Rated Reads

Ink Exchange

by Melissa Marr

Rated: Moderate

Leslie has not had an easy life. With a deadbeat dad who drinks away everything she can earn, and a druggie brother who actually sold her body for drugs, things are not as cheerful as she makes them seem. She’s afraid, she feels out of control. Which is why she wants a tattoo: to do something to herself for herself.

But the tattoo that calls to her is a dangerous one: it’s the mark of the faerie Dark Court king, Irial. His court is barely surviving with the peace that has been established between the Summer and Winter courts. The Dark Faeries feed off of negative emotions: greed, lust, revenge, fear… and with peace there aren’t as many of those hanging around. And when Irial discovers that he is drawn to Leslie — as she is to him, even if she doesn’t realize it — he realizes he can use their connection to feed his court: use Leslie as a conduit for mortals’ emotions.

This, however, has some unexpected consequences. First, Niall — advisor to the Summer King — is in love with Leslie, and even though he’s a Gancanagh (they’re addictive to women) he’s more than willing to do anything to protect her. Second, Leslie, while she’s attracted to the world at first, eventually realizes that this is no way to live.

It’s a dark novel, but less harsh than expected. Also, while it’s repelling in its subject matter, and the characters are not as likable as they could be, it’s an incredibly compelling read, as addictive as Niall is to women. Which is a good thing, because it has a very satisfying and quite heroic ending. And that does much to help offset the darkness of the world Marr has created.

Rated: Moderate — references to a rape scene and sex in general; moderate language and teen drinking.

— Reviewed by Melissa Fox

Melissa Madsen Fox's blogging career began in 2004 when she started Book Nut. Reading, reviewing and book blogging have taken over what's left of her life after being a stay-at-home mom to four rambunctious daughters and wife to a slightly- absent-minded professor of political science.

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  • Ink Exchange
  • by Melissa Marr
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: