Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Book Review: "Ink Exchange" by Melissa Marr

review by Beth

**Spoiler Warning- you may not want to read if you have not read "Wicked Lovely" by Melissa Marr**

Ink Exchange, by Melissa Marr, is the sequel to the book Wicked Lovely. As a sequel, however, it is rather confusing, because the main characters of the first book become minor characters in the second book, and vice versa. Both books involve humans living unknowingly alongside faeries, who, for the most part, either do not care about or mistreat humans.

The main character of Ink Exchange is Leslie, a human. She has lived a very hard, dark life over the past few years, with her parents almost completely out of the picture and her brother a druggie who puts his habit before his sister's well-being- indeed offers his sister as "payment" to his dealer. The pain of this incident, along with her entire situation, is something Leslie hides from everyone, particularly Aislynn, her best friend, who is hiding secrets of her own.
Leslie decides that she needs to take her life back, that she needs to change, and she feels the need to start that change with a symbol. A tattoo. She goes to a tattoo artist, Rabbit, who is a friend of hers, and asks for recommendations for a design, since she can't find a good one on her own. He reluctantly shows her a book of designs unlike any she has seen before, and in that book she finds an image that calls to her as if it was meant for her- a pair of eyes surrounded by swirls and wings. She insists she must have this one.

Little does she know just how much this tattoo will change her. After getting just the outline, she begins to feel odd- her emotions are no longer making sense, and she believes she is seeing things that aren't there.

While all this is going on, the book explains the backstory of the previous book. The faery world is made of of Courts and solitary faeries. The rulers of the Summer Court happen to be Aislynn and Keenan. Aislynn insists on protecting her human friends from the Faery world, and in order to do that must keep it secret from them. She has Keenan's friend, Niall, invisibly watch over Leslie- oblivious to the fact that Niall is falling for Leslie, which is a situation more dangerous to her than she can know.

There is also the Dark Court, which has been suffering ever since Aislynn took the throne of the Summer Court. The Dark Court feeds off emotions of Faeries, mostly dark emotions- rage, lust, greed, envy. Aislynn's reign has begun to create peace in the Faery world, which is slowly starving the Dark Court. The King, Irial, sets up a temporary fix for his Court- he has a half-fae friend, who happens to be a tattoo artist, begin ink exchanges between the dark faeries and mortals. These will put the mark of a certain fae onto a human's skin, etched in the fae's own blood and tears. This connection will allow the dark fae to feed off humans, as well as faeries. When Leslie chooses Irial's own mark, she seems to be the solution he has been looking for, since only the King can share his sustenance with the entire court.

This book is set in a very dark style, dealing with many sensitive issues. The set-up is rather confusing. There are some characters mentioned that you never entirely figure out who they are. There are minor back-stories that don't seem to go anywhere, or be worth anything. The perspective switches around frequently, sometimes during the same scene. Sometimes, if you do not remember the original story, this sequel talks of things that make no sense whatsoever to the reader.

Ink Exchange has a very good storyline, however dark and confusing it is. If you want to find out what happens to Leslie and the Faery courts, and do not mind reading a book that mentions drugs, rape and suicide, then Ink Exchange could be the story for you.

Check out Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr at the library

1 comment:

keri mikulski :) said...

Great review, Beth. This one is on my TBR pile.