I bought this as I often buy books that I end up enjoying immensely- it was on sale, ($1.99, how could I refuse?) and I liked the cover; once again, I...moreI bought this as I often buy books that I end up enjoying immensely- it was on sale, ($1.99, how could I refuse?) and I liked the cover; once again, I successfully proved the old adage wrong. When I read in the blurb it was about tattoo shop workers trying to catch a killer, I was sold. I always am down to watch some douche crash and burn writing about the tattoo world.
With schadenfreude fully engaged, I began reading...and was shocked that I was impressed. The writing was of a much higher caliber than what I anticipated. Equally as important, this guy actually knew his shit. It was beyond well researched, it was an insider's perspective, quite clearly. I confirmed this thanks to my trusty sidekick, affectionately referred to as Google. With this knowledge in hand, I decided to support this author, tell all my friends, etc etc.
Now, onto the book: It starts as a pretty standard slice of life piece-Mike the tattooer and his two friends have lived through some shit. As a result Mike knows love hurts, and love is mean and its easier to be alone-until, urged by his buddy, Doc, and some obvious hints from her- Mike asks out the new body piercer at the shop.
At that point things begin getting weird. The story enters the realm of magical realism, and hangs there fir a while. It begins to venture forth into full on urban/dark fantasy and then makes some sudden left hand turns into horror, all the while incorporating some standard thriller conventions.
Over all, this literary menudo works, but there were several times I wished that Davis had broken up these elements and had written a couple different books instead.
I really loved the characters, and the cremains ink story. I'd have liked to see the burgeoning love story of Mike and Deb, and seen the cremains tattooing continued in the magical realism vein. I'd like to see a fleshed out story of Lamar and Rani, focused on how a relationship can survive extreme cultural differences and familial opposition. While I really liked what I read, there was a bit too much going on, and the story suffered for it in end. And yet, it was a lot of fun, and I made quick work of it, while ignoring my actual work, which is definitely the sign of a good book.
And he only uses the word "tat" twice, and it is only in dialog from nonmajor players. Thank gods/science.
Sarah Weston is a pretty awesome lead female character. She is strong, smart, and makes decisions informed by her own needs, self interest, or values....moreSarah Weston is a pretty awesome lead female character. She is strong, smart, and makes decisions informed by her own needs, self interest, or values. She owns her sexuality, and it's refreshing. I mean how often do you see a female character who isn't tied to her man, or is allowed to be remotely sex positive. Incredibly refreshing and rare.
The character of Prince Max was less enjoyable, more of a cipher. I hope he is further developed in the next book. Nico was cool, but I'd like to see more about him. I could have done without the Pols stuff, she was pretty pointless, as was the entire plot line of the US Senator and CIA. Removing that and developing the Golden Fleece story would've been a boon to City of Dark Magic. Regardless, this book was fun, fast paced, and short. Perfect summer reading. (less)
I love this book so much. It's brilliant, hilarious, and breaks shit down like nothing else I've ever read.Exactly what we should expect from Binnie....moreI love this book so much. It's brilliant, hilarious, and breaks shit down like nothing else I've ever read.Exactly what we should expect from Binnie. She's perfect, genius, hilarious.(less)