by Alice Broadway
Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora’s father dies, she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all.
Although I know I really shouldn’t judge a by its cover, this one got the better of me. I mean, just look at it! It really is stunning and the picture does not do it justice at all; it jumped out at me from the display at Heffers and I just had to buy it. Generally, I am not so impulsive about buying a book for a beautiful cover but, having now read ink, it is safe to say that this is the perfect cover for this unique and gripping book.
The story is set in Saintstone where, from birth, all individuals have their life story tattooed on their skin: your family, your occupation, your decisions, your achievements your mistakes, tattooed on your skin for all the world to see. When you die, your tattoos are preserved in a Skin Book, a treasure for your family to keep as a testament to the good life that you have led. Conversely, there are some that choose not to mark their skin, the Blanks, who have been shunned from Saintstone, because they must have something to hide.
Leora, the bright and ambitious protagonist, has always dreamed of becoming an inker, someone who designs and inks the tattoos onto people’s skin. Growing up in Saintstone, she believes in the rules and stories that she has been told since birth. However, when her father dies she discover that she did not know him or understand the rules of Saintstone society as well as she previously thought.
I was truly surprised by just how good this book is. The opening chapter of in throws you head first into the world of Saintstone and the writing feels so effortless that you lose yourself in it. The characters are vivid and you can’t help but root for Leora through the twists and turns of this mystery. Alice Broadway’s clever writing means that you are on the edge of your seat and you will not know who to trust.
Ink is a truly unique book and the story line so unexpected that you will find it difficult to put this book down. Alice Broadway has set the bar high for herself with this fabulous debut novel and I will be waiting, with baited breath, for the rest of the trilogy and to find out where Leora’s story will take her.