Review of POISON SLEEP by T. A. Pratt (see his website)
MARLA MASON BOOK TWO
Spectra, March 2008
Being Chief Sorcerer for Felport means Marla Mason has plenty of money, but she's responsible for restraining the bickering among the other sorcerers, for controling all sorts of evil entities, and for taking care of possible escapees from the institute where crazy sorcerers are kept. When a powerful dreamer partially wakes up and shares her nightmares with the citizens of Felport, and when a former slow assassin targets Marla, she realizes she's got too much to do. A couple of assistants, one a formerly homeless person to act as her administrative assistant and the other a love talker to smooth waters have to help--but the nightmares keep getting worse.
Although a chief sorcerer can order other sorcerers to help, Marla has enemies--and those who think she doesn't deserve to be chief. An alliance between the leader of the nightmares--who hopes to take over the dreamer's power--and a pair of sorcerers further threatens Marla's future. Considering the nightmare's tacky plans for world conquest, Felport might only be the beginning of the problems the world faces unless Marla can figure out a solution. The only problem--exactly how does one fight a nightmare?
Author T. A. Pratt creates an intriguing urban fantasy without the normal vampires and werewolves. Sorcery, often a type of applied quantum physics, works--but it always has its costs. Marla Mason makes an interesting character with her concern for Felport's underclasses. I especially liked the moment when she warned one homeless person that the grate where he'd found warmth was 'owned' by someone else--who would not appreciate having his grate stolen. The ex-slow assassin, Zealand, also made an interesting character. I would have liked, however, to see more character development for some of the other players. Too many people without enough to do slowed the story a bit.
POISON SLEEP isn't perfect, but it's an enjoyable read with a pair of interesting characters.
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