Tatiana's Reviews > Ink Exchange

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
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's review
Dec 04, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: 2009, ya, romancelandia
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather
Recommended for: those who love tattoos, fairies, and confusing writing
Read in December, 2009

So, I gave Marr another try. I didn't like "Wicked Lovely" that much, but was told "Ink Exchange" was better. In some ways, it was.

For one, Leslie as a protagonist is more interesting than Aislinn. There is definitely more depth to her and although I don't get that whole idea of a tattoo being able to free you of your troubles, to liberate you, make you stronger, Marr makes Leslie relatively easy to understand. Again, there are interesting ideas about faery lore that I would like to know more about. The ending is also very logical and satisfying to me. Considering that there are no true feelings between Leslie, Irial, and Niall, feelings based on real knowledge of each other, feelings not induced by magic of some sort, Leslie's decision is a correct one.

But just like with Marr's first book, I find the writing style of this book extremely confusing. Once again, there is a lot of jumping from 3rd to 1st person narration, a lot of examining of one's feelings inserted in between the lines of conversations, a lot of hints, a lot of partial/incomplete descriptions. After finishing the book, I still don't know how any of the faeries look underneath their human disguises. I still don't know what are some fae introduced very early in the book are: the Hounds (I only know they are half-humans and assume they are some kind of guards), Ly Ergs, thistle-fey, etc. Still have no idea about the structure of the Dark Court, the exact position and role of Bananach. Have no idea what the High Court is. I am not sure if Marr expects me to already know all these things or I am supposed to deduce what I need to know from bits and pieces of mythology she gives throughout her book, sometimes in the very end of the story. I am convinced that if I need someone who have read all her books several times to explain to me what's what, the narration is just not that great.

Overall, "Ink Exchange" is an OK book. It could have been better without endless often redundant self-reflection and with better delivered, cohesive mythology. Not sure if I will read any more of Marr's book. Her writing is just not my cup of tea I guess.

Reading challenge: #14, 4 of 4
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Reading Progress

12/04/2009 page 17
12/05/2009 page 100
29.76% 3 comments
05/25/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-28)

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Heather Oh I am so happy :)

Tatiana You are so easy to please. I hope I love just so that I could make you even more happier:)

Heather Everyone tells me that, maybe I should up my standards, lol.

Well, I would be delighted if you lurve it, but I'll settle for liking it.

Crystal Yea you started it =)

Heather On page 100 I see, are you still liking it, or has it taken a nose dive?

Tatiana Unfortunately, it is again slipping into confusing territory. I'll need you to explain things to me later:(

Heather Oh well, at least you gave it a shot. Good review, though hounds aren't human, they too are fey. You don't learn much about Banache or the High Court until FE, they were deliberately left a mystery and weren't major player's in Leslie's life, which is why they were left out of this book. I liked the third and first person switch, Hopkins does this in her books as well. It adds something, imo.

Tatiana You are right about Hounds, I meant to write half-human

Heather Ani is the only half human half fey in the dark court, which is why she will play such a major role in book 4. Now that Leslie is gone, they will need another way for sustenance. As for the dark court, they want war, but not total destruction, Irial and now Niall, both believe in keeping a balance, much like the high court. A litttle choas is needed for them to survive, but they have their morals, they don't want to destroy the world. Benache does. She isn't logical. They keep her, because she and the high queen are sisters, and they, along with their brother, who you have not met, are the strongest of all the fey. Neither Irial or Niall, are strong enough to take her on alone, but the time is coming when they will have to. As for the high court, you learn about them in book 3. The high court is the one that holds them all together, and it the opposing court of the dark court, just as summer is the opposite of winter. The Dark court thrives on chaos, but tries to maintain a balance, the high court maintains balance, but allows for a bit of chaos. Basically, the high court is void of emotion, excess, and is much like the scales of justice. Hope that helps.

Tatiana Thanks. You spared me reading the 3rd book:0)

message 18: by Crystal (last edited Dec 07, 2009 06:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Crystal Oh well at least you gave it a try =) good review =)

Tatiana Thank you. I did my best to like it and it was better than WL, but then I got all confused and a little bored:(

Heather What confused you?

Tatiana Just the way she writes. Leslie's POv was fine, that's why I said I liked IE better after reading the 1st chapter. But then when Marr would switch to Niall or Irial and throw in those undescribed/indefined faeries and some unexplained faery drama about something/someone I don't know about and then she would explain it partially 100 pages later. All of this plus the never-ending emotion turmoil and self-reflection everybody was constantly going through. It was just too much work to follow it (for me). I know you liked it that way.

Heather Well, I think Marr didn't go into depth about the high court or the various other fey because it wasn't necessary for the story being told. You needed to know that Irial was fearful that the high court would take Leslie because she was human, but you don't need to know all about the high court just because they are mentioned. She briefly describes the other fey as gastly and yet erily beautiful, but she intentionally doesn't go into detail cause that can mean something different to everyone.

As for the drama, well, Leslie has recently been raped, Niall used, Irial struggling to sustain his court, while learning to cope with human feelings and thoughts, its an unstable time, so naturally there is some angst and drama. :)

But I like these type of stories, I understand that it isn't everyone's cup of tea. I won't send you anymore immortal recs.

Tatiana Oh, come on, don't be upset over it. It's just a matter of differences in taste.

Heather I'm not upset, I just know that you tend to not like them, so why torture you :)

message 11: by Tatiana (last edited Dec 07, 2009 07:23AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tatiana Good. And thanks for consideration:)

message 10: by Heather (last edited Dec 07, 2009 07:22AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heather Yeah well, it's for me too, my heart can only take so much dislike, lol

Tatiana These are absolutely not my cup of tea

message 8: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH I read these books and liked them at the time, but I agree with you about the tattoo thing. Just didn't get that.

Crowinator Ink Exchange was my favorite out of the four I've read, and as far as I'm concerned, the problems you had with this one only get worse as the series goes on. I gave up on the series a little while ago, which made me sad, because I did really like Ink Exchange. I think it's the most self-contained one with the most interesting viewpoint characters.

Tatiana Crowinator, from what I heard, Ink Exchange is the book most close to the author. Many of Leslie's experiences are hers, that's why it is probably the best.

Andrea I heart your review. I was trying to explain why I felt so ambivalent towards this series and you explained it for me. The characters all seem very shallow and under developed to me. I think a glossary of fae terms/types would be helpful so that when she talks about them I don't have to look the terms up on the Internet or make up my own definitions.

I picked up book 3 at the library but not sure if I'll read it yet...

Kathleen I feel like I might bebthe only one that gets her ratio as a sign of recovery. I know from experience when you go through something tramaric, you tend to grasp at straws to prove to yourself that you are healing. Leslie getting the tattoo represents that she is in charge of her own body. No matter what is going on around her, she has control or this one thing. It can be very powerful in the victims healing process.

Kathleen ok posting from my phone was a bad idea. Ratio should have been tattoo.

karisakun true! the third person narration is confusing! If she only go with the first person kind maybe it would be better :D

Trisha Joseph Alot of people who have had a traumatic life experience such as abuse (emotional and or physical/sexual) it is a way to claim their body back by doing what they want to it. Piercings and tattoos help them express themselves and claim back what is theirs. That's why the tattoo was a big deal to Leslie she had the traumatic event happen and wanted to have some control over her body.

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