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Amazon Ink

(Amazon #1)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  621 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Meet Mel: Business owner. Dedicated mom. Natural-born Amazon.

It's been ten years since Melanippe Saka left the Amazon tribe in order to create a normal life for her daughter, Harmony. True, running a tattoo parlor in Madison, Wisconsin, while living with your Amazon warrior mother and priestess grandmother is not everyone's idea of normal, but Mel thinks she's succeeded at

Paperback, 372 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Pocket Books (first published May 2009)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  621 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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I enjoyed the new twist on the urban fantasy, however, it did feel like a first book. I'll be sure and catch the sequel to see if Devoti's writing and story improves. The protagonist has left her tribe to raise her daughter, and her mother and grandmother have followed along. I enjoyed the multi-generational aspect of the story, and confess that the grandma, Bubbe, was one of my favorite characters. Mel, the main character and narrator initially annoyed me, but I began to realize it was her char ...more
Sep 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Let's see, what twist on urban fantasy can we come up with - how about Amazons are real, and still living in all-female tribes that practice magic and fighting, and give away or kill all male babies? All righty then!

Mel left her Amazon tribe after her baby son died (or was killed) after birth, and makes her living as a tattooist. Her teenage daughter doesn't know about her Amazon heritage or potential powers. Then dead Amazon girls start being dumped at Mel's door. Drama.

This is a completely ove
Jun 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-reviews, fantasy
There are Amazons in the contemporary world and someone is killing Amazon teenagers. The protagonist, an Amazon tattoo artist, needs to deal with this threat before her teenage daughter becomes a victim. This is a suspenseful book with some surprising revelations.

Devoti has built an Amazon culture that is partly based on Greek myth, but contains some rather special elements of her own invention such as the role of tattoos.

I identified with the protagonist who never quite fit in with the Amazon
Kimberly Yang
Aug 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
i couldn't put it down! Amazon Ink was an entertaining read, and had a new take on a familiar fantasy figure- the amazon. the author's Lori Devoti idea was what if amazons were living in the modern world, in a place like madison wisconsin, rather than in the typical forest/jungle type of setting?

it was very refreshing and brought about some great insight into family dynamics (both ancient/tribal as well as modern).

the whole book is set up around a murder mystery. someone is killing young amazon
Solid 3.5 stars from me. I'm not a big urban fantasy reader - the tropes don't really grab me, but this one kept me turning the pages and engaged. Entertaining read featuring a protagonist who says she's over 90, but since she's an Amazon, that makes her not terribly old. I'm including this on my "older women" list because of stated age, but she reads as midthirties, for those of you looking for more representation. She runs her own tattoo parlor, which is a fun take on fantasy career paths. Som ...more
Nancy D   Miz-Firefly aka Sparky
You'll have to suspend disbelief some. Unless you'r living in a terrarium no society can remain untouched by outside forces. But I like Lori Devoti's take on Amazons. This is a good start to what might be a great series.

The thing I liked most about this book was its conception of what a modern-day Amazon society would be like: in some ways, Lori Devoti's vision makes a lot of sense to me, but other choices she made were very surprising.

The book is set in the modern USA, in Wisconsin, but with one major difference: Amazons are real, and they've been living undetected among "mundane" humans for about 2,000 years. For the most part, they live nomadically, moving between Amazon encampments scattered across the coun
Jul 16, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a new urban fantasy (2009) that was quite good - I'd read the sequel. It had just a little romantic tension in it (a couple hetero kiss scenes), but was otherwise entirely contemporary urban fantasy. The premise of the novel is that Amazons are a real ethnic group of nomadic woman who live a very long time and have magical powers. (Imagine the Gypsies, but with 6 foot tall, muscular, magic-wielding women who live over 500 years.) They keep themselves away from normal American culture for ...more
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
This is one of the best urban fantasies I've read--plus it's a well-done mystery that keeps you guessing till the end.

