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I Belong

Review: Inked by Eric Smith

InkedTitle: Inked

Author: Eric Smith

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: N/A

Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Format: eBook, 217 Pages

ASIN: B00OZP5VSC (Bloomsbury Spark)

IBSN-13: 978-1619638594 (Bloomsbury Spark)

Reviewed by: Zed


Sometimes your only chance to survive, and what you most fear… is to be INKED.

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.

Eric Smith takes you on a fast-paced fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being different…only to discover that destiny is more than skin deep.

Quick & Dirty: Inked was not my kind of dystopian read. It was unrealistic and lacked the crucial connection between the reader and the characters.

Opening Sentence: Three days.
My thin leather shoes slapped softly against the dirt leading away from grandmother’s cottage as I made my way across our stretch of farmland located at the edge of Frosthaven.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Another dystopian story but regrettably, not a very good one.

Inked contained elements of the Insurgent series by Veronica Roth. In Insurgent, individuals are shown a simulation that encourages them to choose a faction, which essentially defines how they spend the rest of their lives. Simiarly, in Inked, the ink is used to determine each person’s fate, with the government having the ultimate control of everyone’s ambitions.

The story is told from Caenum’s perspective and I felt sorry for him when his world turns upside down following the entrance of the scribes for his inking but I couldn’t connect with his character or the story. I couldn’t understand how he was planning to leave his grandmother and Dreya when he claimed to love them both so much and they were the only family he had just because he was scared of being inked. Actually, I take that back. I understood him leaving, I just couldn’t take him seriously.

Caenum and Dreya’s almost-romance would have been cute if there was anything remotely romantic involved. Instead there were assumptions of being each other’s soul mates without admitting it out loud, which was really weird.

“Rausch,” I started, trying not to look too pathetic.
He noticed immediately.
“What is it with you people and these sad good-byes?” he scoffed. “Go fight the good fight, and make your way back to this one. And yes, I promise to marry her if anything happens to you, as we agreed.” He winked and reached between the bars of the gate to give me a nudge.

I liked Kenzie’s character though, he seemed crazy enough to be real and apart from that I can’t think of much else I enjoyed about this book. There was a lot of taboo first about not getting inked, then about those that were inked, it was rather silly really. If it is a series, it’s not one I will spend my time reading.

Notable Scene:

“The Citadel tries to force people into roles, into walks of life. Gives them assignments based on what they are born with,” Dreya said, as Ryst knelt down and gingerly touched the vines that wrapped around Rausch’s body. “But leaders aren’t born. They are made. All of your confusion, all those questions, they brought you here. According to the Citadel, you might have been born to work the land. But according to the fate you’ve made for yourself, you were meant to save it.”


FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury Spark provided me with a copy of Inked. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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