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Poison Sleep (Marla Mason, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – March 25, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Marla Mason, guardian mage of the east coast city of Felport, returns in her second major magical challenge (after Blood Engines): catching a psycho, and psychic, dream "reweaver" before the psycho turns into an endless nightmare. Genevieve Kelley, a former apprentice sorcerer, vanishes from the Blackwing Institute for Criminally Insane Sorcerers after laying catatonic for 15 years, having put herself into a protective deep sleep after being raped. With the ability to "reweave" physical reality, the terrified psychic is trying to escape Reave, king of nightmares, the avatar of her rapist. Marla, drawn in and out of Genevieve's dream reality, hires Ted, a former street bum turned skeptical personal assistant, and Joshua, a delectable "lovetalker," to help her put a lid on Genevieve as an important sorcerer assembly approaches. A rival sorcerer, Gregor, also seeks to eliminate the marvelous Marla by hiring Zealand, a "slow assassin." Pratt keeps the action lively in this wonderfully whimsical urban fantasy as the adventure of Genevieve takes some wonderfully imaginative twists and turns. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“A wonderfully whimsical urban fantasy.”—Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; Reprint edition (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553589997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553589993
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Pratt was born in Goldsboro, NC, and grew up in various places in the American South. He relocated to Northern California in 2001. His fiction has won a Hugo Award, and he's been a finalist for Sturgeon, Stoker, World Fantasy, Mythopoeic, World Fantasy, Scribe, and Nebula Awards, among others. His other books include three short story collections; a volume of poems; contemporary fantasy novels The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl and Briarpatch; gonzo historical The Constantine Affliction under the name T. Aaron Payton; fantasy roleplaying game tie-ins; and, as T.A. Pratt, eight books (and counting) about sorcerer Marla Mason. He occasionally edits anthologies, including the Rags and Bones anthology co-edited with Melissa Marr. He works as a senior editor for Locus magazine, and lives in Berkeley, CA, with his wife Heather and their son River. Find him online at timpratt.org.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Hyams on April 2, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A girl who can change reality into her dreams, a nightmare come to life that seems to be invincible, assassins following at every step, a sorcerer who is avoiding coming out of his lair, not to mention the city full of innocents who have no idea what or who lurks in the shadows...

This is the second Marla Mason novel and the first that is set in her beloved city Felport. Marla is a straight shooter with a clear head for leadership and instinct. She is also Felport's Head Sorcerer and now once again has to save the city from some interesting characters before it is too late and everyone gets stuck in their worst nightmare.

Pratt is incredibly inventive in her plot and characters. Sorcerers are specialized, new beings emerge and new tricks are introduced all through out her novels. Her heroines and heros have an edge that gives a depth that can be lacking in the genre. Poison Sleep is a great read and I look forward to the next book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Judah on August 11, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this better than the first book because it was less about trying to shock the reader, and more about telling a good story. Pratt still finds times to reference obscure porn, but it's more like an interesting footnote than a major chapter arc.

The book is set inside the city of Felport, though which state Felport is located in is unknown. Marla wasn't the deus-ex force of nature that she was in book one, and really glad that vibe was toned down. In this book she has a bit of romance, which I found rather silly, but it wasn't emphasized and so was bearable.

The plot revolves an insane sorceress who can reweave reality, and who is having a mental breakdown after being woken from her fifteen year long coma in an insane asylum. On the side we have some assassins, personal assistants, divination, and chaos magic. I really like how creative the author is in terms magic specializations, and unlike the first novel, the interesting mages aren't immediately killed off after they get introduced.

Overall what really put this into the 'I like it' territory were the quirky, unique ways of doing magic described inside this novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L* on July 3, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow. Wow. Wow. It's so nice to find an author that you can't put down. This book is as good or better than her first. For those of you who haven't read the first, the pacing in this book is very well done. Also, if you're interested in the medical/legal issues that surround mental illness, this book will give you a lot to think about, in the context of an action-filled, surreal fantasy. Pretty neat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BastardBooks on August 18, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
About five months ago I read the Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt, first in the Marla Mason series. Don't remember well the details, but overall I enjoyed the read even though the book didn't grab me as it could have.

I just finished Poison Sleep, the second in the Marla Mason series, and I was thoroughly entertained by it. Can't tell why Poison Sleep worked for me more than Blood Engines, but it did. Full disclosure, I've never been a big fan of 3rd person narrative and multiple POV when I read Urban Fantasy. It simply hasn't worked that well for me, and this series is written from that perspective. Regardless, Poison Sleep hit all the right spots I was looking for.

The book is filled with what I call "what the f" magic, as in anything goes and weird magic (and crap) abounds. It's fast moving with some amusing dialogue and quite humorous at times. The key to reading the series is just to sit back and enjoy the ride, and not take it too seriously. Really like Marla Mason as a character, she's quite badass and has her own set of morals and priorities; she's a law (or government as she mentions in Poison Sleep) unto herself. Another thing I liked is that you're constantly switching on who you're rooting for, majorly because of the different POV and there's a lot of gray area to work with. There's no shortage of fun characters either.

My main complaint is that I felt like there wasn't a good exposition of Marla's magic in this book, something that I thought worked very well in Blood Engines. She was more of a hack and slash chick this time around. Another is that due to the nature of multiple POV, some of the twists that occur throughout the novel were spoiled.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Seabreeze on June 22, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Marla Mason, chief sorcerer of Felport, has some major and minor problems. The major problems are someone is trying to kill her (again) and a very troubled and tormented young, psychic, woman has the ability to make her dreams and nightmares real. The side effect of this is Felport is experiencing all kinds of mayhem. Marla has to keep things from getting out of hand and try to stay alive at the same time. Her minor problems (relatively) are she is overworked and understaffed. She needs a personal assistant and, in addition, someone who can soften her abrasive approach to others in order to get as much cooperation as possible with the least amount of resistance.

The book moves along very well from the beginning. Some of the secondary characters are fascinating. I really enjoyed Zealand, Ted and, of course, Rondeau. It was impossible to predict who was going to survive, or not, in this book. An aspect I enjoyed even if makes me sad.

Marla is a kick-a** gal who is not inclined to be politically correct and is driven to protect the humans of Felport from those in her world who are up to no good. The reader is led to believe that Marla's job was hard won and not easy to keep as her powerful peers would overthrow her if they felt she was not doing her job or if she ticked them off too much. She is tough, smart, practical, dedicated, and does not suffer fools.

Yet she falls for one particular situation that, as far as this reader was concerned, was pretty transparent. Once readers, and eventually Marla, have a certain piece of information it was not hard to figure out this piece of the puzzle. Yet Marla did not, would not, until it was in her face and spelled out to her, too late to avoid the consequences.
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Poison Sleep (Marla Mason, Book 2)
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