Mel is an Amazon, but she's lived apart from the tribe for ten years, working as a tattoo artist and raising her daughter in Madison, Wisconsin. When someone starts killing Amazon girls and leaving their bodies on Mel's doorstep, she's forced to reengage with her people and her past. Along the way, she also confronts (first through choice, then through circumstance) the gender s
Nov 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uf, 2009, amazons
This was a very different spin on the whole urban fantasy genre. You have Mel, who owns a tattoo shop, that is in an old high school taking up an entire city block, where she also lives with her daughter, mother, and grandmother. Oh, and they are Amazons, or at least Mel was until she decided to leave the tribe 10 years ago with her daughter, her mother and grandmother following.

Unfortunately, Mel is drawn back into the Amazon world once dead Amazon girls are left on her doorstep. Wanting to fin
Aug 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-book, urban-fantasy
I bought this a long time ago, because it looked intriguing, then I just never got around to reading it. Until recently. And it was a good book. The mythology is that Amazons are real, and they're still living like the Amazons of old--except more like gypsies, rather than having their own territory. They have shamans with magic, and their warriors have a little magic of their own. The heroine, though, has broken with them. She moved out with her daughter--whom she's raising without knowledge of ...more
I just couldn't get into it. When I got excited about it, I didn't understand that the Amazon being referred to is not the jungle but a female warrior. They swear to Artemis. The premise just wasn't captivating to me. I didn't like any of the women. Especially when the main character, Mel, starts the book by ignoring the murders of two children (who were dumped on her doorstep so are clearly being linked to her in some way) because she doesn't want it to mess up her life. Her mother and grandmot ...more
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
It is not often that you see a book centered around a mother, amazons, or a tattoo shop, but this novel has all three! The dead amazon plot line was interesting but there wasn't enough mystery solving for my liking. The main character was focused mainly on how much she dislikes the amazons, and was a bit too proud. Her teenage daughter is pretty much a non character, as she only has a small part in the novel. I'm also not a fan of the way the novel turned out. I can't say much about it since it ...more
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Absolutely not cool with the infanticide theme. I feel like the heroine hasn't done enough for her dead/missing son. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bella Shaw
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
All in all, I'm glad I read this book. I loved the take on the Amazons, especially the concept of magic/power in their tattoos. The main character underwent obvious arc changes, which I appreciated. There were a few points that were slow for me, but overall a wonderful book to experience. ...more
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Mel has a lot on her mind. She's raising a teenage daughter, living in a renovated High School, has her mother and her grandmother living with her, and just got 2 dead girls left on her doorstep. Mel's not sure why this is happening. Sure, it could be because she's an Amazon priestess living away from the rest of her tribe whom she left after the death of her son, but it could be just a coincidence too...right?

Knowing that it is most definitely not a coincidence, Mel has to summon her courage to
Jul 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
Plot: 3.5 Stars
The Amazons in this story were very interesting. I liked that they all had different abilities, although I wish some of the abilities had been discussed in a little more detail. My favorite part of the whole story was that the main character was a tattoo artist. I love body modification (I have 11 piercings and 5 tattoos), so I was really excited for two of my favorite things to be come together in a novel: tattoos and urban fantasy. I was a little let down in the fact that the ta
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of

AMAZON INK’s premise of modern day Amazons is unique in urban fantasy and perfectly suited to genre. The plot is simple enough, someone is killing young amazons and leaving them for Mel to find. Despite having left the tribe a decade before, Mel is forced to work alongside with the Amazons, and deal with hostility and suspicion from both sides while tracking down a killer who may be targeting her own daughter next.

The idea of Amazons, female
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mel left her Amazon tribe ten years prior to the events of Amazon Ink, after the tribe shunned her male child and told her that he was stillborn. Mel took her daughter with her when she left, and vowed to live a normal life and raise her child away from the violence and harsh realities of Amazon life.

All Mel has ever wanted to do was fit in and raise her daughter, Harmony, in the calm, normal world of humans. That's kind of difficult when you're an Amazon turned small business owner and tattoo a
Sep 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Written in the first person throughout, After being what Mel sees as betrayed by her Amazon tribe she leaves with her daughter & her mother ( loves Lycra swords & spears)& grandmother (A bit of a con artist, frustrating powerful & secretive) follow her, she opens a Tatoo parlour & all is well for a few years till several things happen at once, young Amazon girls turn up dead on her porch, the Amazon tribe the girls belonged to are certain Mel is the murderer, there's suspicion from the police, s ...more
Cathy Douglas
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
An entertaining book. The whole idea or modern-day Amazons is cool, and I like the way Devoti worked on the issue of what they do with their boy babies.

