Review: Inked by Eric Smith

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Title: Inked
Author: Eric Smith
Genre: fantasy, young adult
Series: N/A
Pages: 208
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 3.5/5

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 a fun, creative foray into fantasy for author Eric Smith, known for such awesome nerdery as The Geek's Guide to Dating. It's a pretty short novel (especially for the oft-longwinded fantasy genre) but it's one that's packed with action and creativity. Eric Smith has laid down the bare bones for the worldbuilding and culture, as well as created some memorable and intriguing characters... and he did it all in under 215 pages. I do wish the story had been extended but thoroughly enjoyed what Smith had to offer in Inked.

The magic system is admittedly cool and the high point of the fantasy aspects for Inked. Where there's not much  info to be found worldbuilding-wise, Eric Smith knocks it out of the park with his magic/Ink. It's both creative and functional; it makes sense but is still original and wholly unique to Smith's created world. The author also slowly doles out info about how it all works - Conduits/Inked/etc - a slow reveal that really worked for the plot.

I liked this but, on the whole, it all felt... rather simple. Some of that is just down to how short the novel is. A lot of things happen and they happen fast. There's not a lot of time for characterization, either. It's an action-packed read, but meaning can be lost in sheer amount of deadly deeds and feats of derring-do that Caenum and Drey and Kenzi go through during Inked. Despite all that action, there's also plot issues. The ending, especially, suffered because of this and felt realllllly abrupt. 

This is a good, creative, and most of all, fun fantasy read. I am not sure it's a good fit for seasoned veterans of the genre but it's something I would definitely recommend to a reader looking to try out fantasy (or reading for pleasure). Eric Smith has created an original, creative piece of fantasy and I look forward to what he writes next, be it in this world or in a new one.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.