Saturday, 1 August 2009

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

"After suffering a terrible trauma at the hands of her brother's dealer friends, Leslie becomes obsessed with the idea of getting a tattoo -- it's the one thing that will allow her to reclaim her body, renew her self-confidence. And when Rabbit, her local tattoo artist, shows her a secret book of his own designs, she finds one of them irresistible. Soon, her back is adorned with a pair of mysterious eyes, framed by black wings. Leslie feels good -- more than good. Nothing bad can touch her. But what she doesn't know is that her new tattoo binds her tightly to the faery whose symbol she chose: Irial, the exquisitely dangerous king of the Dark Court!"

Ink Exchange is the sequel to Wicked Lovely, but following different characters. Leslie is one of Aislinn's (the girl from Wicked Lovely) closest friends, and the book follows her fight to regain control after a horrible and terrifying event. She decides that the way to do that is to get a tattoo. But unknown to her, the tattoo she chooses is that of the faerie king of the Dark Court, Irial.

With the tattoo comes unexpected changes for Leslie. Her sight changes, the emotions she feels and the way she reacts. The pain, hurt and fear that had been consuming her, disappears. But at what cost?

The more she changes, the more Niall, advisor to the Summer King and Queen Keenan and Aislinn, wants to help her. Having escaped the Dark Court himself many years ago, he's determined not to let them have Leslie. But in the end, can he himself escape their clutches again?

Wicked Lovely was a really good read, but unfortunately this does not live up to it. The idea behind the story, surviving - not allowing someone else to rule your life, is a good one, but it doesn't work here. The writing tended to ramble on and got confusing at times. You could see what the end was going to be long before you got there, and when you did, it was over quickly. It didn't help that half of the book was from Irial's perspective. As the 'bad guy' I had no sympathy for him or his motives. I didn't like his character and even found him dull at times.

On the good side, we saw some of Keenan's true nature and we got a better look at Niall, easily the most interesting, though least seen, character in the book. I intend to read the third book in the series, Fragile Eternity, because it focuses on different characters. But I don't feel this book really added anything to the series. Long winded, slow and dull at times it didn't do it's predecessor any justice. Hoping for more from the next one. 5/10

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