I LOVED Jocelynn Drake’s Dark Days series and was sad to see it end but was super excited when she announced her new series. The first book in this new series is Angel’s Ink and it was fabulous. Jocelynn’s writing keeps improving with each book and I loved that the concept for Angel’s Ink, and this new series, is completely different than just about anything currently on the market.
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.
I really liked Gage as he was very easy to connect with. Gage is a small business owner whose concerns are those that most have…going to work, being a good business owner and boss and keeping the people he cares about safe. One glowing exception…his past and having to worry about that past catching up to him and threatening not only his personal safety, but the safety of his friends. While we all have baggage and worry about how our past will affect our here & now, as well as our future, Gage’s past is a bit more sordid than most. However, to me, Gage came off as very down to earth and just wanted to try and live as normal a life as possible despite that sordid past. If you have a worry about a female author writing the main character who’s POV is male, don’t. Jocelynn does a good job writing in the male prospective and I never once questioned whether Gage’s reactions, emotional or otherwise, fit his character. Again, her writing continuously improved with each Dark Days novel and the trend continues now with Angel’s Ink.
The story flowed fairly well. Angel’s Ink is the first of the series, so there is a lot of world building to be done. Don’t expect too terribly much in the way of action scenes, the action is still there, just not as much as you may want in a UF novel. Never fear, though…the action and pacing really picks up towards the last 1/4 of the book, after most of the world-building is complete. This new world is “imaginary” and it could be any city; the story would be modern times or at some point in the not so distant future (so no steampunk or dystopian elements) which is a plus, in my book. I like novels that you can set just about anywhere. Makes them feel more relatible because no matter where you live, your imagination can take over and it could be your town or where-ever you want to make it all happening. And, as you know I love my supernaturals andsince Angel’s Ink is UF there are supernaturals– of all varieties, woo hoo!!
Again, I really like the concept for Angel’s Ink. It’s not something I’ve really seen done before and the only thing even remotely close I can think of is the new adult UF series by Rachel Vincent. But that series really doesn’t compare well. The idea that you can enhance a tattoo through adding a potion into the ink is something I am not sure has been done. The plot and premise for Angel’s Ink and this series is a unique and clever idea. As Gage learns, you have to be really really careful on the ingredients you use or you could find yourself with very unexpected results. I can’t wait to see what comes next for Gage and the group. I definitely recommend fans of UF and fans of Jocelynn go pick up Angel’s Ink.