rating: 3 of 5 stars
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr is the second book in what could be called the Wicked Lovely series. Although reading Wicked Lovely first would give you more insight to the world, I believe both novels can stand alone.
I have to admit that I didn’t like this book as well as I liked Wicked Lovely. While Wicked Lovely is what I would call a dark fantasy (or the more modern term urban fantasy), it wasn’t nearly as dark as Ink Exchange. This book dealt with many addictions, and the answers presented in the book were not clear cut. I guess it is a more accurate reflection of the world in that sense, but I have to admit a fondness for nice tidy endings in my fiction.
After a slow start, the story of Leslie and her tattoo begins to pick up. Niall, a fairy sworn to the Summer Court, is assigned to protect Leslie, but he is unable to protect her from her choices that lead her into the grasp of the king of the Dark Court. This novel has a much more gritty feel than Wicked Lovely, but it does begin to appeal to you later in the book.
While I don’t believe reading Ink Exchange will be necessary to understand Marr’s next book Fragile Eternity (due out 4/28/09) which will pick up where Wicked Lovely left off with Aislinn and Seth, I think it offers interesting insight in to the world of fairy courts that may be beneficial to the readers.
Recommend this to fans of Wicked Lovely, dark fantasy, and urban fantasy.
Cautions for sensitive readers: This book is definitely written for older teens. There is sex, drug additions, and a mention of the main character’s rape before the events of this book. There is also violence among the fairies.
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