Ink (The Skin Books #1)
Author: Alice Broadway
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopia
Publication Date: February 2nd 2017
Format: Paperback (366 pages)
Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora’s father dies, she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all.
My Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Let me start by saying that this book is GORGEOUS. The cover is so beautiful and foiled so it shines like there’s no tomorrow and it even FEELS beautiful. Not only is it gorgeous on the outside but there are even really pretty chapter headers and paragraph breaks throughout the book too. It really is a marvel to look at!
Luckily for me Ink is just as wonderful on the inside as it is on the outside and I really hope that gorgeous cover catches the eyes of many readers and brings them into Leora’s world too. Ink is gritty, dark and mysterious. From beginning to end you know there is more to Leora’s story than meets the eye, especially where her father is concerned, but what is the mystery? I loved that there were so many questions I wanted the answers to as it kept me flipping through those pages and at times I was really on the edge of my seat or starting to hold be breath as I got closer to the truth. There are many twists, turns and big revelations towards the end of this book and THAT glorious ending already has me needing more!!
I absolutely adore the world that Alice Broadway has created for Ink. Leora lives in a society where people have their life stories inked on them (hello tattoo fans). From their very birth, people start to collect marks: their name, one for each year of birth, their family trees on their back eventually being joined by their profession and custom ink to commemorate special life moments. When you die your skin is flayed (this made me feel a little queasy!) and, if your soul is considered to be pure, your skin is made into a skin book that can be cherished by future generations of your family. I was absolutely enamoured by this idea and it was very thought provoking. How would I feel living in a society where my entire life lived on my skin for everyone to see? Would it make people act differently if they knew they would be marked with their words or actions? I absolutely loved the idea of it and spent many hours thinking to myself about what marks would be on my skin.
As well as the main plot and narrative, Ink has many beautiful fairytales and fables woven throughout it. I adore it when books have their own mythology and it was so interesting to read them and gain a further insight into the society where Leora lives. It certainly helps the reader to understand why the society is the way that it is and how it ended up that way. A really fantastic addition to the world building in this first book.
The characters are really well written too and I liked Leora a lot. She is so courageous and brave, especially towards the end of the book where she faces some life changing news. At the same time she is independent, fierce and sassy. I personally loved that by becoming an Inker she is challenging the gender stereotypes of her society – this always is a winner with me! I also particularly liked her friend Verity who just seemed like the most pure little angel and such a loyal friend. Obel was a character I was particularly drawn to and I would love to get to know a lot more about him. I’m hoping that in the next instalment we’ll get the chance to peel back a few more layers on all the characters and really get down to the nitty gritty.
Fantastic world-building, a great plot and fantastic characters, I certainly can’t wait to return to Leora’s world and see what happens next!
Have you read Ink? What did you think?
How would you feel about having your life inked onto your skin?