There are two types of reviewers that drive me insane. The firsttype are the ones who constantly complain about the character development, and the second type are those reviewers who complain about the narator. You will run into these complaints further down the list of this book's reviews. To answer the first complaint, the characters in this book have decent development. You don't know about their thoughts on the meening of life or their opinions about the social issues of the day, but they are developed enough to keep the story going. Not only was the character development good, the system of magic was extremely creative and well thought out. Now to answer the second complaint. I thought the narator did a good job with this book. I don't understand why people are so picky about every little flaw the narator might have. It seems to me that people should be happy with the fact that someone took time out of their day to read an audiobook for the blind. If no one narated these audiobooks, you would have to listen to a synthisized voice. If you thought this narator was bad, you should listen to a book narated by a synthisized voice. Overall, this book is a good read and I would reccomend this book to anyone.
Marla Mason is a unique character and needs a unique voice. Jessica Almsay is such a voice. There are some readers who become one with their books--Susan Ericksen with those of J.D. Robb--Anna Fields with those of Susan Elizabeth Phillips--Barbara Rosenblat with those of Elizabeth Peters and Jessica Almasy with those of T.A. Pratt. I have listened to all four books. Marla is quirky, complex but consistent. Each book is original though true to the world concept. The last book left off in mid air. I Want Answers! Mr. Pratt write faster...
This is the first review of mine that is negative and one that I am writing before I even finished listening to this book. I apologize if this is unfair, but I just had to stop.
The biggest difficulty for me was the characters---especially the lead character, Marla Mason. She's described in the introduction as "smart and saucy". Try sarcastic and cardboard.
Caring for and being interested in a character means at the very least knowing what they look like. The only descriptions were that she has short hair and dandruff. More importantly, I had absolutely no understanding of her---the only aspects of her character had to do with magic and magic spells.
I enjoy magic and magic spells, but not at the expense of a modicum of personality. Magic by itself is boring---we need to know who's involved, what it means to them, how it relates to real life, how normal people experience it, etc.
Okay, maybe all these complaints would be taken care of in subsequent chapters, but I couldn't listen to Jessica Almasy's voice any longer. She literally sounded like a fifteen year old complete with Valley Girl affectation. As a result, the humor of the sarcasm was lost on me---it only sounded obnoxious.
Where is Sookie Stackhouse and Johanna Parker when you need her?
Marla Mason, touted as a most powerful sorcerer and leader of Felport travels to San Francisco with her sidekick Rondeau to get extra power to maintain her "throne" so that another sorcerer, Susan, doesn't steal it from her. That's the long and short of the book. The duo gets into trouble almost constantly. The story line is creative and inventive, but the characters are lacking in development. We don't learn much about how Marla got to where she is and we know even less about Rondeau, although his character is much more likable than Marla's. Marla is very sarcastic, which could be funny if the wit were appropriate. She reminds me of Myron Bolitar in Harlan Coben's books, but without the panache or even the delivery. Pratt doesn't quite pull it off. In her defense she claims she had intended this book to be a stand alone. Yet even really good stand alone books get the reader personally involved in the character. I wasn't pulling for Marla. But I wasn't pulling for Susan, either. It didn't matter to me. I could have put the book down anytime and not missed it. In fact, after reading it, I went on to my next book. And when I finished that and was deciding what to read next, I pulled up Blood Engines again. Of course I realized after 30 seconds into the book that I had already read it. But to not even remember the title or the characters until I clicked on it again speaks volumes about the book. It's just not memorable.
The author tells the listener that he hadn't planned on writing other books in this series, and in this book it shows. Don't get me wrong, its worth the credit, lots of imagination and action. But I really wished the author had re-written some of this book before it made it to Audible. Still enjoyable
Yet another entry in the "I have power that your mortal minds cannot conceive, but I'll do essentially nothing throughout the book" collection.
I simply can't identify with a protagonist who has no flaws, has awesome power (but does nothing with it). She's so good at everything that she can carve her initials into a man's buttocks with a bullwhip. She's immortal. She's got awesome and dangerous artifacts. How do I connect with that character? She's saving the world from certain doom. How do I connect with that character? Why do I care what happens to her?