Monday, August 3, 2009

Book Inspection: Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Plot Sketch: Things at home pretty much suck for Leslie. She doesn't get much help from her junkie brother or her drunkard father, and even has to pick up the slack and pay the bills, a lot. She thinks that even her friends have abandoned her, what with Aislinn hanging out with those two pieces of man candy, Seth and Keenan, all of the time, and Rianne doing her own thing as usual. What she needs is a tattoo, it will set her free, and let her start anew. Only problem is, everything on the walls at Pins & Needles is just not for her. After weeks of having the parental consent form signed and still having nothing appeal to her, she begs Rabbit (the proprietor of Pins & Needles) to do something custom, which he has already told her he at least needs a hint for, he can't just pull it out of nowhere. Finally, Rabbit relents and goes to get his special book out of his office. As Leslie looks through it, she keeps coming back to a tattoo with dark eyes and wings and Celtic knots. She can't stop thinking about getting that tattoo. Rabbit, a little dismayed, asks her if she's absolutely sure. Of course she is. This is the perfect tattoo. As she goes through her week, you (the reader) get to experience her pain, her protector Niall's pain, and the pain of the King of the Dark Court, Irial. You get to see how Leslie's tattoo releases her pain and how maybe it's not so great to live without pain.

Verdict: I Heart It. This tale picks up in the same world as Wicked Lovely, with the same rules. It is an interesting way to build a series, because the main characters in Ink Exchange are different from those in Wicked Lovely, but the characters from WL are still present. The writing is excellent, but the plot development in this second installment lacked and languished in the middle. There were 100+ pages that seemed to swirl around and never accomplish anything but establish a sort pain. They seemed skimmed, not detailed enough to matter; they seemed to sort of swish around and give you tastes of the whole picture while never actually letting you fully understand. Also, this story is waaaaaay darker than Wicked Lovely. Be prepared for rape, sex, drugs, violence, and addiction to be prevalent themes throughout the reading. Don't let my criticism lead you to believe I didn't enjoy it though, I did enjoy, just not as much as Wicked Lovely.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
Huntsdale (a town)

What is the main character's name?
Leslie

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
No. Actually, now that I reflect on it, maybe that's my biggest problem with this book? I don't like Leslie, so its hard for me to be empathetic with her.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
a few days

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?
No

Is this a good read for Monster?
No. Not a good read for Monster, but it might be for other men.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
Develop the plot from chapters 20-30. It might make the book a little longer, but it would definitely help. Also, I have no idea what a lot of the things in the book were because they were fantasy creatures that I wasn't familiar with. WTF is a glaistig? For those of us not well-versed in traditional faery lore, it would have been nice to have something more than a glaistig has hooves to go on. Also, a pronunciation guide would be helpful.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
I didn't have a favorite line. I had a least favorite one though, p. 296:

"The things you do when you're desperate aren't who you are."

I don't agree with this statement. I think that the things you do when you're desperate define your character and the very essence of who you are. What do you think? Tell me, please.

How many chapters were in the book?
36

Stats:

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: April 29, 2008
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006121468X

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