Adrienne Martini reviews Tim Pratt

Tim Pratt’s writing just keeps getting better and better. In Heirs of Grace, his voice feels dialed in. The writing is tight and sassy without wasting one word – and he makes it seem easy.

Of course, it helps that his protagonist, Bekah, a fresh college graduate/visual artist who has been willed a house by an unknown relation in North Carolina, is her own smart force to be reckoned with. Even when stuff in the house gets weird – self-healing doors are only the beginning of the strange – Bekah is cool but not frozen. She is an active (and smart-assed) agent in her own story, which is a refreshing change.

All of the characters are drawn as finely, too, from Bekah’s best friend Charlie to her potential love interest Trey to the antagonist Firstborn, who starts the book as an evil cartoon but blooms into something much more interesting.

Heirs of Grace does more, however, than tell a story about a woman discovering who she is while she negotiates with fantasy elements; it also gets meta about being a book as well as taking on the nature and purpose of art. ‘‘But taking something that exists only in the mind and turning it into something other people can see, can touch, can take in and be changed by – that’s always felt like the greatest possible magic to me,’’ Bekah says. She’s talking about her paintings, but the idea applies to nearly any creative endeavor. And Heirs of Grace performs this magic well.

Read more! This is one of many reviews from recent issues of Locus Magazine. To read more, go here to subscribe.

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