Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2010
"Ink Exchange" is the continuing story of the world created in "Wicked Lovely". It's not purely a sequel, and can stand on its own, but parts of it will make more sense if you've already read "Wicked Lovely".

Leslie comes from a broken home. Really, really broken. Her mother is dead, her father is numbing himself by gambling and is rarely home, and her brother is a minor sort of drug dealer. Not the powerful kind, the kind that always gets himself into trouble. When we meet Leslie, she's trying to piece herself back together after her brother allowed his "friends" to gang rape her to get himself out of trouble. Now she wants a tattoo. Not just any tattoo, though. She wants one that will help her reclaim her body as her own.

Irial is the king of the faery Dark Court. The Dark Court which feeds on the darker emotions of the other fae -- terror, lust, greed, etc. This wasn't such a problem when the former, evil Winter Queen was alive. But now there's a new Winter Queen and a tentative peace in the faery world. Irial's people are starving. So what's a king to do? He comes up with a way to feed them. Through a tattoo on a mortal made with his own shadowy blood, Irial can feed off of the mortal's feelings, and in turn feed his court. The only problem is, he needs to find a willing, hurting mortal...

In spite of the interesting-sounding plot, the book was rather slow, and felt more like it should have been a subplot in another novel, rather than have a novel of it's own. The book is more than halfway over before Leslie gets the tattoo, and after that, still not much happens. It wraps up a bit too quickly in the end, and takes a long time getting there. Leslie was a rather one-dimensional character, not someone you'd want to spend a lot of time with, and Irial was only a bit better. A strange subplot in which Niall (a faery of the Summer Court) inexplicably falls in love with Leslie isn't used to any great advantage. Nor is another subplot in which the the once-mortal Summer Queen, Aisleen, agonizes over Leslie's fate, without taking any steps one way or another. It's a book with a lot of potential, but that's about it.

Needless to say, the book's pretty dark (considerably darker than "Wicked Lovely"), especially for the under-13 set, though none of it's very graphic.
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