As I just did a review for the first book, Wicked Lovely, I thought that I would write one for Ink Exchange, which is the second book in the collection and consequently my favorite!
Ink Exchange picks up a few weeks after Wicked Lovely has ended. With Aislinn’s involvement in the fey court becoming more and more involved, she has to try harder to keep her friends from becoming involved in her new faerie world. As if she and Keenan (and Seth) don’t have enough to deal with, there is a power struggle brewing within the Dark Court...It now seems that the balance the fey courts have had amongst each other is beginning to shift and Irial, the leader of the Dark court, is fighting to keep his faeries in check. In the unassuming human world, Leslie goes about her miserable life as always. With a drug addicted, abusive brother and an absentee father, Leslie fights just to pay the bills. Because of all of these horrible things going on in her life, she decides to save up and get a tattoo. For her, the tattoo will be something beautiful, something to make her feel like she has control over her self and her body. She has no way of knowing that the tattoo she’s drawn to and eventually receives will change her in ways that she could never have imagined. After being bound to Irial, she is now pulled so far into the dark, maniacal world of the Dark court and she is helpless to fight for her freedom.
This book was simply stunning. Where the first book, Wicked Lovely, brought us into the world of the Summer and Winter courts and painted a somewhat pleasant portrayal of Aislinn’s involvement with the fey, this book is the complete opposite. Marr treats us to glimpses of the other side of the faerie world, the dark side. We see torture, murder and dangerous passions running rampant. The imagery is dazzling and striking as Marr further draws you into the world of the fey courts.
I loved the main character, Leslie in this book. She was so wounded and jaded and I found it refreshing to see a main character who had some real issues to deal with and was then thrown into an even worse situation. It took Leslie reaching the darkest parts of hell for her to find the strength to break herself out of her dark situation. This story doesn’t have a glowingly happy ending, but it’s hopeful and that was the best part of this book. We see that even when life seems to be at its most gruesome, there is always hope for it to turn around.