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bone-shop

A prequel novel about sorcerer Marla Mason, heroine of a series of novels by T.A. Pratt published by Bantam Spectra from 2007-2009, including Blood Engines, Poison Sleep, Dead Reign, and Spell Games. Bone Shop explores Marla's early days in the city of Felport and her rise to power. Originally serialized online from June-October 2009, available as an e-book for the first tA prequel novel about sorcerer Marla Mason, heroine of a series of novels by T.A. Pratt published by Bantam Spectra from 2007-2009, including Blood Engines, Poison Sleep, Dead Reign, and Spell Games. Bone Shop explores Marla's early days in the city of Felport and her rise to power. Originally serialized online from June-October 2009, available as an e-book for the first time....

Title : bone shop
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 8183367
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 244 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

bone shop Reviews

  • ᴥ Irena ᴥ
    2018-10-19 08:13

    3.5I remember I read a short Marla Mason story in an anthology (don't remember which) and liked it a lot. The world seemed interesting enough to read the series. I forgot about it though. I stumbled upon this one by accident and when I checked the Goodreads, I saw there are four prequels, this being the first. I could have read the books in order they were published, but I prefer chronological one.Bone Shop doesn't have one main thread that follows from the beginning to its end unless you count Marla's development as one. It is more of a summary of her teenage years, from the moment she meets her first mentor in all things magic to the moment she becomes as important as other sorcerers in Felport. The book is like a collection of short stories all being connected by the same character.I don't care much for teenage girl protagonists, but a teenage Marla Mason is truly a special case. She is practical even when in love. She is tough even when she is hurting. There is zero whining in this story. She even comes very close in being an anti-hero.This would have been an ordinary urban fantasy if not for many unpredictable twists and turns that make this story even better than I expected.

  • Belen Schneider
    2018-11-03 05:18

    It's always a tough choice...do you start a series with the first book the author wrote, or with the earliest prequel? Katherine Kurtz's Deryni series taught me that choosing the prequel-first route gives you an added bonus: the author has their groove, the characters have their groove, and the depth you can get from their "backstory" can jumpstart your love for the series as a whole.I suspect that Bone Shop is going to fit squarely in that category. I already have a pretty serious crush on Marla Mason, and I'm so excited that this is just the beginning of our journey together. The series came recommended to me when I was looking for character-driven, good banter, fluffy-but-not-romance-novel-drivel reading to keep me on the elliptical and distracted from the torture. This was exactly the right formula.The humor is irreverent. Marla is not for the faint of heart - she is gritty and tough and smart (even at 16), but the the book doesn't seem to take itself too seriously, which was nice. I laughed out loud more than once, and I also cringed at the backstory and baggage that Pratt revealed about this character. In many ways, Marla is pretty seriously damaged goods, but she's certainly not a victim. I like the depth of that, and I am looking forward to how this backstory manifests in her future years.

  • Baal Of
    2018-11-17 05:17

    Apparently it's been 4 years since I read any of the Marla Mason books, something I only know because goodreads is a part of my external memory, and I was also reminded of why I should write at least a couple sentences of review for everything I read, even when I don't feel like doing it. I couldn't remember what I liked about this series, beyond the vaguest sense that I had enjoyed them as fast, escapist urban fantasy. So coming back into this world via the first of the prequels was the correct choice, and on vacation even more so, as I was able to read the entire thing in essentially one day, spanning midnight thus marked as finished on the following day. I can confirm that these books are indeed candy, spiked with a bit of capsaicin, that can be consumed by the fistful. This book is a swarming whirlwind of activity, wild magic, and character deaths aplenty. I learned how Marla got her cloak, and how she had a hand in making Rondeau who he is, and how she become the protector of her city. This book was the perfect change of pace between the two more serious novels I've sandwiched it between on this vacation.Note to my future self: keep writing these silly little reviews, you'll thank yourself later.

