Firs published by Harper Teen in 2008 (this edition by HarperCollins Children's Books in 2009)
Book #2 in the Wicked Lovely series
Description (from Goodreads)
To 17-year-old Leslie, the tattoo is a thing of indescribable beauty, a captivating mark that she must make her own. But this subtle web of eyes and wings brings with it a transformation that no sweet young girl would ever imagine or welcome. Like its predecessor, this stand-alone sequel toWicked Lovely plunges its youthful heroine into a faery world of almost constant peril. A tantalizing urban fantasy that won't let go.
Having really enjoyed reading Wicked Lovely, I decided to buy Ink Exchange on my recent trip to Athens (and all those lovely bookstores that sell English books), and while I was at it, I also bought Fragile Eternity. I was quite surprised when I read the blurb on the back of Ink Exchange and realised that it featured completely new characters. Until I noticed the 'stand-alone' sequel part.
Anyway, I should get on with saying what I actually thought about the story, instead of just random thoughts about the blurb. Ink Exchange was rather enjoyable, but I found that I didn't really enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Wicked Lovely. The reason for that was not the fact that it featured different characters to the ones I had expected to read about. It was mainly because for approximately half the book, I was just waiting for something to happen and when it happened, everything seemed to pass in a long, long blur.
In the first few chapters, we are introduced to Leslie, one of the main characters in this book. Leslie comes from a rather rough household, where she has to look after her father and brother, since her mother has disappeared. Seeing as she spends so much time catering to their needs (and having to work so as to help pay the bills), she decides she wants to do something for herself, something that she believes will change her: get a tattoo. She looks and looks for the perfect tattoo to put onto her skin, until she finally finds it: ''inky-black eyes surrounded by wings like shadows coalescing''.
It takes half the book for Leslie to finally get the tattoo finished, during which time quite a few things happen, which cause her to wonder what on earth is going on. Especially concerning Ash (Aislinn, the main character from Wicked Lovely). What bothered me about the 'ages' part was the fact that the tattooist actually said that they could finish the tattoo off in a few days and then, it seemed to me as if the tattoo took a lot more than that to finish. (All this, while Leslie was absolutely hell-bent on getting the tattoo as quickly as possible.)
The most interesting part of this book was the introduction of yet another faerie realm, in addition to the Summer and Winter Courts we met in Wicked Lovely. The Dark Court, led by Irial, work in a completely different way to the other two courts. And it took my a while to understand exactly how they worked, for some reason. I didn't think it was clearly explained until rather late in the novel.
As for the second half of the book, it felt as if not much was going on. Everything was slow, slow, slow, when suddenly, Leslie decided to grow some backbone and make some decisions for herself. Then, the book picked up a little, but there were too few pages left. So, essentially, I found the book ended a little too hurriedly.
As for the characters, for some reason, I really disliked Irial. Even that seemingly selfless act at the end didn't redeem him in my eyes. On the other hand, I did like Niall! (I really like his name, too, which I suppose helps a little!) He came across as genuinely nice, despite having to fight the 'demons of his past'. Leslie was a bit of a 'meh' character. I wasn't too keen on her, but I didn't mind her either.
Despite the fact that I was a little disappointed by this book, I am not going to give up on the series. I really hope I enjoy the next installments more.
You can find out more about Melissa Marr at the end of my review of Wicked Lovely.
Read for the: 100 Books In A Year Challenge 2011, 2nds Challenge