Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Inked (Inked #1)” as Want to Read:
Inked (Inked #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Inked #1)

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  451 ratings  ·  161 reviews
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
ebook, 250 pages
Published January 20th 2015 by Bloomsbury Spark
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Inked, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
La La Here is a link to the sequel that was announced a short while ago.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  451 ratings  ·  161 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Inked (Inked #1)
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a fun little read! I loved the characters and the adventure that they found themselves on. There were heartbreaking moments and then there were down right hilarious moments. I would've liked the world to have been fleshed out a bit more, but it was still interesting and I loved the idea behind the tattoos and how they move. All in all, I enjoyed it. It left me wanting more from the world! ...more
Steph Sinclair
Dec 24, 2014 added it
Recommends it for: People who don't usually read Fantasy
I'm not entirely sure about a rating yet. I liked it, but didn't love it.

I think this would be a great read for younger readers or those who are not huge fantasy readers. The world building is simple and enough to give the reader a feel for the fantasy world without confusion. However, I couldn't help but crave more from it. I'm not sure if this was the book or if it's just the fact that I read it while I've been listening to the Outlander series, where Diana is famous for taking 300 p
Carmen Blankenship
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I started reading Inked on a Saturday morning at 5:00am and didn't stop until it was over. I loved this book and had a blast reading it. There were similarities in concept with tattoos and the House of Night series but that's where the comparisons end.

Ill admit the beginning half of the book was better than the second but all in all I enjoyed this Unique world where Scribes decide your future once your 18. This is done by tattoos that are actually moving and evolving works of art that will dete
Dec 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
I liked the idea of the book. But unfortunately that was about it. While the story was decent and I didn't mind where the story was heading towards, however it was the lack of connection with the book and with the characters that ruined my enjoyment with this title so that made me feel bored with the rest of the book. I guess overall it just wasn't my cup of tea. ...more
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I saw the cover of this book I automatically said, I want it!

And although I made the mistake of thinking this was a children's book because of the style of writing and tone of the book, I found myself enjoying every second I read this.

This book centers on a world where tattoos hold great magic that controls the destiny of it's bearer. Ink is alive, it can suppress your natural abilities and weaken you but it can also give you power beyond your wildest dreams.

Caenum, our leading man, is s
Nov 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I received a free ebook of this to review... quite a while ago. I jut recently remembered I had it so figured I should read it! The premise was interesting and seemed original enough after reading it. It did bug me that the characters did not seem much in control of where they ended up - no matter how hard they tried to get to where they wanted to go, something always came and took where they wanted to go anyways. Finally at the end they seem to make a choice that actually works out be ...more
3 stars

It's no big secret that I adore Eric Smith, who is not only awesome for all the work he does at Quirk Books, but also just an awesome social media personality (keep those puppy pics coming plzkthnx never change), and I personally greatly enjoyed his non-fiction book, The Geek's Guide to Dating. So, when his YA fantasy debut was announced, it was pretty much a given that I would read it. Inked is fun and an imaginative visual experience, though it may sway to the younger end of YA.

Inked ta
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted @

*Please note I received a free copy of Inked from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

There is just one word that I can think to start this review: WOW.

In college, a creative writing professor of mine gave me a good nugget of wisdom. She told me when it comes to writing, you either have it or you don’t. By it, she was, of course, referring to talent. Anyone can be a writer, but not everyone is good at it. Let me tell you…Eric Smith has it!

Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Caenum is on the run. He will be turning 18 in a few days and as a result will receive his Ink. Most people are excited to receive their Ink, but not Caenum. He is afraid the Ink will be wrong and his life will be ruined.

After confronting one of the Scribes that has come to town to provide Ink for all those coming of age, everything turns upside down. His family, friends, and hometown will never be the same and it all ties back to Caenum.

Somehow Caenum is now in charge of escorting the Scribe w
Paul Decker
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
*I received this book from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books as an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

The imagery in this book is so cool. People are given tattoos when they turn a certain age. These tattoos determine their profession. If that isn't cool enough, the tattoos aren't just any old normal tattoos. They move. They glide across the skin and contort to the person's emotions, movements, or different things like that.

The main character is hesitantly about to get his tattoo
Sep 04, 2014 marked it as to-read
When I added this to my shelf months ago, there wasn't a book cover, yet. And now there is! AND IT'S SO PRETTY. SOOO PRETTY THAT I CAN'T HELP MYSELF FROM STARING AT IT ALL DAY.


