Every yuletide, I ask my sig-other to surprise me with some books I haven't asked for and know nothing about, in the hopes that I might thereby discover something cool to read that I normally would never stumble upon. One of the success stories of the most recent wintermark was Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt. The novel is in the urban fantasy genre, and starts off in the middle of the action as Marla, the sorceror-ruler of an industrial East Coast city has to travel to San Francisco in order to find the key to protecting herself from an emerging coup. I think what I like most about the book is that it doesn't embrace conventional moralism--the protagonist certainly isn't your standard goody-goody heroine and the plot has some nice twists and surprises. It also a nice sly sense of humor which always makes fantasy novels a little easier to swallow. I'm definitely planning on picking up the sequel.