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Earnest Ink

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  27 reviews
While twenty-year-old FTM Hemingway is making an excellent living as a tattoo artist in a near-future version of Hell’s Kitchen, the rest of the country is splintered and struggling in the wake of a war gone on for too long. Technology has collapsed, borders rise and fall overnight, and magic has awakened without rhyme, reason, or rule, turning average unwitting citizens ...more
Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published October 14th 2019 by NineStar Press
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an fascinating and addictive read.

Hemingway is an interesting and complex character. Rich and gifted but tortured by the past. Caught in the explosions that changed the United States. Photographed saving a child’s life. Propelled into fame. Then to discover on camera his tattoos now come to life.
The spotlight, pressure and fame are a heavy burden to carry. Especially for someone so young who’s already experienced so much.

Magic appeared in the world in the aftermath of destruction. Magic
Joyfully Jay
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: camille
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.5 stars

Okay, truth be told, I wasn’t really captured by this story at first. My preconceptions about the books I usually review for the blog probably played a big part—that is, I was low-key anticipating a romance and every time a male character appeared on page during the first few chapters, I was looking for signs of attraction/interest. It isn’t until Hemingway’s ex-girlfriend goes missing AND Hemingway himself starts actively looking for her that I started to lose
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We’re in a dystopian near future world and we follow Hemingway a FTM tattoo artist. In this world technology has collapsed and some people have developed magic powers. Hemingway is one of them, he can make tattoos come to life. When the East River Ripper, kidnaps his best friend he tries to find her with the help of his roommate who has been investigating the serial killer since he killed her twin brother. Add to the mix a group of punk teenagers with their own agenda and you get this brilliant ...more
I like magical realism and this was a fun way to do it. I also liked the dystopian setting, although I would have liked more information about what led to it and how things are regulated. There was a war going on, but I wasn't quite sure who New York was fighting against and how the U.S. works. Hemingway was an alright character, kind of moody and sullen at times, but I liked his work and that he cared for his friends. The story moved too slowly and I felt like most of the plot happened in the ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review

For the full review visit here:

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

From that review:I am always enthusiastic about the stories that flow out of the mind of author Alex Hall because I know the tales will be imaginative, with twists and turns, marvelous characters with attention to details in personality and background, and as it demonstrated here, a fabulous ability to deliver a world of magic realism so very believable that i fell into it
Natalie panda eyes
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm-recs
Received from Netgalley. A story about a transitioning tattoo artist, a group of punks and a serial killer. I liked the tattoos and how they come to life. Didn’t like Seraphine. Didn’t guess the culprit this time around. Wouldn’t mind a sequel. It was interesting and I enjoyed it.
Lillith Lies
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Book Review

Earnest Ink by Sarah Remy/Alex Hall

A Summary: The world changed forever when on Labor Day several bombs went off taking the lives of many, but a new kind of person was born from the ashes… thaumaturges. The impossible becomes a lot more possible with mystical people performing miracles every day, one of those people is Hemingway (FTM). Hemingway gains notoriety and becomes the hero of the bombings by
This book was great! This is a pretty dark world. NYC appears to be walled off and things aren’t what they once were. There are Closed Circuit cameras everywhere, there’s a curfew and enforcement officers are posted on every corner. In Hall’s world, there are people who have magical skills. Some of them can heal people, some can manipulate energy, Hemingway can bring his tattoo art to life… and the East River Ripper appears to be able to magically drain the life out of his/her victims. ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a cool concept! A mix of dystopian, and murder mystery with magical abilities for some, but not all. This was a facinating read that kept the pages turning. I loved the characters and the dangerous and dark world they lived in. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow I loved this book i couldnt stop reading its. I loved Hemingway and found the tattoos coming to life with magic so insteresting and enjoyed the mystery of the book so much. Im really hoping there will be 2nd book soon. I received this book from netgallery inexchange for a honest review.
3.5 stars

This has to be one of the most unique superhero tales I have ever read. It is gritty but also humorous, and even though it focuses on a horrific type of serial killer it doesn’t obsess over the details enough to make this horror- even though it well could have been. I’m really impressed with this self-published debut, but the first half does at times feel a bit scattered. By the second half, once Hemingway is actively looking for his friend, the plot progresses much more smoothly.

Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am trying to branch out more. Take on a book to review that maybe I normally wouldn't automatically reach for.

Earnest Ink is not a book I would automatically grab. It is a dystopian serial killer mystery. And I am glad I took a chance. In fact, I want more.

The blurb says Hemingway is a FTM trans tattoo artist. Honestly, except for representation, him being trans has no bearing on the story at all. There are a few passages throughout the book about it, but it isn't an overall theme at all.

Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rating: 4.0 stars

Library recommendation: Recommended for public library LGBT2SQ+ urban fantasy collections.

