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4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  105 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
What happens when rhetoric about immigrants escalates to an institutionalized population control system? The near-future, dark speculative novel INK opens as a biometric tattoo is approved for use to mark temporary workers, permanent residents and citizens with recent immigration history - collectively known as inks. Set in a fictional city and small, rural town in the U.S ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published October 15th 2012 by Crossed Genres Publications (first published October 3rd 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,220)
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I said while I was reading this book that there were many times I had to close the book (turn off the Kindle) and walk away because it was too possible. I can see the path that leads from the now I live in to the events of this book. I can see it clearly in the proposed laws about identification and education. I can see people and officials desiring a way to mark people permanently, so they and we can never mistake or forget who they are.

The inks in this book--those marked with tattoos denoting
Tim Scattergood
Jul 30, 2012 Tim Scattergood rated it it was amazing
Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias is a mind bending story that interweaves 5 seemingly “normal” individuals through a time where who you are is decided by the color of the tattoo on your wrist. The twists and turns of this near future thriller will have you wanting more and more. Time and again I found myself looking at the clock and realizing that hours had gone by, and I thought it had been five minutes.

As a coworker of Sabrina I have had the enjoyment of talking to her every morning about what had j
Apr 17, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: latin-lit
This dark tale, seeped in magical realism, has the feel of a great dystopian young adult novel. What strikes me as unique, however, is that the whole society that this story is set in is not a dystopian one. Most people within the society go about their lives with little awareness about the fate their governments draconian policies are inflicting upon the minority population. In creating a dystopia in and among every day life, Sabrina Vourvoulias has created an engaging love story/ war epic that ...more
Henk-Jan van der Klis
Sep 04, 2012 Henk-Jan van der Klis rated it did not like it
What happens when rhetoric about immigrants escalates to an institutionalized population control system? The near-future, dark speculative novel INK opens as a biometric tattoo is approved for use to mark temporary workers, permanent residents and citizens with recent immigration history - collectively known as inks. Set in a fictional city and small, rural town in the U.S. during a 10-year span, the novel is told in four voices: a journalist; an ink who works in a local population control offic ...more
Elizabeth Bear
A strong and promising first novel with an engaging voice, INK tackles a number of difficult topics (racism, immigration, xenophobia) through the eyes of four varied and engaging protagonists. Vourvoulias is an accomplished writer on the scene and sentence level, and though it seemed to this reader that she lost control of the novel's structure somewhere in the middle, the fragmentation of the second half is not distracting enough to ruin the narrative arc. I could have used a little more divers ...more
Tyrannosaurus regina
I found the issues confronted affecting and deeply infuriating, and the book well-written and compelling. The structure, though, didn't entirely hold up--the four separate POVs weren't always distinct, the time jumps were a little disorienting, and the science fiction and magical realism elements weren't always seamless. The magic in particular felt like it came and went without being woven deeply enough into the fabric of the novel. Still, something I would recommend reading.
Kelly Forrest
This was a riveting story with themes extremely relevant to today's political climate regarding immigration. I wanted to rate this book higher, i really did, because I couldn't put it down, but it had far too many flaws. The biggest problem was character development. There was either not enough and you couldn't figure out why characters did what they did, or the characters took abrupt and unexplainable actions that were completely out of character. No specific examples to avoid spoilers. In addi ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Magical realism-tinged possible future with anti-immigrant sentiment taken to unsettling extremes. Alternating between four points of view, the story utilizes elements of real-life government-supported racial discrimination: classist tattoos, segregated buses, limited rights, detention centers, forced sterilization, and unwilling deportation.

