Review: ‘Ink Exchange’ by Melissa Marr

Mortal affections and faery rivalries continue to collide in the town of Huntsdale, as New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr takes urban fantasy to new heights. After suffering a terrible trauma at the hands of her brother’s dealer friends, Leslie becomes obsessed with the idea of getting a tattoo – it’s the one thing that will allow her to reclaim her body, renew her self-confidence. And when Rabbit, her local tattoo artist, shows her a secret book of his own designs, she finds one of them irresistible.
Soon, her back is adorned with a pair of mysterious eyes, framed by black wings. Leslie feels good – more than good. Nothing bad can touch her. But what she doesn’t know is that her new tattoo binds her tightly to the faery whose symbol she chose: Irial, the exquisitely dangerous king of the Dark Court…

I really loved this book- it was far better than I thought it would be. I felt completely gripped by the urban, gritty storyline, and the description of Leslie, her dark relationship with the scarred, damaged Niall, and  Irial, the faery king of the Dark Court, and the riveting process of her getting her mystical tattoo that ties her to Irial- an act which has profound consequences. I didn’t quite understand all of the plot, as it’s not the first in the series (that would be ‘Wicked Lovely‘) but it had enough drive and enough darkness to spur me on. It even dealt with tough issues, such as drugs and rape, and interestingly, male rape- something of a taboo subject, even though it does happen. It was nice to see it explored with compassion in a mainstream YA book. It was interesting to read about the sense of empowerment Leslie got from her tattoo, and I found her a fresh, engaging and considerate character. I also found the writing raw, sensual and edgy. All in all, I would definitely reccomend this, and I’m highly looking forward to delving into the lush drama of ‘Wicked Lovely.’

Overall rating: 9 out of 10


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