Wednesday, April 29, 2009

REVIEW: Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Ink Exchange coverSeries: Wicked Lovely #2
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Pub Date: March 2009 (Paperback), HarperCollins
Trade Paperback, 325 pages
Source/FTC Disclosure: I purchased my copy of this book. I was in no way compensated for this review and my opinions are my own.
Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .


I couldn't tell you why, but I was prepared to like this book less than Wicked Lovely. Perhaps that's because I'm not much for tattoos and that was what this entire book revolved around. Maybe it was because I wanted a direct continuation of the story of Aislinn, Seth, and Keenan. Actually, I suspect it was because of some reviews I've skimmed through that didn't rate Ink Exchange as favorably as the first book in the series. Even when I started reading, I remained skeptical. In the end, though, I closed the book and knew that I liked it better than the first and I truly think it was a stronger book than Wicked Lovely.

Ink Exchange is darker and much more serious than Wicked Lovely, in my opinion. As much as I liked Aislinn and Seth from the first book (and they're still in this one, too), Leslie and Niall are simply deeper and more complex individuals. That they have suffered in their lives is putting it mildly. And then of course there's Irial, and without him and his desire to "feed" his dark fey (I won't go into more detail than that), we wouldn't even have this story.

As I finished the last page, I could not believe that I'd finished this book so quickly. I mean, I realize it's not a difficult read, but the pages just flew by because I had to know what was going to happen. I'm really glad that I've got Fragile Eternity nearby and can dive right into it, but the thought of waiting roughly another year for the next book is borderline agonizing. As most of you probably know from my Sunday Salon post, I had the good fortune to attend a signing with Melissa Marr on Sunday. Part of me wishes I'd already read all these books before going, the other part appreciates what I was able to learn from Marr before reading Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity. Marr's strong focus on her characters and developing who they really are is what makes these books so enjoyable and dare I say it, addictive. The end of this book definitely leaves you wanting more.

5 stars

My review of Wicked Lovely

Other reviews of Ink Exchange:


  1. I can't wait to read this and to know it is better than the first - I still have the joys of reading that one too.

  2. Great review! To be frank, I don't really like those kind of series where the main characters are all different in each book, but they're more interesting than a series with the main characters just going on and on and ON in every book.

  3. Hmmm, this is bizarre. My first comment apparently went into cyberspace! Let's try this again...

    Scrap girl ~ I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. I can kind of understand why not everyone would, though. It just worked for me.

    Liyana ~ Thanks, and really the characters from the first book aren't gone, they just aren't the focus (like Aislinn, Seth, Keenan) but they will be in Fragile Eternity...

  4. I've never been that interested in urban fantasy, but this book has intrigued me. It's yet another book added to my wishlist. :)

  5. One more follower to 100! MAn, I'm like a spammer. -.-'

  6. LOL! :-D I'm thinking something fun might happen when I hit 100, too, but this is the first I've mentioned it *grins*

  7. Awesome review! I really loved Ink Exchange! I found it a much more difficult read because of the content. I read it quickly enough, but everything Leslie goes through, god, I was just so upset and angry for her. It was such a great book! Can't wait til Fragile Eternity comes out in the UK next month!

    I reviewed Ink Exchange over on my blog, and will link to yours from it. Would you mind doing the same please?

  8. I just noticed your follower number too! Congrats on that Melissa. You'll get over 100 soon I'm sure.

    Anywho, I so totally need to pick up a book by Melissa Marr, like soon! Great review 8)

  9. sort of like going to a concert and then buying the band's record, eh? great review!

  10. Great review, thank you for the link, and being a follower. : )


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