(ME) waiting for INKED be like:


Brooke (The Cover Contessa)
Almost 50% in and I just can't do it. I tried, I really did. But the writing is sub par (tell, tell , tell, where's the showing?), as is the editing. And the story is boring for me. No rating or review. ...more
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Caenum is scared about his fate. When one turns 18, one will get inked. Dreya, his neighbor and his best friend, is already inked and is happy with her fate. Everyone tells Caenum not to worry about the Inking. When Caenum meets Kenzi, he thought it was odd that Kenzi's skin was bare. Kenzi is an apprentice scribe. When a Scribe comes of age, the Scribe performs his or her first Inking. However, the Scribe also gets Inked that same day. Something goes wrong with Kenzi's Inking and Caenum's grand ...more
Kurt Dinan
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
See, this is a YA fantasy novel I can get behind. It has a hero you care about, real stakes, excellent world building, and moves at just the right clip. Not to disparage other novels, but there seems to be a formula a lot of fantasy novels follow, something I think Smith recognizes as well. Fortunately, Smith turns a lot of your expectations on their ear, making unexpected (and welcome) choices that keep this novel fresh. What more can you ask for? I loved the concept of "Inking" and want more o ...more
Sheila Goicea
Ink was like that. Always suggesting and nudging, always spot on. Which is exactly why it scared me. I wanted to know myself first.

Caenum is about to turn eighteen---it is the birthday he has dreaded for years. When he turns eighteen, he will be inked. The Ink will decide who he is to become, not taking into account any thoughts that may counter what it tells him. Plotting to flee before the Scribes come to deliver his future, Caenum finds himself in a debacle when a run-in with a Sc
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english, own, fantasy, ebooks
I actually quite enjoyed this one! I love the whole Ink-concept, and everything it stands for. It’s action-packed and there’s always something happening so I never really got a chance to get bored.
But I wish it was a little bit longer. I would love to learn more about the world and more pages would give characters time to grow (the lack of character development is probably my biggest issue with this book). This way the story just felt too rushed and confusing at times.
But other than that I
Kirtida Gautam
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I am from India. Till very recent past, not more than 50 years ago, India lived under a social system where a person's CASTE would be decided with his/her birth, and the person was forced to live out the part.
Therefore Eric Smith's adventure novel Inked resonated a lot with me.
Caenum is an adorable protagonist. Strikingly simple.
But what I liked the most about the novel is, the visualness of the language. Eric has a knack for creating vivid mental images.
Overall, a very interesting read. Hig
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This modern day fairy tale is magnificent! Young people will totally be able to identify with Caenum, Dreya and Kenzi and be caught up in their adventurous nightmare of a reality!
Dark Faerie Tales
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed-by-zed
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Inked was not my kind of dystopian read. It was unrealistic and lacked the crucial connection between the reader and the characters.

Opening Sentence: Three days.
My thin leather shoes slapped softly against the dirt leading away from grandmother’s cottage as I made my way across our stretch of farmland located at the edge of Frosthaven.

The Review:

Another dystopian story but regrettably, not a very good one.

Inked contained elements of the Insurgen
Adriana Gabrielle
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely amazing! I loved it! (and am REALLLLLLLLLLLY hoping there is a book two one day.) The first couple chapters I was unsure about where this was going story wise but was really enjoying it but then after those first couple chapters (and the end of interruptions at that very moment when I was trying to read) I was suddenly pulled into this awesome, action packed adventure! and I loved it! I absolutely loved the setting too! It felt like I was standing there amidst everything ...more
Denise Hallauer
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Review can be found on my blog

I enjoyed this book, it's an interesting story, and an interesting idea. I had some small issues with it, but overall it's a really good book. To me in many parts it felt like the book was a little under-developed. I would have liked to know more about the Citadel, how they came to be, why they started forcing the inking (just to control them?), etc. Also in the story it's not mentioned how old they are when they get the inking, it's mentioned in the synopsis but th
Initial Review
Probably more of a 2.5.

Well, that was ridiculous. Thank goodness it was short.

Almost Full review

For full review (including live-tweets from while I was reading) click here.

The Short Version:

First things first: everyone ignore the synopsis. It doesn't mean anything.

Second, I did not like this book. This book made me angry. Of all 191 pages, I think I enjoyed 15 of them all up.


