Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on 1/20/15
Genres: Fantasy, Love & Romance, Young Adult
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing, Some violence)
Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.
Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.
And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can't escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.
But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.
Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.
Eric Smith takes you on a high-octane fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being different… only to discover that fate is more than skin deep.
Inked is a fun fantasy story that starts out really strong, but loses a little bit of it’s flair as it moves along (at least for me). Overall, I still did really enjoy the book, though. I loved the concept, and I enjoyed the characters, but I found my interest waning a bit in certain parts. Here’s more of an explanation why:
What I enjoyed:
- The tattoos. I loved the concept of this book – that people are tattooed with an image that basically defines who they will be for the rest of their lives. And the tattoos themselves were incredibly interesting – I loved the descriptions of Dreya’s tattoos and how they move and wind around her body and change with her emotions (and the seasons). It was also intriguing how the changes in the tattoos affected Dreya emotionally. The explanation for how the tattoos were created was imaginative and surprising, so I really enjoyed that too!
- Dreya and Caenum. I thought that the romance between Dreya and Caenum was sweet. They grew up together, so they already had a connection when the book began, and I enjoyed seeing it blossom into something more. Both Dreya and Caenum started the book as kind of naive kids and had to grow up a bit as the book progressed. They have to learn to become stronger and to embrace their strengths. I thought that Smith did a great job with this aspect of the book.
- The magic. There was lots of magical mayhem in this book. I loved the different powers that were explored and magical battles are always fun!
- The journey. I found that, during parts of Caenum, Dreya and Kenzi’s journey (when they’re on the run), I started to get a little bored. It seemed like they kept escaping and getting caught, escaping and getting caught, and I was starting to lose interest.
- The climax. I just wasn’t all that impressed with where the story went in the end. While I did think parts of it were very exciting, I also found myself rolling my eyes at certain things. Caenum takes on a bit of a leadership role at the very end of the book, and I couldn’t quite determine how or why (he hadn’t shown any leadership skills up until that point, and the people who were suddenly following him didn’t even really know him that well). It just seemed a little too convenient.
So, overall, I definitely enjoyed this book. I think that it might be better for younger YA readers because it just had a sort of younger feel to it (I’d feel comfortable giving it to my 12-year-old son to read). I give this book 3.5/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
His writing has appeared locally in the Philly Weekly, The Inquirer, and on Philly.com. He’s written for the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Boing Boing, and is a regular contributor to BookRiot and Geekosystem.
His essays have appeared in the Bygone Bureau and The Apiary, and his first published piece will appear in THE ASTEROID BELT ALMANAC with the Hand & the Hand Press in April 2014.
He’s the co-founder of Geekadelphia, a popular hyperlocal geek blog in Philly, and the Philly Geek Awards, a ceremony honoring local geeks in his city.
Eric holds a BA in English from Kean University and an MA in English from Arcadia University. He currently lives in Philly.