  • Adam O'Grady
    2018-11-11 06:17

    I've never read any of T.A. Pratt's other work but as a first introduction this is fantastic.It introduces a lovable, charming, scamp of a main character in Marla, someone who has had a rough life and treats the world with a strong dose of cynicism and wariness. It slowly introduces a world of magic that feels believable and with reasonable limitations and even discusses how they keep it hidden from non-magical users.The characters are nicely fleshed out even if they fit within some simple tropes and the main setting has enough of a "gritty metropolis" to complement the story. The secondary setting of a pocket universe is fun but feels underdeveloped and unexplored despite it's importance in Marla's training.Some of the uncomfortable topics such as the sexual relationship between Marla and Daniel and the main character working as a skimpie before she turns 18 are tackled in a non-sexualised way, avoiding gross or unnecessary description and being mentioned only for plot advancement and character development. For approaching such topics in this manner I have to applaud the author

  • Yolanda Sfetsos
    2018-10-22 06:09

    After reading Blood Engines last week, I was looking forward to getting stuck into more Marla Mason stories. I've already ordered the paperbacks of the next three books, but found this prequel for free at the author's website and got hooked right away.This is an excellent origin story. It starts when Marla is sixteen and has recently arrived in the city of Felport after escaping a rough childhood. In this city she meets Jenny and they become friends, which soon leads her to the seemingly pervy Artie. But Artie isn't what he seems, and before long Marla gets swept away in a hidden world of magic, sorcerers, and mayhem. It also covers her rise to the top and why she seems so detached when it comes to relationships. Oh, and we find out why she was so close to Lao Tsung, which was very cool!I found her love story with Daniel touching, and heartbreaking. Not to mention how cool it was to read about when she found the cloak (or did the cloak find her?) and first discovered what it could do when she met a young boy called Rondeau.Yeah, this is an excellent short novel that just makes me want to read more and more Marla stories. She's an interesting and mysterious character, so it was awesome to read about some of the things that shape the tough woman she becomes.I loved it!BTW, if you're interested in checking it out, you can HERE.

  • Carien
    2018-11-02 02:24

    I loved Blood Engines, the first book in the Marla Mason series, and I have the next two books in my TBR pile. But when I received this prequel novel I had to read it first, if only so I could stare lovingly at the gorgeous cover from time to time.And this is a great read.Some of the things that happened in Bone Shop I knew about, because Marla mentioned them in Blood Engines. Other things were new to me, and gave me a better inside in the woman Marla is. I loved seeing Marla grow into power. She has a difficult past, but she's resourceful and stubborn. I also liked reading how she and Rondeau met and how they came to work together. If I didn't already love Marla, I would have fallen in love with her in this book.All in all this is a really cool prequel which could be read on its own, but as it's an 'origins' story it isn't one fluid story, but tends to hop and skip time wise.I will most certainly pick up book two in the Marla Mason series soon.

  • Reed
    2018-10-25 00:31

    A fun prequel to the Marla Mason series, I am all for supporting Mr. Pratt during his financial crisis. Sad that such an engaging urban fantasy writer, who actually writes a female character who doesn't feel it's necessary to sleep with every supernatural entity she encounters, was dropped by his publisher.Having heard that he was writing serial novels in the Mason universe to raise money, I certainly wanted to support him. While not the best novel in the series, it does offer some interesting insights into Marla's background. I believe the episodic nature of this writing project--one chapter a week--made the novel feel a bit punchy and lacking.However, I enjoyed it enough to also snag the next novel he wrote in a similar fashion (Grim Tides). Hopefully that novel will feel a bit "meatier".

  • Runningrabbit
    2018-10-19 05:30

    This was really good, but I was disappointed with some of the predictability in the novel, which I seriously thought could have been avoided. I truly truly hate predictability in a book, what a waste of time and fiction.The lead character was very likable, including the support characters. There were a couple of things that panned out which are often areas not moved into with a novel, and I was surprised they popped all these scenarios into a first book.Definitely looking forward to see what happens next. Isn't it great when you don't have to wait for the next book in a series to come out! Yehhh.

  • Samantha wickedshizuku Tolleson
    2018-10-30 07:06

    This was an impressive plot, and the settings were equally gritty. The leading lady is a fantastic character!

  • David Schwan
    2018-10-22 03:14

    A rather strange novel at first. The early chapters read like a porn novel minus the the porn. Our main character starts as 16 year old girl who was left home and is living on the streets where she befriends a slightly older girl. Eventually both are working at a strip club which is operated by a rather sleazy person. Then suddenly our main character is invited to become a magicians apprentice by the sleazy strip club owner and the story settles down into a fun urban fantasy story. This book is the prequel to the series and was written after the first novel in the series. The book is quite uneven in places which is likely due to it being published as a serial. At the end there are lots of authors notes talking about each chapter. The notes were fun to read.

