View from the window seat:
Gage is the best tattoo artist in Low Town. Using potions mixed with ink, he can give anyone a tattoo with unique properties. But the mystery surrounding Gage is greater than magical tattoos. Gage was a warlock-in-training who ran away from the Ivory Towers that house the cruel and merciless witches and warlocks. If Gage practices magic, he will be executed swiftly. Gage tries to stay under the radar, but with an old mentor trying to kill him, disgruntled customers, and a dying girl, he’s finding it harder to live an ordinary life.
The premise of this story is what really got me to read it in the first place. A magical tattoo artist? Hells yes! Gage’s tattoos can bring good luck, make someone more alluring, or hex someone. The author manages to combine different myths and mythical creatures in a very believable and natural way. A group of satyrs just walked into the tattoo parlor? Sure, no problem. Going to the underworld? Necessary, but dangerous. The rules of this world and how the different races interact as well as the magic of Gage’s tattoos and the spells of the warlocks all seem to fit together somehow. This ultimately made the book worth reading for me.
I can’t say the same about the characters. Gage is a frustrating hero. He makes mistake after mistake and while he does selflessly protect those he loves and even innocent strangers, I just couldn’t seem to like him. Trixie, the elf in disguise who works at Gage’s tattoo parlor and the girl Gage loves, is basically a damsel in distress. Gage tirelessly tries to protect her. She’s mostly defined through him telling the reader how amazing she is. There’s also quite a bit of the old “we can’t be together because you might get hurt” mentality that is so freaking annoying. There are some side characters I really enjoyed, like Bronx, the quiet troll who sees everything, and Gideon, an arrogant warlock with a secret.
Angel’s Ink hooked me with the idea of magical tattoos. I’m still undecided about whether or not I’ll be back for more with the next novel in the series.
Note: I received this ARC from the publisher at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference.