Title: Angel’s Ink
Author: Jocelynn Drake
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Asylum Tales (Book 1)
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
Format: Paperback, 368 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062117858 (Harper Voyager)
ISBN-13: 978-0062117854 (Harper Voyager)
Reviewed by: Kristie
Buyer beware . . .
Looking for a tattoo—and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of true love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using unique potions—a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks—to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart’s desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has its price.
No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Tower where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him the right to practice magic. And if he disobeys, his punishment—execution—will be swift.
Though he’s tried to fly under the radar, Gage can’t hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead—or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage might just make it through this enchanted world alive.
Quick & Dirty: Dark, urban fantasy set is a masterfully built world with lots of action but with so much going on it can be distracting.
Opening Sentence: The hammer of a gun clicked as it was cocked.
Angel’s Ink starts off a fascinating new series where humans live alongside the supernatural. This world has seen its fair share of blood spilled, most of it by witches and warlocks. Gage is currently a tattoo artist but was once a warlock in training. But once a warlock, always a warlock, he has to hide what he is for fear of hate, retribution and revenge against warlocks.
Gage tries to act like a tough, cold hearted man but he really has a soft spot when it comes to the ladies and even some of his close male friends. So when a girl with terminal cancer walks into his tattoo parlor wanting angel wings tattooed onto her back, he tries to use his special potions to come up with a way to prolong her life. Unfortunately this backfires in such a way that he ends up in a fight for his own life.
Gage is a trouble magnet. Just when you think that this guy can’t get drug down any deeper he gets thrown down another hole. Angel’s Ink is filled with many plot devices that sometimes may have you wondering where this story is going. The story is not just about the girl getting the angel tattoos. Gage also has to face his evil ex-mentor that is out to kill him and the trouble that his friends Trixie and Bronx are going through that he takes it upon himself to help solve.
One of the main elements that I really enjoyed about Angel’s Ink was the tremendous cast of characters. I got to learn more about Trixie and Bronx from the novellas than in the actual novel and I thought Chang was funnier in the novella. He was in but his eccentricity that finds him really intriguing. Gideon, the warlock watching Gage, has many secrets but it was his actions at the beginning of the novel that had me wanting to know more about him. My favorite character has to be Sophie, the witchy talking cat.
Angel’s Ink is told entirely through Gage’s point of view. Gage is not supposed to use magic as a part of his leaving his warlock training but he often uses it when he gets into trouble, using his magic just gets him into even more trouble. The romance may seem to play out quickly but in the timeline of the book, it has been playing out for two years.
In the end, Angel’s Ink will appeal to fans of dark, urban fantasy. As the beginning of a series, it sets up many storylines that will be finished later. As it is, I can’t wait to see what is next for Gage and his circle of friends.
As I focused on directing more lightning at Simon, it felt as if a large hand wrapped around my throat and squeezed tightly, threatening to close off my breathing. I couldn’t stop myself from raising both hands and clawing at nothingness as I struggled to catch my breath. The hand tightened and proceeded to pull me, on my back, across the open space behind the tattoo parlor. I commanded the lightning to pound the ground where Simon stood, but I was blind to his exact location. If I was lucky I would take him down before I was strangled to death.
And then the invisible hand released me. Holding my throat, I rolled onto my stomach and looked up at where Simon had last been standing. The air rushed from my lungs. Trixie stood behind him with one arm thrown across his chest, her other hand holding a large knife tightly against his throat. I don’t know how she’d managed to sneak past us both unnoticed, but I wasn’t going to question this change in events.
Shoving to my feet, I gathered together the energy swirling about me and reached out for Simon’s soul once again. This time I would simply pull it from his body and release it into the air. The soul would not be able to reenter the body and the warlock would be dead. Sure, I would lose a year of my own life for killing him with magic, but it was a price I was willing to pay for Trixie. Only those with a death wish attacked a warlock.
The Asylum Tales:
1. Angel’s Ink
FTC Advisory: Harper Voyager/Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Angel’s Ink. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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