Author: Dawn Metcalf
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Target Age Group: YA
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Book Jacket Blurb:
Some things are permanent. Indelible. And they cannot be changed back.
Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye.
Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep and a life that will never be the same.
Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink's chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both.
Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.
Somewhere between reality and myth lies…
This book I received from Dawn at Book Expo America 2013 and, unfortunately, am now just getting to the review of it, even though I read it last year. So what did I think? Excellent! I read her debut book prior to this, Luminous, and I have to say that her storytelling is improving as she goes along. One of the things I love most about this book is that she's created an entire world - the world of the Folk, which is a kind of re-imagining of traditional faeries - and somehow, seamlessly, this world exists alongside ours and she makes that perfectly believable.
The Folk have existed for a long time, and their purpose is to "mark" humans that they feel are important. The mark, or signatura, signifies that a human "belongs" to one of the fae. Indelible Ink and Invisible Inq are beings who have been created to place such marks on humans.
Enter our heroine, Joy Malone, who, while out dancing one night with her friends, catches sight of Indelible Ink. Humans are not supposed to be able to see the fae, so Indelible Ink stabs her eye in order to remove her sight. However, instead of blinding her, he accidentally marks her as belonging to him.
That's when things get crazy for Joy.
Because now that she has been marked as Ink's assistant, others from the Folk come calling, wanting Ink to do jobs for them and asking Joy to pass messages to him.
And here I'll stop with my own synopsis, because this covers two things I absolutely love about the book. (Also, I don't want to give too many details away. This is a great ride of a book which should be experienced.)
First, the book is creepy, and creepy, as anyone who knows me, is right up my alley. Just the opening scenario of Joy catching a glimpse of this strange boy with black eyes who doesn't seem to exist in the real world, and who attacks her, basically. Then all manner of strange beings appear and disappear, notes and threats start appearing wherever she goes, etc.
Second, the world of the Folk is both Alice-in-Wonderland-loopy and yet also has a strange internal logic to it all. There are rules in this other world, which may be strange to the reader but do hold together and are passed out to the reader as you delve deeper into the book. Yet you also get the sense any number of strange things can happen in this world, and any number of stories exist within it (apparently, as book 2, Invisible, will be coming out in September 2014).
In addition to these more atmospheric qualities, the main character is refreshing because she actually plays an active role in the story, unlike other books I've read in this genre. I also love how she has "real-world" problems typical of any teenager, and she has "fantastical" problems related to her role in this new world of the Folk. And that she learns things along the way to actively solve her problems.
If I had to complain about anything (which explains why I didn't rate it 5 stars), it's this: I find it a stretch as to how accepting Joy is of being attacked by Ink and how their relationship seems to progress rapidly from there. It's a bit of a stretch for me. I don't know if I'd be that accepting.
Aside from that, however, this book gets a great recommendation from me, especially in light of the fact that book 2 will be coming out soon. Hurry up and grab this one while you still have time.