In fantasy, there's always a certain amount of unlikely stuff you have to buy into, but this one had me saying, "Oh, come on!" more than most. A bunch of highly-trained and in-bred warrior women, who spend most of their day training, even though they have no one to fight. These Amazons manage to keep their existence secret, even though they've g
Aug 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes urban fantasy, little emphasis on romance, books about tattoos
Amazon Ink was a pretty good urban fantasy. Mel's origin as a mythical Amazon warrior turned everyday business owner/mom was really unique. Despite her intention to remain separate from her former community, the Amazons still have enemies and Mel's latent powers keep her relevant to their fight. She's a fiercely protective mother, and the dynamics between Mel, her mother and her "Bubbe" were hilarious and touching. Bubbe was absolutely my favorite character: a several hundred year old Amazon pri ...more
Well, where do I begin. I started out liking this book, until I realized that I was rolling my eyes no fewer than twice a page at least. Then it started to go down hill. There was just something really undeveloped about the characters, or the concept in general, or the writing, I can't decide which. I tried, I really did. But about midway through I was tired of the romanticisms and the "quickened breaths" and the weak willed main character, Mel... who considering was raised an amazon I thought w ...more
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I wasn’t sure at first I’d like this, but by page 80 I couldn’t read through the tears in my eyes. By the end I didn’t want it to stop. There’s alot of unanswered questions and unfinished storylines.

There’s a lot of well thought out Amazon culture and history. Having animal tattoos involved in amplifying their Amazon powers is creative.

I’ve never come across the idea of male Amazons before. Having their sons join together is an interesting idea. I’m sad at the way they’d been treated. It’s
Barbara ★
After some kind of disaster, Melanippe "Mel" Saka has given up the Amazon life and moved to Madison Wisconsin to open a tattoo parlor along with her mother, grandmother and daughter. When dead Amazon girls start appearing on her doorstep with tattoos excised from their flesh, she is very concerned for her daughter. Very slowly the story builds (and I do mean slowly. It took almost 200 pages to get interesting.) and we learn why Mel left and why the Amazon Queen suspects Mel of these terrible dee ...more
Aug 25, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
My Boredom with this book turned into Physical Agony!,

I really wanted to like this book but it was just so boring! Aside from being predictable, it wasn't even interesting. Someone has been murdering and dumping young girls on Mel's doorstep. Instead of having empathy for the families involved, she just dumps the girls elsewhere and notifies no one. What a cowardly and selfish heroine. It's such a pity this story didn't appeal to me, because I love the idea of a powerful matriarchal society. I'
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
This book didn't do so much for me that I gulped it up in a single reading but it did keep me going. The book was well-written and entertaining but it took a bit for me to get pulled in.

I'm very interested in the potential between Reynolds and Peter. I hope that Mel enjoys both before making a decision.

In terms of the characters. I don't know where I stand with Peter, Bubbe or Cleo. Each has deceived and betrayed Mel even if it was with good intention. I would like to see how Mel deals with tha
Jun 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Kim Harrison, Jeannine Frost, Patricia Briggs.
This is obviously the first book in a trilogy, if not a series. Devoti has a knack for flawless plot crafting, to say the least. The arc in this story feeds directly into a series plot without struggling, flailing or otherwise leaving the reader the impression of giving itself a hernia from the strain.
Added to that is a cast of unique characters that stand as quirky individuals despite their socio-cultural cult. Devoti makes these women come alive with such flair. Mel's dynamic portrayal, purely
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Lori Devoti grew up in southern Missouri and attended college at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism. She, however, made it clear to anyone who asked, she was not a writer; she worked for the dark sideadvertising. Now twenty years later, shes proud to declare herself a writer and visit her dark side occasionally by writing dark, sensual paranormal romance, ...more

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Amazon (2 books)
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