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Some things are permanent.
And they cannot be changed back.
Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.
Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.
Somewhere between reality and myth lies…
Four and a half stars
Thanks to NetGalley and HarlequinTeen for this eARC! This title will be released on July 30th.
At about the same time, I requested and received Ink by Amanda Sun and Indelible. Both of them had similar tones, and I was excited about each for different ways. I read Ink first, because I was more excited about that one at the time. The experience went very badly, as you know if you saw my post. Needless to say, I was terrified of starting Indelible because I didn’t think it would go well either. Boy, was I surprised.
Joy Malone has recently been abandoned by much of her family, her older brother going off to college and her mother running off to California with an much younger man who is not her beloved father. Desperate to get out of the stonily silent house her and her father now occupy, she escapes to a local club with her best friend. There, she catches the gaze of a boy with all black eyes. But the fact that she can see him is a problem. The boy attacks her, attempting to cut out her eyes, but only succeeded in scratching her. In doing so, he accidentally marks her as his servant, drawing Joy into the realm of the magical creatures of the Twixt and all their dangers. A door has been opened to a world Joy has never realized existed, but going through it might just cost her everything she has left.
From the first page, I found Joy to be a very interesting character. Her family problems give her depth, which is explored and then expanded upon as the book goes on. Just what she goes through in the normal world could be a contemporary ya novel of it’s own. She just quit the gymnastics team, too, which gives her unique skills–which I wish had been used a little more, but I keep the faith! Her normal best friend and father was also quite real and likable.
I will admit I was a little put off when the boy from the club introduces himself as Ink, and his sister as Inq. Word play doesn’t usually amuse me. But as the characters got their chance to shine, I took a real liking to both of them. Ink snuck up on my feelings, especially as he tried to explain all the human things he was feeling while just trying to understand humans at all. It was great to watch Ink and Joy learn to love each other just as much as the people around them.
The world itself is ridiculously interesting. Each new creature from the Twixt was cooler than the last. Like Joy, I was thrown for a loop every time something new was introduced, but not always in a good way. The reason I don’t go all the way to 5 stars for this one is because of all the info dumping. There were so many different things introduced and so much time taken to explain them that the explanations clogged up the narrative in places. I started skipping ahead in order to get back to the action, but that was a problem when I didn’t understand things later.
The plot itself never stopped moving. Unlike some other novels, where the problems Joy is having in keeping her two worlds separate could have been a problem, I thought that they complimented each other nicely. The fact that things never stopped moving was nice, as well. Joy has a certain knack for trouble, and trouble always finds her even when she’s trying hard to stay away. I read this entire book in one sitting, since there wasn’t a good place to put it down!
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I loved the fantasy setting, the real characters and the fast plot. I’d like to applaud those characters again, because they were some of the more realistic that I’ve read in a while. Also, no love triangle, just two people trying to figure out the complications that arise just between them! The info dumping aside, I didn’t have problems with much of anything. I really recommend giving this one a go, especially if you’re looking for a new fantasy world with ties to our reality.