I liked the book more than I expected to. The magical aspect had a leavening effect; there's so much heartbreak and cruelty I'm not sure I could have finis
Jennifer Stoy
More of a 3.75 star. I liked this book, I liked the characters, but I almost wanted more world-building, especially about how ink worked and how the egregious Nazi parallel didn't shut down the idea. I mean, there are plenty of plausible ways to get from there to here, but more of the backstory would have been welcome, especially with so many stories being told at once.
Jul 06, 2015 Terri rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alison C
Mar 13, 2015 Alison C rated it did not like it
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
From Early Reviewers, e-book version. I had to stop reading after 2 chapters; not that it's not well-written - it is - but it's incredibly depressing and at the same time, increasingly plausible. Story concerns a near-future America where all non-white, non-US-born residents, whether citizens by birth, immigrants (legal or otherwise) or temporary workers, are marked with an indelible tattoo that indicates their status; "Inks," as they are
Sian Jones
There were occasional pacing issues as the book shifted through various points of view -- certain POVs worked better than others -- but the book unwinds a suspenseful set of narrative strands involving characters I genuinely cared about in a vivid world that is but a sliver removed from our own. It does what the best near-future fantasy does -- inserts a small, plausible technological advance that extends real-world fears and hatreds and tragedies the smallest step, that horribly mundane and pla ...more
Sarah Benson
Nov 06, 2015 Sarah Benson rated it liked it
This book gets 5 stars for the premise (a future where people people's immigration status is coded using colored tattoo barcodes), 3-4 stars for the writing quality, and 2-3 stars for the scattered, sometimes hard to follow structure. I could have completely done without the whole spirit animals/magic aspect of the plot and thought it was more confusing than enhancing to the plot. I appreciated the need to tell this story from multiple points of view, but thought-- particularly at the end-- that ...more
Jan 10, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff
I loved the combination of science fiction and magical realism throughout the book. To me, it felt right and effortless, reflecting the varying worldviews of characters who nonetheless live in the same, palpable world.

The march of political events sometimes felt hand-waved. Perhaps not coincidentally, there are no villains, as such. There are several nasty side characters & one out-and-out sociopath, but Vourvoulias does not explore the mindset of The Powers that Be. Much of the time, the c
Sep 06, 2015 Kris rated it liked it
I am torn - 3.5, I guess? May revisit this rating. An interesting story, and disturbing elements of plausibility (story revolves around immigrants being tattooed based on their immigration status and then being horribly mistreated), but (view spoiler) ...more
Gabriella Gricius
Mar 26, 2016 Gabriella Gricius rated it it was amazing
Why Read: I'm not sure how I came across this book. But recently I ran out of books to read (gasp!), on my Kindle and I had to go on a book buying spree to make sure I had a suitable collection. So naturally I went to my Goodreads TBR and this book stared me in the face. It looked reasonably short (which sadly can sometimes be a reason to read books), and I thought - why not?

Review: This book actually really surprised me. I wasn't expecting much other than a usual dystopian science fiction book
Apr 19, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
A TOP SHELF review, originally published in the April 17, 2015 edition of The Monitor

One of the most powerful roles that speculative fiction, especially dystopian sci-fi, plays in the literary community is that of cautionary prophet, spinning visionary depictions of what the sins of the present may lead us to. Classics like “Fahrenheit 451,” “The Handmaid’s Tale”and“Nineteen Eighty-Four” have become staples of high school and college curricula precisely because of their startling oracular power,
I really enjoyed this book. It was chaotic and real. What I appreciated more than anything is the honest portrayal of discussing the experience of discrimination with well meaning (ally) white people. Vourvoulias doesn't try to explain away the awkward interaction nor does she allow the space for forgiveness just because they don't understand but they mean well. It was truly beautiful. It's just there in all of its everyday awkwardness.

