In a world where supernatural beings and humans have an uneasy coexistence, the power of magic is everywhere. Even in the Ink.
Angel's Ink represents everything that I love about Adult Urban Fantasy. You have characters who are complicated, tough, and have that extra special supernatural edge, a plot that is full of tension and action, and brilliant, gritty world-building. I didn't realize how much I had missed these elements in my reading, but this book was quick to remind me, basically, by the end of the first page.
Angel's Ink centers around tattoo-parlor owner Gage Powell, a man who walked away from the Ivory Towers, home of the most powerful of beings, witches and warlocks. Tired of the cruel, insensitive training and the discriminatory stance on humans, Gage was willing to give up everything, even his right to use magic. The only time he is able to perform magic without the threat of execution is in self-defense. But suddenly, Gage is defending himself at every turn.
Gage is joined at Angel's Ink by Trixie, an elf, and Bronx, a troll. Bronx, despite what we might assume of a troll, was so much fun, a big sweetie. He's very astute, yet very quiet. Bronx is the muscle in the shop, but also has a soft side for Gage and Trixie. Trixie is perfection. Many books tend to have strong female love interests who are prickly, try to keep the leading man at bay with dirty looks and sarcasm. That's fun, usually, but it's also nice to have a girl who isn't trying to push everyone away. Trixie is a tough girl, she wouldn't have survived her own crazy past otherwise, but she was also easy to adore. Her affection for Bronx and Gage was apparent.
Angel's Ink has a nice assortment of secondary characters, all who serve a distinct purpose in the story. There's Tera, a sweet human who's innocent request sets of a tragic chain of events; Gideon, a warlock who is tasked with watching Gage, and has a very surprising side; cruel Simon, Gage's former mentor at the Ivory Towers, Sparks, who gave Gage when he re-entered human society; Sofia, who was just plain crazy fun.
To say that Angel's Ink had an action-packed plot would be a massive understatement. From the first line of the book, Gage is confronted by people who want to do him in. Between the people who want Gage out of their way for leaving the magic community, an unsatisfied customer, to the freaking Grim Reaper, you could easily say that, yeah, Gage is up to his ears in trouble. But along the way, you see true friendship, a developing relationship that is both sweet and sexy, and people who will sacrifice to save those the love.
Now for the world-building: Angel's Ink has it, and it is So. Damn. Good. Drake has built such an elaborate, well-explained, very complete world. The first thing that hooked me, Gage uses potions to give his ink special enhancements. Seriously, tattoos are everywhere in books these days and I love it! There is a back story that explains who is in power (witches and warlocks) and how it was established (the Great War). The supernatural hierarchy was detailed, from the top of the heap, witches and warlocks, to the bottom, pixies, whose organs are harvested for potions (infuriating, right?!). Drake included so many great details such as: vampires can't be inked unless there's garlic in the potion, are super whiny and have extreme OCD; trolls can't get tatts because their thick skin will not absorb the ink, werewolves are perfect for getting tattoos because they have great skin, though they need to constantly shave, and being in packs causes them to be repeat customers. I took two whole pages of notes of all the things I loved about Angel's Ink. The nerd in me was so stoked by all the great tidbits that took a good story and made it fantastic.
Angel's Ink delivered a Home Run in what I'm sure will be an fun, thrilling, sexy series. If you need a heavy dose of Magic in your reading life, be sure to give Angel's Ink a go.show more
by Andrea Thompson