The Long Version:

I mean, it could have been so awesome.
Orie at Let's Take A Shelfie
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalleys
In a fictional world ruled by the Citadel, it is made mandatory that all inhabitants of the realm be inked when they come of age. The inking identifies each citizen's destiny by marking them with symbols associated with their intended occupation. The story begins with Caenum, three days away from his inking, who is gathering his belongings as he prepares to runaway. Caenum believes people should get to choose their destiny and not have to follow what the ink tells him. His plans to run away are ...more
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-reviews
Judging from the summary and the cover, I had really high hopes for the tale of magical tattoos and the main character, Caenum. Unfortunately, “Inked” is a prime example of not being able to judge a book by its cover.

The story started in a promising way, introducing the familiar themes of becoming an adult and being afraid of what the world may hold for you. The descriptions of how the magic tattoos looked and moved were intriguing and very well-done. The world building, while not the best I hav
Emily WilowRaven
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-ebook
Review posted at Red House Books

I really enjoyed Inked.

I'm a big fan of a this specific type of fantasy story. You know, a small specific story about a tiny piece of a much bigger world. A world with it's own set of rules that folks have to work their way through. A set of characters that are thrown together against a common enemy. Magic! Magic (almost) everywhere!

THAT type of story! That's what this is and it was pretty great.

Reminded me of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab -- it had the same t
Nate Philbrick
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Inked starts on a pretty high note. For the first third of the book, I liked the characters, connected well with them, and was excited about where the story was headed. The last two thirds, to be frank, are disappointing. I feel like Smith built a lot of good potential but only delivered tropes and shallow story-telling as payoff.

What had me hooked since page one was the relationship (or hints at one) between the protagonist, Caenum, and his friend Dreya. When the story lost its appeal towards t
Jan 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Not bad! Not bad at all, I mean tattoos that react to your emotions and to your environment and basically control your life and place in society, how awesome is that for a plot point? The magic is super interesting and original in many ways, action packed scenes are really well described and I could actually visualize what the author described. My problem with that book is that I wanted to know more about the world the character's lived in, description of how it worked etc, because I sometimes e ...more
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-reads
This review was first posted on The Art of Escapism!

I loved the concept for Inked. Magical tattoos! I have no idea about you guys, but magical tattoos rank way up there with unicorns. But you know what's not as awesome as magical tattoos and unicorns? This book, sadly.

The execution of the idea just killed any potential in the concept. Caenum, Dreya, and Kenzi are all irritatingly bratty and juvenile. I didn't feel that they were even 18. I also have a lot of problems with the writing, and the di
Angela Cramer
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
***I received an ARC from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books for an honest review. Expected publication date 1/20/15***

Right from the beginning I was excited to read a story where the norm was to have everyone tattooed. Instead of being excited to be Inked, our hero Caenum feared the process. Eric Smith builds a future world where the Citadel controls the ink and the to be Unprinted is to be a curse. Unlike today where ink expresses who you are, the ink of the future decides not only who you
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1st-in-a-series

I received a review copy of Inked from the author via YA Bound Books in exchange with an honest review.

I usually dive into books knowing so little about the plot, and this was the case with Inked. By only reading the 1st two sentences in the blurb, I was intrigued to know what happens next. I wasn't disappointed !

The author was not only to capture my attention to pick the book, but also to continue reading it. I was hooked from chapter 1.

I loved the way the author described the tattoo given, and
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Saucy Wenches Boo...: Inked by Eric Smith 2 11 Apr 18, 2016 07:52AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong page number 2 104 Mar 22, 2016 05:36AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Your Destination Is on the Left
  • The Honey-Don't List
  • Frankly in Love
  • If I Never Met You
  • This Is Our Story
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)
  • Yes No Maybe So
  • Reverie
  • Girl Gone Viral
  • Down and Across
  • Crystal (Starlatten #1)
  • Faye and the Ether (Faye and the Ether #1)
  • Black Wings Beating (Skybound, #1)
  • Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club, #2)
  • Out of Control
  • Hunting Lila (Lila, #1)
  • Good Enough: A Novel
  • Guardian (Proxy, #2)
See similar books…
Eric Smith is an author and literary agent from Elizabeth, New Jersey.

His Young Adult books include the Inked duology (Bloomsbury), the anthology Welcome Home (Flux), The Girl & the Grove (Flux), and Don't Read the Comments (Inkyard Press).

His first non-fiction book, The Geek's Guide to Dating, was published with Quirk Books in December 2013. It was an Indiebound bestseller and has sold into eight

Other books in the series

Inked (2 books)
  • Branded (Inked #2)

Related Articles

The Goodreads community is, of course, exceptional when it comes to finding great books. So, this summer we turned to some of the top book...
151 likes · 96 comments
“Lose control once in a while, and your emotions will make you strong. Keep your heart open, and they’ll make you invincible.” 4 likes
More quotes…