This is a short novel that is jam packed full of complexity
Jul 29, 2014 Gabrielle rated it liked it
This book is based around taking some of the rhetoric that exists surrounding immigration on the US/Mexico border to an extreme: those who are not (natural? born? normal?) US citizens are tattooed with identification information and their immigration status. While an interesting premise, there are several reasons I didn't enjoy this book. First, it's written in the first person, and that person keeps changing. Sure, it's written in the names of the chapter headings, but I didn't realise this unt ...more
Oct 12, 2012 Anthony rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, sf-fantasy
I can't say enough good things about this book. Sabrina Vourvoulias's storytelling style is heartbreaking and joyful at the same time. She alternates between four main points of view, and each character does have a distinct voice and mindset to be explored. The action takes place over quite a number of years as the author's dystopian world grows darker and then lighter. This is the near future, a very possibly real near future, with characters from all walks of life who feel the effects of a dar ...more
Oct 06, 2012 Leesa rated it it was amazing
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Here is an important cautionary tale about what could happen when we fear the other and let that irrational fear dictate our laws. In Ink's America, an identity law is passed where anyone entering the country gets a scannable tattoo that can tell the reader what status the ink has: citizen, permanent resident, temporary, fake. If one of your parents is an ink, you are an ink too, regardless if the parent was a full citizen before the law p
Djibril Al-ayad
Dec 31, 2012 Djibril Al-ayad rated it really liked it
Ink, the first novel by American and Latina journalist and writer Sabrina Vourvoulias, published by the successful and progressive small press Crossed Genres Publications, is an ambitious book. Telling the story of a wide group of protagonists in an only slightly futuristic, and only slightly exaggeratedly dystopian United States in which residents and citizens with recent immigration history are literally branded on their skin to mark their suspect status, it ranges over time, space and magic i ...more
Sofia Galvez
I heard about this book from the we need diverse books campaign in the diversify your self hashtag on twitter. I was excited with the premise of the book especially being 1st generation American and the current political climate we are in. As I delved into the story I was filled with a lot of strong emotions. I was angry to the point to where I had to put the book down at times. This is a good thing. I do feel books should make you feel things and I truly felt for the characters. I just was not ...more
Mar 14, 2016 Sheherazahde rated it really liked it
There is Fantasy in my Science Fiction! Again!

This book was chosen by my Science Fiction book group because it was supposed to be a Sci-Fi dystopia about illegal immigrants in the US. It is that. But the sci-fi component is minor. All the technology is currently available. We aren't tattooing immigrants, or implanting GPS trackers, or force sterilizing them, yet. But we are imprisoning them and setting up internment camps.

There is a definite fantasy element to this story. Some of the immigrants
Daniel Older
Mar 10, 2013 Daniel Older rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It was troubling, funny, beautiful, exciting. The near-future dystopian crisis of immigration rings truer every day and the characters are alive. INK guides us through a broken, angry world through the POVs of various players in the coming culture wars. Each struggles through the emotional, political landscape of privilege, power and heartbreak as the carnage of xenophobia drives faultlines between families, friends and lovers. There are a few moments I wanted more from; at ti ...more
Marvilyn Quiroz
Jul 29, 2015 Marvilyn Quiroz rated it really liked it
Dystopian, magical realism, immigration, romance, adventure, impressed by how much this author weaved into this page turner. Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias
May 07, 2015 Shopgirl rated it it was amazing
Emotionally poignant and eerily plausible given the current political climate. I particularly enjoyed the use of magic realism. Will definitely look for more of Vourvoulias' work in the future.
Nov 19, 2014 victoria.p marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
The first section ends with a rape and the second contains a miscarriage, so I'm putting this down. I'm sure it has interesting things to say, but I'm not in the frame of mind to deal with that.
Aug 10, 2012 Rebecca rated it liked it
I did thoughrouly enjoy what this book had to offer, the first part was deeply politcal and feeling, the middle part was full of relationships forming and reforming, and the ending part was rich with unique real-world fantasy. The problem was that these separate sections of the book didn't really seem to fit all that well together.

I loved the multiple points of view, I loved the real growth we saw in some of the characters, I loved seeing resolutions which would take place in the real world. Il
Dec 17, 2014 Cherylin rated it really liked it
This was one of my favorites I've read yet my feminist/queer/sci fi book group. Glad to lend to anyone who would like to read. Those who can't handily eerily close to the truth will not be able to handle it.
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Literary Fiction ...: Would love if you would consider 1 26 Aug 01, 2012 09:50AM  
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My novel, Ink, was published by Crossed Genres in October of 2012. (

I was born in Bangkok, Thailand -- the daughter of a Mexican-Guatemalan artist and an American businessman. I grew up in Guatemala, and moved to the United States when I was 15. I studied filmmaking and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., which -- it has to be sa
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