Published by Bloomsbury Spark on January 20th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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 high-octane fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being different… only to discover that fate is more than skin deep.
"INKED is an action-packed read with a hero I could root for, magic I wanted to have, and a vivid fantasy world to back it all up. Smith's prose had me turning pages way past my bedtime." - Susan Dennard, author of SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY
"A fast-paced page-turner from Eric Smith filled with magic, mystery and mayhem." - Kristi Helvig, Author of BURN OUT
"With a lively cast of characters and a captivating idea, INKED draws its readers into a world where magic lives on every page." Kat Zhang, author of The Hybrid Chronicles series
Caenum does not want to be tattooed. He is scare about his fate and does not want his life to be ruined. He wants to rebel against the system and fight to be who he wants to be. He meets Kenzi, who is an apprentice Scribe, but her skin is bare. This is odd to Caenum but he discovers why she doesn’t have a tattoo. On the day of her “Inking” something went wrong, and it was because Kenzi is a “Conduit”. Conduits have special magic of their own and are hunted down by the Citadel. The Citadel uses “Inking” as their way to control the people of their society and Caenum wants out. Along with his best friend Dreya, Caenum gets charged with taking Kenzi to the Conduit sanctuary, and as they travel together their adventure really begins.
This was a fun, fast paced and very enjoyable read. I tried to keep myself from reading too fast, but I couldn’t stop. The story centers on a world/society where your destiny is determined by tattoos. When citizens reach a certain age, the Citadel requires that they must be tattooed with a special magic ink that will decide what role they will have within their society.
I thought the tattoos where sort of cool, as they aren’t just your regular ho-hum non-moving tattoos. These move around your skin, and contort with your emotions, but the underlying truth of the tattoos is that they also control you.
Mr. Smith has a lovely way of telling a story, simple yet beautiful. The pacing is just right and I never was left begging for something to finally happen. Yes, there is one or two plot points that bugged me a bit because I think they can be considered a bit “cliche” but I think the main goal of the book was to be fun and entertaining. It definitely succeeds on those points.
I really hope that Eric Smith will write more books because I enjoyed reading Inked and was pleasantly swept away by the story. I thought that there were some really great new ideas here, but also lots of things that reminded me of books like “The Giver” as well as “Divergent”.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy novels and magic.
Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC from the publisher on Netgalley.