Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ink Exchange review

Ink Exchange
by Melissa Marr
Harper Collins

I just finished racing through this series.  All of them were fast-paced, enjoyable reads.  I reviewed the first in the series about a month ago.  I was a little disappointed at first that Ink Exchange wasn't from Aislinn's perspective.  After reading a few pages, I quickly got into it, however.  The story is quite a bit darker than Wicked Lovely.  In the first of the series, Aislinn is coping with the difficulties of being one of the few humans able to view violent and strange faeries in our midst.  She's fortunate to have the support of her grandmother (also gifted/cursed with the same ability) and her too-wonderful-to-be-believed boyfriend.  Aislinn is barely mentioned in this novel, which instead focuses on Leslie, one of Aislinn's classmates, who is struggling with a difficult home life.  Leslie is consumed with depression and self-destructive tendencies after her alcoholic father and missing mother fail to protect her from a rape arranged by her drug-abusing pimp older brother.  Grim stuff indeed.

A lot
of the story here revolves around the tattoo that Leslie decides to get.  I don't know very much at all about tattoos myself, but the description of the tattoo parlor, and the tattooing process all sounded believable to me.  She unknowingly picks a particular piece of art which links her to Irial, the Faery King of the Dark Court.  Her friend Niall, an advisor to the Summer Court, and a former member of the Dark Court tries to protect Leslie, but she gets pulled in to their intrigues anyhow.  The Dark Court feeds off of negative emotions, and soon, bloodthirsty Irial is using his connection to Leslie to subject her to terrifyingly violent, chaotic scenes, as he drains her dry of feelings.  It's scary stuff, but cathartic too, as Leslie uses the horrors she undergoes to purge herself of her fears, and ultimately, to move forward without Irial.

Definitely darker
in tone than the first in the series, the serious subject matter with scenes that range from eerie and mystical to disturbingly violent this horror/fantasy is best for older teens.

I purchased
this book.

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