By T.A. Pratt
Published in: 2007
Book #: 1st in series
Time taken to read: 10 days
Back cover (From goodreads)
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.…
Another download from goodreads, read on my beloved E-reader. How did I ever live without it? Though I do still prefer actual books, the e-book is somewhat growing on me as a platform for reading.
So this story was… well, I didn’t really like it that much. Marla kinda annoyed me as a character, I actually preferred her sidekick Rondeau and new friend B, and even the snake god C’hang ho, to the character of Marla. She’s basically a cold-hearted bitch, which she is very aware of, but it’s like…. it’s just not engaging. The plethora of sorcerers that she encounters in San Francisco are quite a varied bunch, and I really disliked their characters as well. Probably for the best, since they all ended up being killed off.
And the ending… after all this searching and fighting and struggles, Marla doesn’t even do the big bad fight at teh end. She lets C’hang ho fight the battle for her, which he has no real interest in, basically because he doesn’t want Mutex to kill off Marla- he wants to kill Marla off later himself. Yes, it’s a great premise for a sequel… but for this story, it just seems kinda thrown in to hastily tie up the loose ends. Or it was that way to me.
Still, it was a different read, paranormal without all the romance bullshit I usually love. I’ve read books like this before, which have been enjoyable, but this one just wasn’t. I mean, it wasn’t boring- I didn’t find myself struggling through it or anyhing. I just didn’t really feel drawn into the story, and the characters weren’t engaging. Plus, it referenced a lot of things that the reader would have no knowledge of, given it’s the first book in the series. And doesn’t go into detail, which means you feel that there was something important there, but you don’t really know because it’s just a name, or a vague statement of past happenings.
I think the story suffered greatly from ‘first book syndrome’, as in, the writer is trying too hard to convey her ideas and ends up making it less coherent than it should have been.
Blood engine rating: 5/10. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good, it was just okay.
Would I re-read it? Probably not. The premise to me wanting to re-read a book is an engaging story, characters I can relate to, something that draws me in and keeps me thinking about it long after I’ve finished the book. This has none of that. I’ve read it, I know the story, I don’t really feel the urge to read the book again.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the paranormal genre, who are tired of the whole romance genre that seems to be attached to it in every damn book. Fans of action, because this is a book where things do move rather fast and with a lot of fighting and whatnot. People looking for a different read, this may be up your alley. Though be warned, there is a lot of referencing to past events not actually explained or mentioned anywhere else, which will frustrate you.