Sep 30, 2012

Angel's Ink by Jocelynn Drake Review

Angel's Ink by Joceylynn Drake
(The Asylym Tales #1)
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Harper Voyage; 368 pages
Buyer beware . . .

Looking for a tattoo-and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of true love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using his unique potions-a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks-to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart's desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has its price.

No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Tower where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him the right to practice magic. And if he disobeys, his punishment-execution-will be swift.

Though he's tried to fly under the radar, Gage can't hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead-or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage just might make it through this enchanted world alive.

I'd like to start out by saying that this book is a little bit out of my usual age genre.  It is an adult urban fantasy series.  99 percent of of the books I read are young adult, so this was a little different for me to read.  But with the exception of profanity (which lately has made it's way into young adult books) and one steamy sex scene, it wasn't very different from my usual reads.

Angel's Ink centers around Gage.  A former warlock who chose to leave the warlocks and witches community due to not believing in their views.  He is currently a tattoo artist, who specializes in mixing potions with his ink.  These potions with the right ingredients can give someone good luck, wealth, love etc.  But of course the good goes with the bad, and sometimes if the ingredients aren't right bad things can happen.  I personally love the idea of tattoos that can have power.  A tattoo is a permanent modification on your body.  It should  be something that takes time and consideration.  To add magic to it, should cause the recipient to proceed with caution.

Gage is a very likeable character.  He's quick witted and is really good at getting himself out of a bad situation.  But his best quality is his loyalty.  His relationships with his coworkers Trixie and Bronx are prime examples of this.  His relationships with both cross the lines between professional and personal.  Especially with Trixie.  I really like Trixie.  She's bubbly, but fierce.  She also compliments Gage very well.

While reading I was convinced that the author either didn't like Gage very much, or she is determined that Gage can survive anything.  One thing after another happens to Gage.  He has so many obstacles that are thrown at him.  I found myself thinking, "Geez how much can one person take?"

I really enjoyed the story, but one thing I had difficulty with is the amount of things that happened in one book.  Especially since this is the first book in the series.  It can be difficult for the reader when too much is thrown at them at once.  As I mentioned before, one bad thing after another happens to Gage.  I think if this book was spread into two books instead of one, it wouldn't feel too much at once.  There was even a party where I forgot about what Gage's main complication was because another one popped up.

My favorite scenes were definitely the fight scenes.  They were so action packed, but not overly filled with gore.  I'm not a fan of gore.  The author gave just enough that you understood what was going on in the battles without overkill.  I also really enjoyed the dialogue.  I found myself laughing out loud at the conversations between Gage and his companions.

Angel's Ink kept me interested enough that I will keep reading this series.  If we did half stars, I'd probably give it a 3.5 rating.  I wavered between giving it a 3 or 4.  I would recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of young adult urban fantasy, but is looking for something a little bit more adult and edgy.

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