This one has a little more teeth, frankly, I thought it was just a better story, with a better cast. I liked Leslie as well as Niall and especially Irial. I found him the most interesting. I liked the way he was with her and Niall, as well as Gabriel. You could tell he cared about these people as well as his court. He may not be a good person but he was true to himself in all things. I especially loved the ending, for each of the characters it felt right. Maybe hope for a continuation at some point for each of them. The only thing I didn't care for was Aislinn, I didn't understand why she wouldn't warn her friend or why she didn't take action after the fact. The friendship itself felt fake. I also thought Keenan's complete aboutface from being the nice guy was a bit jarring, unless the author plans on a more complex character with hidden depths. Although I have to say, I just didn't get that vibe from the first book. He seemed kind of one dimensional to me and I wasn't so impressed... even less impressed with him in this book.
This is the second book in the Wicked Lovely series. The main characters are not together at the end, so it’s not a “romance.” The ending was complete, not a cliffhanger. But I would have preferred characters being together.
This story is about the dark court. Dark court faeries terrorize and kill humans. None of that is shown. It’s not that I want a lot of gory detail, but that part was vaguely referred to. I was frustrated because I wanted to know what the faeries did to humans. There is also addiction and reference to rape.
I read some reviews for the sequels. Book 3 has low reviews. Books 4 and 5 sound better, but I've lost interest in the series after this one.
DATA: Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 325 pages. Swearing language: mild. Sexual content: none, other than a reference to a past rape with no details shown. Setting: unknown time probably current day in fictional town Huntsdale, Pennsylvania. Copyright: 2008. Genre: fantasy fiction, young adult.
Torn up inside after her drug-dealer brother betrays her in the most horrible way, Leslie puts on a brave front with her friends, pretending her drunken dad isn't letting the bills pile up and hiding all her pain. Hoping to take back control over her body, she decides to get a tattoo, and picks out a special design at the tattoo parlor she often hangs out at. Unbeknownst to Leslie, that tattoo is the symbol of Irial, the king of the faerie Dark Court, designed to allow him to filter the unpleasant emotions that feed his court through her into him and his people.
As Leslie finds her vision changing and her feelings shifting in unpredictable ways, Niall, a faerie of the Summer Court who has always admired her, steps in, hoping to help her and keep Irial away. He has his own tangled feelings about Irial, whom he once counted as a friend. But as Leslie sinks further under Irial's thrall, enjoying the escape from the hurt and fear she'd been living with, only she can decide when to pull away--or whether she would rather stay with him, after all.
INK EXCHANGE is a darkly imaginative novel set in the same world as Marr's first novel, WICKED LOVELY. Readers will enjoy exploring the lives of some of that novel's minor characters and seeing more of the shadowy side of the faerie courts. They may find Leslie, Niall, and Irial less engaging than the spirited and perhaps more sympathetic narrators of WICKED LOVELY, but the trio still make for a fascinating "love" triangle as each deals with conflicting emotions and tries to decide what is right both for him or herself and for those who are counting on them.
The imagery is striking and evocative, and the politics of the different faerie courts is intriguing to explore. A great book for dark fantasy fans
After reading Wicked Lovely, I had high expectations for Ink Exchange, and for the most part, it delivered. I have to say that I enjoyed Wicked Lovely more, because I loved Aislinn's character. Still, it was interesting to see things from an outside character's perspective. (I love the way Leslie feels about her tattoo, as I felt the same about mine.)
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It was a quick read, but beautifully written. I'm enchanted with the Fae and the small glimpses of their world. The characters are nicely developed and relatable. My problem with this book was that the last third isn't as strong as the rest of the novel.
Toward the middle, the pacing started to get slow. Obviously, the entire book is a build up to Leslie getting her tattoo, and Marr tries to forestall that for as long as possible. At the end, after Leslie gets her tattoo, I spent the rest of the book just trying to finish quickly. I expected so much more from Irial, from Niall, from the Summer Court, even. It's over extremely way too quickly and easily. Marr indicates that large periods of time are passing, and for as important as everyone makes Leslie to be, it appears that everyone just forgets about her or stops making an attempt to do something for her.
Also, Keenan's character is seen in a totally different perspective in this novel. It kind of made me sad because I really liked him. Either way, I'm excited to see how the story progresses in Fragile Eternity.