winning) short fiction and first novel, The Strange Adventures of Ranger Girl, so I was quite excited when I learned that he’d sold Blood Engines and a few more Marla Mason books.
Marla proves to be as strong a fighter as a sorcerer. We learn the magical rules of this world as we encounter the various sorcerers that rule the neighborhoods of San Fransisco. By contrast we learn that Marla is not a specialized sorcerer, but more a jack of all trades. Like a good martial artist, she uses every weapon at her disposal, her magic, her cloak and dagger, her unique friends, and clever manipulation of her many enemies.
Pratt revels in the shades of gray, but still manages to toss in a few totally evil characters and at least one that seems perfectly good. Marla is definitely gray and she takes everything stride–from computer simulations of reality to deadly frogs.
I absolutely loved this book, particularly the dialog and intricate magic rules and I can’t wait to read more in this series.
update (6/13/08): I was listening to I Should Be Writing and heard an interview with Kim Harrison. When asked for up and coming urban fantasy writers, she mentioned Faith Hunter, Vickie Pettersson, Rachel Vincent and TA Pratt. “I love the way he builds his magic systems.” This intervew would have been around when Blood Engines was released, and that’s pretty much what I said in my review.