Series: Living Ink #1
Published by Penguin Group USA on April 15, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Sexual Content: Some sex scenes
Reviewed by: Libbie
With her art and magic, Isa Romanchzyk has the power to create or destroy. In her tattoo shop, Nightmare Ink, Isa helps those in need by binding the power embedded in their Live Ink—the magical tattoos that can enhance the life of the wearer, or end it. But binding tattoos has earned Isa the contempt of her fellow artists—including her former lover Daniel.
When a friend comes to the shop with a tattoo on the verge of killing him, Isa can’t turn him away. For the first time in years, she works Live Ink—something she swore she’d never do again. But a broken vow soon becomes the least of her problems.
The real nightmare begins when she’s abducted and inked with a Living Tattoo against her will. Now, saddled with a powerful, amoral entity willing to do anything to win his freedom, Isa must fight to keep her Living Tattoo from consuming her completely...
One difficult thing about any urban fantasy or paranormal novel is the fine line between too much and too little in the world-building. Some, like THE HOST can bleed potential readers off because it’s so top-heavy that the story fails to grab the reader. Then there’s NIGHTMARE INK. I don’t want to say there wasn’t any world-building, but at times I kept looking it up on Goodreads to make sure I wasn’t reading the second or third in a series.
It felt like the author was making knowledge assumptions – the kind you’d expect with a vampire/angel/demon type of story. Live Ink, binding ink, flat ink were all eventually spelled out, but NIGHTMARE INK jumped into story and action with no real time to get oriented in the universe. Important moments weren’t recognized for what they were because there was no reference for the why.
Once I did understand the world a little better, and was able to focus on the characters and the story rather than the mechanics, I started to enjoy NIGHTMARE INK rather than endure it. I loved Isa’s strength, the determination of her found family to stay by her side despite her attempts to keep them safe by isolating herself. And, without spoiling, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by one formed relationship.
I’m on the fence on whether or not I’ll return for the second book – I think it’ll depend on the synopsis and how I think the story will turn based on what happened at the end of NIGHTMARE INK. But if it goes where I think it might, I will probably pick this world back up again.Series Titles:
- Nightmare Ink