Blood Engines (T.A. Pratt)

Blood Engines is the first of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on 20.10.2015

Marla and her right hand Rondeau have traveled to San Francisco where they are looking for a Cornerstone, a magical artifact of great power that Marla needs to thwart the plans of her rival Susan to take over the city, Felport, where Marla is the sorceress in charge. But when Marla arrives in San Francisco she discovers that sorcerers keep dying in San Francisco, among them her friend and access point to the Cornerstone. If Marla wants to keep herself save, she’ll have to help San Francisco first.

I didn’t expect much from Blood Engines, but it turns out, I absolutely loved the book and Marla. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.


Marla Mason is an awesome character and definitely the star of the book, even though I loved Rondeau and Bradley as well. But Marla is great, and unusual to boot: she’s pragmatic, kick-ass, strong, brutal and harsh. Had she been a man, that wouldn’t be so unusual, but for a female character it is rare enough. Add to that that she’s not a teenager anymore, not even in her 20s and you got a winning combination.

Plus there is the fact that Marla isn’t really straight (I’d say bi with hetero preference), and neither is Rondeau (same goes for him) and we get a straight-up gay character in Bradley as well. That’s more queer representation than I am used to and it’s awesome.

Characters weren’t the only thing that worked about the book for me, though. The plot comes nicely together and makes complete sense to me. It takes place in an equally well-constructed and very interesting world that I liked to get to know and will enjoy exploring further. And the Possible Witch gave me complete goosebumps.

Pratt’s writing is smooth and well-paced, making it not only easy but outright necessary to read through the book quickly. And that’s just what I did, enjoying myself immensely all the while.

Summarizing: Totally recommended.

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