Closing Doors (T.A. Pratt)

Closing Doors is the tenth and final of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on: 2.5.2021
[Here are my reviews of the rest of the series.]

Plot:
Now that Marla Mason has actually become the God of Death, she needs a mortal companion so the underworld is fully staffed again. But dating as the God of Death when your date is a job interview at the same time isn’t easy. And it’s not like it’s Marla’s only problem: the Bay Witch has called on the favor Marla still owed because there is a mysterious black sand that is threatening the world.

Closing Doors is a really fine ending to a long-running series that I found very satisfying – both the entire series and this particular book in it. I’ll miss Marla and her friends, but with this novel, we got a good good-bye.

The book cover showing a woman with long black hair in a bridal gown sitting on a thorne of ice, thorns and skulls.
Continue reading

Queen of Nothing (T.A. Pratt)

Queen of Nothing is the ninth of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on: 20.3.2021
[Here are my reviews of the other books in the series.]

Plot:
Rondeau and Pelham are waiting for Marla to show up after her required month in the underworld is over. Except, she never shows and the longer she is late, the more worried they become that something is seriously amiss. After all she spent the last month as a god and something really bad must have happened for her to not stick to the bargain. Rondeau and Pelham go to B to see if he can find out more by conjuring up an oracle, when an unlikely maybe-ally-definitely-former-enemy shows up and appears to help.

Queen of Nothing is the penultimate of the Marla Mason novels and it already feels like things are starting to get wrapped up a little. That doesn’t mean that there is nothing interesting happening anymore, but it does feel a little bittersweet.

The book cover showing an empty, spiky throne in an icy landscape.
Continue reading

Lady of Misrule (T.A. Pratt)

Lady of Misrule is the eighth of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on: 21.10.2020
[Here are my reviews of the other Marla Mason novels.]

Plot:
When Marla awakes from her month in the underworld, she faces quite a few surprising changes in the mortal world. For one, Pelham and Rondeau are in trouble (well, that may not be the biggest change) and things are happening in Felport. But that is not even the biggest issue: there is something walking the earth, looking for gods to kill – and it might as well start with Marla. The threat is so big that Bradley Bowman, overseer of the multiverse, sends a part of himself to that particular universe to make sure that it doesn’t spread from there. Things are dire. Or, to put it another way, just another Tuesday for Marla.

Lady of Misrule takes fans of the series on a rather comfortable ride – until it hits you with a suckerpunch of an ending that left me with my mouth open. Talk about a cliffhanger – I will need to read the next one soon.

The book cover showing the drawing of a grumpy looking brunette in a tank top. She's having a coffee at a bar, but there are tentacles everywhere. She has speared one of the tentacles in front of her with a dagger.
Continue reading

Bride of Death (T.A. Pratt)

Bride of Death is the seventh of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on: 5.6.2020
[Here are my reviews of the other Marla Mason novels.]

Plot:
After the deal Marla made with Death, she returns from the underworld and her goddess status to be herself again on earth. But her divine self has left her human self with a clear mission: Do Better. And part of that doing better is hunting monsters. To find those monsters, she enlists Nicole – or rather Nicole’s head which is all that is left of her. As a chaos magician, Nicole can easily track the monsters and it’s not like Marla is leaving her any choice in the matter – although Nicole would much rather see Marla dead. They get on the road and pretty quickly, Marla is in much deeper shit than she anticipated – again.

Bride of Death focuses on Marla and shows how she’s changed. This makes Bride of Death an extra treat for fans of the series. Everybody else should start at the beginning.

The book cover showing a dark-haired woman with a hatchet and a head in a bird cage standing in front of highway and a white motorcycle.
Continue reading

Grim Tides (T.A. Pratt)

Grim Tides is the sixth of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on: 6.12.2019
[Here are my reviews of the other Marla Mason novels.]