  • Sylvain Roy
    2018-11-01 03:03

    I read the prequel without knowing it was a prequel. If you are already in love with the serie, I would say it is probably a good book for you to read. As a total newbie to this universe, this book is missing some meat on the bones.

  • Melissa Levine
    2018-10-20 06:12

    I was a big fan of this story. I'm not really sure what it was that called to me but it was really hard to put it down. Definitely makes me want to read more by this author.I wasn't really a fan of the jumping years ahead. Usually I have no problem when an author does that, but with this story I did. I also did like how Daniel reappears years later to die just a few days afterwards. What was the point of bringing him back at all?Questions/Comments:"This is a place where we can practice our magic without drawing too much attention." That's what Jenny had said when they were in Artie's London. I'm just wondering why the author chose to say it that? Wouldn't they be getting NO attention there?When Marla moves into Artie's place, she's going through the dresser drawers looking at the clothes. Why did they give her men's shirts?When Marla meets Lao she says "Usually nobody likes me. Usually everybody likes Daniel." I didn't understand why she said that? She hadn't even really met anyone new. There were several errors I found throughout the story:"...Daniel gasped and stepped back, shaking his head in confusion, in DIBELIEF...""Even a pinch there hurts pretty had."When Marla is hunting Somerset, she tells Hamil this: "First, get Langford. I need something from him. Then tell Sauvage okay, he can be chief sorcerer." Didn't the author mean Somerset could be chief?When Marla is talking to Daniel about bringing Artie back from the dead: "...lurching through it like some kind of half-assed zombie demanding cigars instead of brains..." If he was a zombie he'd rather have the brains than a cigar, right?After Juliana dies, why did Marla ask Rondeau if they had been lovers?

  • Caitlin
    2018-10-22 08:19

    I really enjoyed this book. At first I disliked how the novel seemed to skip through chunks of Marla's life and then sum up interesting past events in a few paragraphs, but I've learned that that's partly the author's style, and partly because Marla (realistically) deals with so many incidents throughout this portion of her life that to go into depth about all of them would require many books, and this is just regarding her rise to power over Felport.What I enjoy about Marla is that her rough personality isn't a clumsy writer's way of establishing that their character is "super badass" and then abandoned or contradicted completely. Marla remains consistent, and is merely blunt and straightforward, not idiotic or egotistical--she takes other characters' opinions into consideration, and the other characters are written as valuable members of the cast, not merely cardboard cutouts used to illustrate how badass Marla is.It may seem like I'm downtalking the book by saying that its selling point is "not falling into overwritten cliche" but to be honest, that is EXTREMELY valuable in a book these days, especially in a book about a young woman. Marla isn't sexualized or romanticized, merely portrayed; her adventures are interesting; and her world is an eclectic mix of odd things that still follows the laws of its world, making the progression of Marla's adventures realistic.I blew through this book on a 2-hr train trip to Tokyo, and I'm really glad I did, because it makes reading all the other books in Marla's series that much more interesting when I know the backstory.Definitely recommended.

  • Steven
    2018-11-18 01:29

    Bone Shop is an origin story for Marla mason, and so shares both the wonder and problems of all origin stories when you already know part of how things end up. Just like the latest remaginings of Batman or Spiderman can't completely ignore what's come before, Pratt can't ignore where his character must end up, and this is the only real flaw in the work. The last quarter (or less) seems a little rushed, almost as if Pratt realized that his character wasn't headed where she was supposed to go.But when I say that is the only problem I had with the work, I meant it. This really is two or three novels packed into a short space, introducing both an entire world, many rich characters, and several major story arcs. It is a fantastic introduction to Marla mason, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.Let me clarify: Even the last bit - where it seemed a bit rushed and forced - was good. It is only in comparison to the rest of the masterful plotting and pacing that good pales in comparison to great.This is not your lighthearted wisecracking urban fantasy - though there's lots of smartaleckness and humor throughout. It's a dark, gritty story, where weird and dark things exist without reason, where people are flawed, and sometimes you have no recourse but to choose the lesser of two evils.

