Title: Blood Engines
Author: T.A. Pratt
Series: Marla Mason #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars!
I have read so many urban fantasy books that, after a while, they all start to sound the same. This was not the case for “Blood Engines.” It was an incredibly unique novel, with a great mix of of fantasy, mystery, and just a touch of romance. Although a good deal of Pratt’s works are on the bizarre side, I have to give him major kudos for originality. His perspective is refreshing, and he combines that with interesting plot-lines: As the guardian for the city of Felport (in which most of the other novels take place) Marla finds herself in San Francisco, hunting after a relic that will protect her from a threat back home. While there, things start to snowball and she gets caught up in a lot more trouble than she bargained for. I found the entire book vivid and engaging.
My favorite element of this series was the excellent character development throughout. I’m a stickler for good characters, and that is probably why I liked these so much. While Marla definitely steals the show, everyone from Rondeau (the main sidekick) to the most minor characters have personalities that are rich and interesting.
I also have a particular affection for this author’s works from a writer’s standpoint. From the way he crafts a story, develops characters, and devises his plots, he always leaves me in awe. His prequel, “Bone Shop” was particularly insightful, including author’s notes at the end of each chapter. It gave a wonderfully helpful look into how he tackled each scene, and also alluded to his once a week writing schedule. It was encouraging: if you take writing seriously, you can accomplish great things despite having a hectic schedule. Anyway, I can’t say enough good things about this author. The more you read, the more he blows your mind with intricate plot-lines. I really love these books – if you’re sick of the same old stuff, give this series a try!
Recommendations: These aren’t for everyone, as I said, they are a bit bizarre by typical urban fantasy standards, and also contain some language and sexual references. However, if you liked them as much as I did, I highly recommend you also read Pratt’s short stories as they provide a great back-history on some awesome characters, along with excellent examples on writing well and developing your craft.
Other books you might like:
- “Magic to the Bone” by Devin Monk
- “Grimspace” by Ann Aguirre
- “Tinker” by Wen Spencer
- “Blood Rights” by Kristin Painter
- “Storm Front” by Jim Butcher