Plot:
Marla Mason had to leave Felport behind, and now she is in exile – on Maui. With Rondeau. Who is super rich, albeit struggling with his new body. It could be worse. If only Marla could find some way to occupy herself. Her business as an occult detective doesn’t really do the trick – although she’s been asked to solve a murder. That Marla is at such a low point is the perfect opportunity for some old enemies, and maybe a few new ones, to try to get their revenge. But even at her low point, Marla is a formidable opponent with interesting friends, so she will not go down without a fight.

Grim Tides is a good, fun read and continues Marla’s story in interesting directions. I enjoyed it a lot.

The book cover showing a woman standing between two tiki statues, glowing magical symbols emanating from her hand.
Continue reading

Bone Shop (T.A. Pratt)

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.]

Plot:
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.

The book cover showing a woman in a dark, smoky cloak with red lights clutching a skull.
Continue reading

Broken Mirrors (T.A. Pratt)

Broken Mirrors is the fifth of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on: 27.3.2019
[Here are my reviews of the other Marla Mason novels.]

Plot:
Marla Mason is a problem-solver. So when somebody close to her dies, it’s just another problem that needs solving. And her solution is simple: she will just reach into a parallel universe, one that is much worse, and get that someone to her own universe. But things go very wrong indeed when The Mason and Crapsey enter through the gap Marla created – thoroughly evil versions of herself and Rondeau. The question is whether Marla can stop her evil self before she carries out her plans.

Broken Mirrors takes Marla Mason in a very new direction – and one I didn’t expect, but I definitely appreciated it – and it renewed my excitement about the series.

The book cover showing a dark figure in a cloak in front of a blue background with a spider-web pattern like broken glass over it.
Continue reading

Spell Games (T.A. Pratt)

Spell Games is the fourth of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on 25.2.2018
[Here are my reviews of the other Marla Mason novels.]

Plot:
As usual, Marla has her hands full, even with Rondeau by her side and while training B. But then her brother Jason makes an appearance to make her hands even fuller. Jason is charming, smart and a con artist. And he and Marla have a difficult history. Now he’s there and he is planning something. Still, if it had just been Jason, Marla could have probably juggled things easily. But in a city like Felport, there is never just one thing going on.

Spell Games is an exciting entry into the series that has me anxious to learn what will happen next. I enjoyed reading it a lot.

Continue reading

Dead Reign (T.A. Pratt)

Dead Reign is the third of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on 31.12.2016
[Here are my reviews of the other Marla Mason novels.]

Plot:
Marla Mason should be worrying about the Founder’s Ball, the biggest social event for Felport that has to work or else risk the wrath of the founding fathers’ ghosts. But instead of working the social intricacies of the magical elite, Marla finds herself confronted by Death himself, in the newest incarnation. He was called by an aging necromancer and realized that Marla has a knife – that can cut through anything – that used to belong to one of the previous Deaths. And he wants it back. When Marla isn’t prepared to give it up, he banishes her from Felport and takes over the city. Now Marla has to find a way to get her city back. Fortunately, her right hand Rondeau is still there to help Marla out.

I really enjoy the Marla Mason books and Dead Reign was another strong entry in the series. I love the new spin on certain things Pratt manages, but mostly I just love Marla.

Continue reading

Poison Sleep (T.A. Pratt)

Poison Sleep is the second of the Marla Mason novels by T.A. Pratt.
Finished on 9.4.2016
[Here’s my review of the first Marla Mason novel.]

Plot:
Marla has her plate full once more: a young woman escaped from the Blackwing Institute where all the magicians too unstable and to dangerous to stay out in the world are being kept. That particular woman, Genevieve, is deeply traumatized, has been in asleep for years and has the ability to re-weave reality just by wishing it so. As if that wasn’t enough, a renegade Slow Assassin has come to her city to kill, with his organization at his heel to rein him in. With all of that to deal with, looking for a new assistant, dodging the usual attempts on her own life and redistributing the power in the city between the various mages seems barely worth mentioning.

Poison Sleep is an absolutely satisfying sequel to a book I loved. It’s imaginative, fast-paced and has great characters. It make me like the series even more.

pratt_poisonsleep Continue reading