  • Denise
    2018-10-21 05:21

    I've read all the Marla Mason novels now so I'm starting on the short stories. Only four chapters in and I love it. Why? Not just because I'm obviously a fan of the series, but because of a geeky thing. Bone Shop was written as a serial and Pratt included notes every week about the writing and sometimes what was going on in his life. I saw the notes on the blog and wondered if I'd remember to go back and check them since I'm reading the Kindle e-book. But the e-book includes all the notes. And even better, there's a link to the appropriate week's notes at the end of every chapter and then at the end of the notes there are links to go back to the chapter or on to the next one. It's awesome and I love it.As for the story, it's fun to see a young Marla. Even though I know terrible things will happen and I shouldn't get attached to Jenny Click. I hate protagonists that exist just to have awful things happen to them (seems to be most of the urban fantasy ones out there) and while bad shit happens to Marla, there are good things as well. It took her a long time to realize that but she did. So even though I know these short stories won't be rainbows and unicorns, I'm pretty sure they'll show not only how Marla came to know all the stuff she knows but how she gained allies and those parts of her that attracted not only allies but friends.

  • Colleen
    2018-11-17 06:25

    Bone Shop is a rather short novel (novella) that explains the origins of the character Marla Mason, and her rise from street rat to the head sorcerer-protector of the city Felport. It is told in short, bald sentences and stripped down conversations. Pratt's characters are demonstrated rather than described, and if you can't keep up, you are forced to go back and read that sequence again. My opinion of Marla in Blood Engines is that she is a mostly-cold-hearted almost sociopath. This book explains why she repeatedly chooses to be that way. It also explains her lack of sorcerous specialty as compared to almost all of the other something-mancers. In this quite explanatory prequel, readers get to see the utterly mundane ways that she acquires her cloak of power and her knife of sorcery. They get to follow most of her training in badassery as well as how to use willpower as a weapon.I picked up this story because it is featured in Opening Acts, and I found that taste intriguing (and my plane was delayed).I recommend it to people who like quick action, sarcasm, and a distinct lack of padding and coddling in their worlds. I found myself laughing out loud at some rather inappropriate moments.

  • Lisa
    2018-10-29 08:18

    This was my first introduction to Pratt's Marla Mason. From street kid with a bad past to a young woman who has climbed to a position of power and wants it, this was a fun ride. I can see why people are calling her a superhero even though the author very clearly labels it as magic.Since I don't follow Pratt in social media, I can't really say if he intended the series to be a mashup between urban fantasy and superheros. Since I didn't detect references to either, I'm going to say that this series is just awesome on its own. Marla is gritty without being utterly dark. Pratt is willing to let characters die so actions actually have consequences. Old gods, magic, and immortality are to the forefront while meanwhile we are made aware that there is a mundane world that lives unaware of the magic in its midst with (at least in this book) no time spent on that outside world, unlike series like Harry Potter.And I like Marla. She has a sense of humor about her life without being funny. She's not a goody two shoes that I can't relate to. She's imperfect but still likable, a fine line that I've seen crossed too much lately. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series.

  • Casey
    2018-10-21 02:30

    To anyone will listen, I've been gushing about these books. I haven't enjoyed an urban fantasy series this much since Dresden Files, and I've gotten extraordinarily picky too because there's so much that's rehashed in a lot of series these days. I really think that this series is incredibly creative and original.I read this immediately after finishing Spell Games. I actually would recommend this order. The first four books reveal a lot of Marla's backstory in small snippets, and I feel like I might have missed some of the interesting parts of that reveal if I'd already known everything. That said, it would also be very interesting to go back now and read from the beginning.Some reviewers have mentioned that this book could have used some editing and it does seem self published, but I can't say that I thought that. It seemed pretty well paced despite some time jumps, but I felt as if this was intended as an interlude anyway and expected it to be shorter/quicker.

  • Antonio Diaz
    2018-10-28 07:02

    Precuela que Pratt publicó gratis en su web de las novelas de la saga de Marla Mason. Bastante correcta y con algunos pasajes muy divertidos. Pasan muchísimas cosas y, por su brevedad, a veces no da la impresión de que se le dedique suficiente tiempo a cada paso de la trama. Se percibe una maduración un tanto acelerada de la propia Marla Mason.Para el que esté pensando en entrar en el mundo de Marla, yo empezaría directamente por Blood Engines (que es el primero que Pratt escribió) o por alguno de los relatos que pululan en castellano (Hic Sunt Dracones de Fata Libelli o los de las antologías de Cuentos para Algernon) o en inglés (en la propia web del autor o en varios podcasts). Para más información:http://sentidodelamaravilla.blogspot....

