Wednesday, August 31, 2011 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Ink Exchange Review

Title: Ink Exchange
Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: 2008
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Fantasy, Faeries, Romance, Magic, & Tattoos
Pages: 325
Plot: (From the Dust Jacket)
     "Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger.  After centuries of stability, the balance among faery courts has altered, and Irial, the ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together.  If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.
     Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues.  When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.
     The tattoo does bring her changes- not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic.  Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand it's perils..."

     Once I finished Wicked Lovely I couldn't wait to read Ink Exchange.  Which I really wasn't waiting considering I already owned it.  Out of all the covers of this series this one by far was my favorite.  If I didn't already have a tattoo in the middle of my back I would so want Leslie's.  I will admit that hers is way cooler than mine.  Although I could always add wings to mine and I have thought about it many times...
     This novel was tantalizingly dark and irresistible.  I loved every beautifully written page of it.  I think that I might have enjoyed Ink Exchange little more than Wicked Lovely.  Being that Ink Exchange had a truly ominous and sinister plot line to it.  This story will really keep you guessing at what is going to happen next.  Every time I made a decision as to what I thought was going to happen next... nope, just kidding.  I honestly felt that Melissa Marr was laughing at me as I read it, telling me to guess again.
      Just as the first book, Melissa Marr truly knows how to capture her characters.  Marr reveals them in such a way where you can completely understand and cope with their issues.  I really thought that the main characters were going to be Aislinn and Keenan but this story's focus is Leslie, Irial, and Niall.  This was a unique twist that told a different perspective that I have a feeling is going to be very important for the rest of the series.  What to say about Leslie, she is a strong and independent girl, someone who carries her burden on her own shoulders.  Even though she is a little lost because of her family life, Leslie is still pertinacious and persevering.  Then there is Niall, a consultant to the Summer King, who has caught Leslie's eye and falls for her while protecting her.  I really felt for this faery as he was left broken as he was used, lonely, and failed on his mission in protecting Leslie.  The so called bad guy of the tale was Irial, the king of the Dark Court, which ties Leslie to him by an ink exchange (her tattoo).  Irial is a dark and potently dangerous faery who is trying to do what is best for his court by any means necessary  That is until the ink exchange is finished... than he starts to feel something new that a Dark King shouldn't.
     I gave this novel an A+ as this tale is utterly seductive and morbid.  Whether you liked the first book to the series or not, I would confidently still suggest reading on into the second because you will love it.  Everything that I stated about Wicked Lovely continues on to Ink Exchange!

Rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Characters: 5
Plot: 5
Writing Style: 5


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