Marla Mason, ousted chief sorcerer for the city of Felport, is languishing in exile on the island of Maui with her best friend, the psychic (and rather hedonistic) Rondeau. She's making a living of sorts as an occult detective, but for the most part, she's just marking time. Driven from the city she loves, Marla is adrift, nearly friendless, and stripped of almost all her power and resources. Obviously, it's the perfect time for old enemies to try and kill her.
A group of sorcerers, all with their own reasons to want Marla dead, assemble and prepare to attack her while she's at her most vulnerable. The members of this Marla Mason Revenge Squad include the one-armed witch Nicolette, the cheerfully murderous psychopath Crapsey, a criminally insane shapeshifter, a man who hunts werewolves for fun, and a master of anti-magic, among others. But they aren't taking chances with an enemy as formidable as Marla. They hire the world's most notorious - and deadly - chaos witch, Elsie Jarrow, to lead their assault. But Elsie is impossible to predict and just as hard to control, and may well have an agenda of her own. Besides, Marla isn't as helpless as they think - she's still got a few friends in high (and low) places, including a god or two. And no matter how bad her life is, there's nothing Marla loves more than a good fight. There's bound to be trouble in paradise.
©2012 Tim Pratt (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
ummm.. hi.. be my friend..
I've liked the Marla series from the beginning largely because of the narration. This is a place where audio can transform material into something special. Like the Dreden series, I would have to think a few times before buying a Marla story without the superb work of Ms. Almasy to give it height and depth.
Grim Tides is a solid entry from the story point of view. The only quibble I have is that it needed some editing to blend the various parts together better. Instead of coming across as a seamless whole, it is a bit... chunky is the word that springs to mind. I think an editor could have smoothed it out.
The story itself is good. Takes Marla out of here home turf, something we haven't seen since the first book in the series. It pushes the boundaries of the Marlaverse out a bit and I'm excited to see what comes next.
I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.
Grim Tides finds Marla exiled from Fellport due to the events in Broken Mirrors, and could easily be seen as a new opening chapter of the series. She's working as a private investigator in Maui with Rondeau, but the game and stakes have changed. Essentially, a bunch of Marla's former enemies (and friends) have gathered together to take revenge on Marla. If the last book was Age of Apocalypse, this is the Return of the Sinister Six.
Broken Mirrors is probably my favorite of the Marla Mason books. That said, I enjoyed this book about as much as possible. Marla navigating the Ka'anapali shores, tromping through the seven sacred pools, and holing up in an office in Lahaina was a breath of fresh air. I loved seeing characters familiar, even from the oddest places (a favorite character of mine from one of Pratt short stories non-Marla Mason short stories showed up unexpectedly, which left me grinning like a daiquiri drinking fool.) While I'm excited to see what happens in Bride of Death (the next installment) I'm a little bit sad that Marla won't get more time on Maui.
This could have been the closing of the series - there's a lot of closure to events in this story as well as the previous stories, but I'm happy Pratt's decided to continue. His writing is breezy, and the relationships his characters have with each other is why I keep coming back - I love hearing them talk and banter and rib each other. And I love hearing it all channeled by Jessica Almasy. The combination of Pratt's Marla Mason and Almasy's reading of her is a perfect marriage of material and narration, and I'm so excited for them to continue to do more stories in the Marla Mason series.
Love this site! I have a very busy job, so listening to audio books enables me to keep up on great stories!
Any time there is a great narrator, the audio will always be better.
She's one of my favorites!
This one was odd. It was a completely different format, with a random narrator whom we meet at the end. It didn't fit with the series. I was very confused at first. Also, I need Felport. So for that, 4 stars only for the story. But Jessica Almasy is amazing as always, and the characters are so vivid and great, so it get's a 5 overall. Ready for the next book! I want her back in Felport!
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