  • February Four
    2018-11-05 04:26

    This book, like Broken Mirrors, needs some editing. More than Broken Mirrors does, actually. I don't know Pratt's work enough to tell which was published first. Does he get better at self-editing, or did he get worse as time/distance from an editor grew?The ending was very, very, VERY rushed. Pratt pushed through in two chapters what could have taken 5 or more. These are MAJOR events in Marla's history (bet you can guess which ones, if you've been paying attention and have read all five Marla Mason books besides this one). Rushing through them like this is sadly weak. I would have been incredibly sad and disappointed if I hadn't known this book was self-published. I'm still disappointed, but less sad; this means a good editor (that isn't Pratt) can help him fix it and make it good.

  • Amanda
    2018-10-26 00:17

    I really liked a lot of things about this book. I liked that I could read a short intro into the characters and background of this series before committing to buying the first book. I liked the authors comments added at the end of each chapter. I liked that this was an adult book. Ive read so many young adult books lately that I wanted something a little darker. And darker I got! This was not something warm a fuzzy. Although I liked it, Im not sure if Im ready to dive into the series. I think after reading about Marla's past and how she got to were she will start off in the series Im a little afraid... I dont think these books are going to have many happy moments in them. I like a little warm and fuzzy mixed into the stuff I read and I dont foresee that here.

  • Alexis Chateau
    2018-10-28 00:24

    This book was better than "Blood Engines" in terms of quality and writing style but I still hated it. There was no real plot. It was a book of three pieces of different plots strung haphazardly together.Daniel's relationship with Marla was disappointing to me. They hate each other and the book continues, then suddenly they're screwing and we dont know how it came to that. If he had built a few more hints leading up to that and described their relationship as more than sex, and random affections, maybe I would have sympathized with Marla when she had to kill him.Poorly written. Everyone is described but Marla and I don't see any real character development. The dialogue always annoys me. It just comes off as generic and insincere to me. Shallow even.

  • Roy DeRousse
    2018-11-15 03:17

    A prequel to the Marla Mason novels by T. A. Pratt. I haven't read the novels yet, but I read and liked a number of short stories featuring the character in "The Complete Stories of Tim Pratt." This is basically an origin story for her. Pratt creates an interesting urban fantasy world and characters who live in it. I cared about what happened to them and plan to read the Marla Mason novels sometime soon.This is available to read for free online. Use your favorite search engine to find the link since Goodreads won't allow me to include it. :-(

  • Diana Glewwe
    2018-11-09 02:12

    This was an interesting start to a series. This book was actually written in the middle of the series and is like the secret history of the main character. As such, I think that some of the world background got glossed over and there were some awkward maneuverings to make things fit. But it was still an interesting story and I am more than willing to actually listen to the rest of the series. It's kind of nice to see characters that have such twisted moral and no regret angst over them.

  • Ungelic_is_us
    2018-11-09 04:20

    Structurally, this book is a bit of a mess, but--wow. It certainly explains a lot about Marla. I'm glad I read the first three books in the series (non-prequel) because the reveal is really nice. No wonder the woman is such a monster, sometimes. If you enjoyed the other Marla Mason books, I definitely recommend this one--it's especially interesting in the context of Dead Reign. (And it's availabe online for free!)

  • Frank
    2018-11-10 05:11

    It started out with a lot of promise but then lost its way in teenage angst and hormones. In addition, the foreshadowing was a bit heavy-handed and the character deaths were pretty predictable.Since this was written after the series it prequels I felt that the remaining books weren't worth the effort.

  • Alice Sabo
    2018-11-02 04:05

    Having not read any of the Marla Mason books, I was interested to meet the character in her backstory. The end feels a bit rushed. I would have liked to see some things worked out a bit better. And I agree that the characters have a bit too much exposition in their conversations. The world isn't totally explained, so that threw me off a little. But all in all a fun read.

  • Cassandra
    2018-10-21 01:05

    I loved learning about the life of Marla before the events of the other books. It was actually very insightful, and the thoughts by the author at the end gave a lot of insight into the mind of a writer.

  • Bryan Ewert
    2018-10-29 08:07

    An introduction to the origins of many elements of Marla Mason's entourage and her universe. This will be of interest only to those already familiar with the Marla Mason novels, or at least dedicated to continuing on with the series. I doubt this was intended as a stand-alone read, anyway.

  • Alison (ง'̀-'́)ง
    2018-10-28 03:19

    Started off great. When the author is grooving, he's rocking it. The first third of the book was great... solid world building... neat and interesting characters. It fizzled out quite a bit after that.