Bone Shop is a prequel novella to the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on: 10.10.2019
[Here are my reviews of the other Marla Mason novels.]
16-year-old Marla has had it rough in her life so far and she’s ready to start fresh in Felport. By chance, she stumbles into a world filled with magic. And while she may not have an innate magical telling, she is stubborn enough to make up for that, as her mentor Artie quickly discovers. He takes her under his wing. Marla isn’t alone in working for Artie and learning from him, though – there’s also Daniel who becomes an important part of Marla’s life.
Bone Shop is a very enjoyable look at Marla’s youth and a nice read. Even though it is a prequel, I think it’s better not to start with it, but rather read it in publication order, as I did. That way, you’ll get the most out of it.
Bone Shop was serialized online and the narration is a little disjointed with a couple of jumps in time. I can understand if that’s not really your thing, but I thought that it actually fit Marla and her checkered past pretty well.
Apart from meeting Marla at the time and seeing her grow from tough to tougher, I loved to get a look at young Rondeau as well – and how fascinatingly different he was at the time. Seeing this starting point for him and knowing where he is later leaves a lot of room to think about how he got there.
The spell to forget at the end was a tad too convenient and I also thought that it was a little out of character for Marla, but ultimately, I could live with it – and it takes things from tragic to worse, which is a nice touch as well. (Does this sound as callous as I think it does?)
Summarizing: Definitely wouldn’t skip it, even if it isn’t part of the series proper.