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

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
Book 2 of 9 in the Marla Mason Series

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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.)
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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: #1,301,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had some issues with "Blood Engines," the first Marla Mason book. While the plot was interesting and kept me guessing, I found the characters and writing style very flat. I am fairly certain that if I hadn't started with the prequel, "Bone Shop," I never would have picked up "Poison Sleep."

And that would have been a shame, because I really enjoyed "Poison Sleep." The title character is still a no-nonsense, ass-kicking thug of a magical city manager, but she seems to have actual feelings and thoughts beyond that one-note character description. Some of this may be due to the early introduction of a "beautiful boy"--a man with the magical ability to wind anyone and everyone around his little finger, definitely including Marla. Some of it may be growth in the author's writing. And some of it may be that "Poison Sleep" is more of a "howdunnit" than a "whodunnit."

T.A. Pratt's penchant for alternating points of views is a weak writing choice and often unnecessary, but it does mean that we understand the villain(s)' motivations and plans early on in the story. If we assume (as I always tend to) that the main character will win out in the end, speculation turns towards how Marla will figure things out and fix the mess. In fact, in this book, the few "whodunnit"-style mysteries that Pratt leaves for big reveals are obvious and flat, while the rest of the magical procedural is hard to put down.

The one other major problem with "Poison Sleep" is that a large part of the plot revolves around a magical young woman whose mind was fractured due to a rape in her youth.
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