Number of titles I have read by this author: 1

Triggers: Recounting of war and war-related deaths; violence; transphobia (main character is FTM transgender); body hatred; mild description of an eating disorder

Grammar/editing: My ARC had a few typos

Review: Set in a fantastical near future version of Hell's Kitchen, this was a great fantasy mystery novel with a clever twist. I did find,
Carro Herdegen
Language: R (128 swears, 9 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13
In a splintered and chaotic world, Hemingway knows to keep his head down, especially because of the magic talent that makes him famous. But Hemingway can’t sit back when his best friend, Grace, goes missing and it appears that the serial killer at large has her.
I felt that the beginning was slow, but that is forgiven in everything that comes after the set up. The characters, despite occasional magical ability, felt real as I
Andrea Stoeckel
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The magic chose you for bigger things, Hemingway. It’s kept you safe.”

Hemingway is a tattoo artist that owns Earnest Ink, a shop on the barricaded island of Manhattan in this dystopian future of Alex Hall. They are also a thaumaturge: a wonderworker that can change things in the physical world, and have become a phenomenon after tattooing the President following the destruction of Seattle’s Space needle. However, all they want to do is be left to do their art, either on canvas or preferably on
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
thaumaturge: a worker of wonders and performer of miracles; a magician

Hemingway has magic. His tattoos come to life. He keeps mostly to himself, to recognizable to go out much. New York City is basically a prison and he lives for his work in the closed off, scary city. His wealth makes his life easier but he doesn’t care about that.

His best friend Grace is a flighty airhead. His other friend and roommate Thom, is a port cop. She spend all her spare time looking for the East River Ripper. A
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up

This was a very character and world heavy book, with the first half or so dedicated to setting the scene of this near-future somewhat post apocalyptic New York City and our MC Hemingway. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the pacing, given my preference is usually for a more plot-forward book, but the way it was done worked really well. I find for any kind of urban apocalypse book like this I have to suspend some disbelief and not ask too many questions (why is
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has every thing! Im not going to spoil the story, but believe you me, there are so many twists and turns, it kept me guessing til the very end!

I totally enoyed this dystopian fiction story, and found it to be an easy read, considering its futuristic element. The characters are believable and strong, and really come into their own throughout the story. Unfortunately, magic aside, the story is hauntingly believable given today’s political and economic climate.

Hemingway is a brilliant
Nicki Markus
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-lgbt
Earnest Ink was a mostly engaging read. I liked the idea behind the story: tattoos coming to life with magic. Hemingway was a fun character, and I would like to see more from him, and his tattooing, in the future as I think there are more layers to explore there. Where the book fell down a little for me was the pacing. The murder mystery element of the story didn't properly kick off until about a third in. Once it did, the pace picked up and things moved along nicely, but it felt like a long ...more
Beth Tilley
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a traumatic terrorist act that throws the US into a post-apocalyptic future, some citizens begin to exhibit magical talents.

Hemingway moves from Idaho and settles in Manhattan opening a tattoo parlor. Word quickly gets around that his magical talents can make tattoos "come to life" in 3 D.

A serial killer has been haunting Manhattan for years and Hemingway's friend, Grace, disappears. Hemingway and his friends band together to find her. Little do they know the killer has been right under
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Member Review

Earnest Ink
by Alex Hall
Pub Date: 14 Oct 2019
Read an Excerpt

This takes place in post apocalyptic New York. It's a world where only a few have suddenly received magical ability.

Hemingway has the ability to create magical tattoes. He opens a shop in Hells Kitchen called Earnest Ink.

A serial killer is operating in New York and Hemingway is drawn into finding the killer.

This is a well crafted world with an interesting, well developed cast of characters. It is well worth
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Earnest Ink by Alex Hall is about 20 yr old FTM Hemingway who makes his living as a tattoo artist. Not only is he a talented artist, but his work comes to life. Literally. When NYC’s infamous serial killer, the East River Ripper kidnaps Hemingway’s friend Grace, he teams up with his roommate to hunt the killer and rescue Grace.
I have to say the story drew me in right to the end. I was really surprised who the killer was.
I am really thankful to Goodreads and Sarah for the chance to win this
Peter Kralka
An OK read. A melding of Sci-Fi and fantasy centering around a tattoo artist, Hemingway, practicing his art in a futuristic city state of NYC. America has collapsed as a united nation with NYC a walled city. Hemingway is a celebrity as his tattoo's are magical coming to life after completion. He becomes involved in the search for a serial killer referred to as the Ripper when his ex-girl friend disappears. Characters are OK, plot is OK and it's an easy read.
Kathryn Manzella
Earnest Ink by Alex Hall delivers fascinating world building, well written storyline, and fantastic characters. There is an intriguing mystery with a killer on the loose. There is a magical element that added spice to the suspense. The characters are interesting and drew me into their world. I enjoyed every page from start to finish.

I received an advanced reader's copy of the book and I am voluntarily leaving my honest review and recommendation.
Heather Bennett
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A suspenseful and sometimes hair raising read, but all in all a very good book that I highly recommend!!
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fabulous book, really enjoyed reading this one. great read loved it.
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5/5

A little slow in the beginning but picks up the pace as things progress. I enjoyed the world (and abilities) and the ending did surprise me.
Lisa Marie
rated it it was ok
Jan 13, 2020
Kath Davis
rated it it was amazing
Oct 21, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Nov 25, 2019
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Sarah Remy/Alex Hall is a nonbinary, animal-loving, proud gamer Geek. Their work can be found in a variety of cool places, including HarperVoyager, EDGE and NineStar Press.

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