ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Sometimes your only chance to survive, and what you most fearâ€¦ 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.
This was another book that I was looking forward to reading, based on the description on Goodreads. I thought the concept of our tattoos telling us who we were supposed to be was such a neat concept, but then I started reading the book and was disappointed. Here is why:
Characters: While the characters of Caenum, Dreya and Kenzi could have been exceptional, they seemed to be one dimensional and were not developed very well throughout the book. In places where we could have learned more about them or seen them grow more during their journey, I felt like they were just there. Caenum, who was the main person that told the story, he was afraid to have the tattoo, then suddenly developed mystical powers. I did not really feel that any of the other characters introduced were developed either. We got small snippets of back story on the people they meet along the way that end up helping the three main characters and the introduction of someone who could have been an important character, turned into the villain.
Plot: This story starts out in Frosthaven, the city where Caenum and Dreya are living, and Kenzi shows up as a scribe to tattoo the people that are turning 18, including Caenum. Instead of getting tattooed by Kenzi, Caenum and Kenzi become at odds with each other, while not a couple page later become allies. After an incident involving Kenzi and the other Scribes, the entire town turns on each other and Citadel soldiers arrive, including a tattooed mercenary from Frosthaven and the somehow the entire city burns. This incident is what puts Caenum, Kenzi and Dreya on their path to finding a safe haven for Kenzi, who is wanted by the Citadel for his Conduit powers.
Sub story: I felt as if there were several of what I will call sub stories happening at the same as the main story. We got to see Kenzi and Caenum become friends, and then Kenzi kind of disappears for a few pages only to come back with a new friend. There is a love story between Caenum and Dreya, but you do not really see it till the Epilogue. While I felt that did not really take away from the story, it seemed like an afterthought. Then there was the story of these powers Caenum had that were never really explained to him, but suddenly were just there.
All in all, not what I expected when I started reading, and sorely disappointed for the fact that the epilogue was written in a way that could lead into a second book, but could be just the end of this one. Kind of like the author just wanted to show a tiny glimpse into the future without having to actually put much thought into it, just in case there is not a sequel.
My Rating : 2 Stars because I could not put 1.5.