I received this book for free from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Inked by Eric Smith
Published by Bloomsbury Spark on January 20, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Buy on Amazon
Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.
Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.
And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can't escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.
But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.
Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.
I enjoyed Inked. A fantasy YA novel (not dystopian as I have seen mentioned in some reviews) where a tattoo decides your future. In your eighteenth year you receive a tattoo from the government Scribe that sets your station in life. The ink decides if you will be a farmer, merchant, cook or even assassin. This is a future Caenum does not want. He desires to make his own choice and is planning to run. Then his world upends and he and his best friend Dreya are forced to run. Trying to hide from the government trackers, dangerous rogues and magic wielders, they find allies in unlikely places and danger where they least expected it.
I enjoyed the world created by Eric Smith. Vivid and dynamic, it really made the book. The pacing was great, the action popped and the narrative flowed. The writing was solid. There were a few times in the beginning where I was slightly confused, but the story naturally filled in the gaps. The characters were well thought out and had depth. Caenum as the confused lead was a great narrator and the sidekicks each had their own solid place in the story. I also enjoyed the emotional quotient. Some books with male leads neglect the feelings aspect of the story, and this was not true in Inked. Caenum was open with his emotions and it enhanced the story.
Inked is a fresh fantasy read and I hope the start of a series. Eric Smith created a world I enjoyed and I would gladly step back into it. I normally prefer dystopian to fantasy, but this world was so vivid I was quickly engrossed. One of the things I enjoy best about having a book site is finding new to me authors and worlds. I am especially happy when I chance across one that I probably would not have found that is great. Inked and Eric Smith are one of these finds and I hope to be able to read another in this world soon.
Favorite lines -“Lose control once in a while, and your emotions will make your strong. Keep your heart open, and they’ll make you invincible.”
Biggest cliché – “I’m different so I must be special.” “No, I’m different so I must be special, not you.”
Have you read Inked, or added it to your TBR?
About the Author
Eric Smith is the author of THE GEEK’S GUIDE TO DATING, out now via Quirk Books, and INKED, a YA novel out with Bloomsbury Spark.
His writing has appeared locally in the Philly Weekly, The Inquirer, and on Philly.com. He’s written for the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Boing Boing, and is a regular contributor to BookRiot and Geekosystem.
His essays have appeared in the Bygone Bureau and The Apiary, and his first published piece will appear in THE ASTEROID BELT ALMANAC with the Hand & the Hand Press in April 2014.
He’s the co-founder of Geekadelphia, a popular hyperlocal geek blog in Philly, and the Philly Geek Awards, a ceremony honoring local geeks in his city.
Eric holds a BA in English from Kean University and an MA in English from Arcadia University. He currently lives in Philly. You can find him on Twitter at @ericsmithrocks and @geekadelphia.