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…
Indelible (The Twixt #1)Featured
Some things are permanent.
I was hooked.
What worked for me:
There's some beautiful lines throughout this novel. Metcalf is able to weave in surrealism in a magical way. Her world building is fascinating as well as the characters that inhabit the world of the Twixt.
Huge kuddos to chemistry between a human and someone that's not. Loved the intensity of the relationship between Joy and Ink. There's something almost innocent with jagged edges with Ink. The darkness mingles with the light. There's danger with monsters that pop up everywhere. Ooh, and they can 'tear' through the fabric of time and place. This keeps not only Joy but the reader on guard, not sure what will happen next!
Did I mention how much I love this?
The other creatures as well as the signatura--tat-like marks that show ownership are intriguing and unique. I surrendered to this world and wanted more!
What didn't work so much for me had to the relationship with Joy's father. I almost wanted him to stumble into Ink or the others. Or at least question Joy more about her change of behavior.
But that's only a small thing. Overall, I was totally engrossed in this amazing fantasy world. Fans of Holly Black's stories will love this new series.
2. Some beautiful lines throughout that read like poetry
3. Great chemistry between Joy and Ink
Fans of Holly Black & Melissa Marr take note: there's a new voice in dark urban fae storytelling. This story is vividly imagined, with monsters and fantastical creatures that go far beyond the normal Tolkienesque assortment usually found in fantasy. Readers who love urban fantasy dealing with the Fair Folk will relish the politics, creatures, and magical elements in INDELIBLE.
The heroine is accessible to readers and easy to like. I appreciated that she had "real life" issues (family stuff, best friend drama) going on in addition to her sudden plunge into the world of the Folk. It made her feel like a fully realized character. I also really liked her best friend. This isn't a story about a loner girl suddenly singled out by a hot magical boy. Joy is reasonably well-liked, and the fact that she was singled out by a magical creature was initially a mistake. All of that combined to make this story feel unique in a sea of fae-inspired tales.
Readers who want action, intrigue, and suspense will also enjoy INDELIBLE. There are monsters around every corner, magical booby traps, terrifying incidents, and battles. From about the halfway point, I couldn't stand to put the book down.
What Left Me Wanting More:
There were times when I was a little bit confused as to what exactly was happening in the action scenes, and it took longer to understand the rules of the world than I would've liked. Those two things kept me from fully committing to the story until the halfway point, but once I understood the world (mostly), I was able to read quickly and enjoy the story.
A unique world and a fresh take on the Fair Folk make INDELIBLE a fascinating story for fans of Holly Black and Melissa Marr.
Soon she meets Ink, along with his 'sister' Inq, and they are revealed to be the black-eyed strangers responsible for her injury. It turns out Joy has been marked by Ink, he has given her his 'signatura' and she is now his 'lehman'; his companion or lover.
Now Joy must play the part of 'lehman' and pretend to feel fondness towards Ink, and he must do the same towards her. If they're not convincing enough, they could get into a lot of trouble. However this actually turns out to be the least of their troubles as Joy is attacked by grotesque creatures and used against Ink by vengeful and power-hungry members of The Twixt.
This book was SO unique. No love triangle, which I know some people may appreciate. No insta-love. Even the paranormal creatures of The Twixt were unique, they reminded me of the fae and of fantasy creatures associated with fae stories. Yet, they weren't outright labelled as faeries, or trolls, or goblins.
Joy's world and the world of The Twixt were absolutely mesmerizing and I often found myself envious of Joy, while simultaneously cheering her on for the whole book. She was a very likeable character, I could relate to her well and I cared about what happened to her. Even if the world-building and creatures hadn't been as amazing as they actually were, I know I would've kept reading to see what happened to Joy.
Then we have Ink. Ink is many things; a Scribe, a mysterious and ageless paranormal being, the source of Joy's confusion and enlightenment.....but above all he is a fantastic character. He stands out amongst all the other YA male main characters and love interests. I found myself quite envious of Ink as well, with his awesome powers and unique name and whatnot.
As I mentioned earlier, there is no insta-love, the romance is very believable in regards to Joy's situation and the pacing is perfect. The evolution of Ink and Joy's relationship was equal parts exciting, sweet, and emotional.
As for emotions, this book played with mine so much! At first I kind of hated Ink, after all he was the one who injured Joy. But then I started to like him. By the end of the book I loved him! I also felt Joy's emotions like they were my own, I understood her fear and I shared in her sadness. As for the ending, I felt like I was reliving the whole book within those last pages. So many emotions were jam-packed into the end, I found myself putting the book down to process what was happening.
I have to mention my appreciation when it comes to the inclusion of an LGBTQ character. While this character isn't really a main one, they're still a part of Joy's life and are therefore of some importance.
I can't wait to get my hands on book two, I MUST know what happens next. This has earned it's way into my favourites collection, and I am sure the second book will do just the same.
Overall, a fantastic book that I don't have any criticism or complaints about! I recommend this book to YA readers who enjoy fantasy and paranormal books, and to those looking for a unique romance. If you're looking for a 'breath of fresh air' within the young adult genre, this book is a must-read.
This review can also be found at http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogspot.ca/2015/08/indelible-by-dawn-metcalf.html
Intriguing paranormal creatures.
It's incredibly hard to love a book if you don't like its main character. Joy was immensely hard for me to like, I struggled to see where she was coming from time and time again. But her reliance on others and tenancy to over react just got on my nerves. However I liked her "best friend," Monica, even less. What kind of friend best or otherwise abandons you right after you've experienced a traumatic event? I hope none of my friends ever do that to me, I cant even begin to express how unfriendly I would feel towards them. It would be exceptable, I suppose, if they had a good reason for doing so. Let me just say that Monica had just about the worst reason ever, and Joy just brushed it off! Ugh!
Ink and Inq were the only reason I ended up enjoying reading this book. Their unique perspectives were intriguing. I especially liked Ink because he saw everything involving humans through fresh eyes. Unfortunately his lack of experience with humans was probably what drove him to be interested in Joy who I imagine he would have been much better without. Inq I liked a little less than Ink because of some of her strange behaviors that I didn't particularly agree with. Overall I really enjoyed their opinions and ways of seeing things.
But just please. Please let me throw something heavy at Joy. Like refrigerator heavy or so. She reminded me just a little too much of Bella Swan.
Author: Dawn Metcalf
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Format: Digital ARC
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Recommended Reading: 13+
Contains no spoilers. Received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
THE GIST: I consider Dawn Metcalf’s novel Indelible YA Perfection. I often struggle with urban fantasy, but THIS is what I hope for all those times I’m disappointed. Indelible contains all the elements that I love in a young adult novel. The characters were great, the love story was super sweet, and the author preserved a youthful innocence in an authentic way without sheltering the audience from more mainstream, mature issues. The story is solid, engaging, and never lags. It’s a great read that doesn’t disappoint on any level. If you’re looking for a young adult urban fantasy with magic, danger, and young love, check out Indelible.
SYNOPSIS: 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…
THE TWIXT. (Goodreads)
BREAKDOWN: Indelible follows 16-year-old Joy Malone, an average girl with a not-so-subtle chip on her shoulder. Joy is swept into a magic “otherworld” after an encounter with a boy whom no one else can see. Suddenly, she’s continually approached by beings from a world she never knew existed, and worse, some of them are violent.
When Joy learns that she’s been claimed by Indelible Ink, a member of the Twixt, her life and Ink’s depend on the two of them posing as lovers convincingly. As Joy journeys further into Ink’s world and attempts to continue functioning in her own, dangers rise and Joy becomes closer than she ever expected to her supposed “master,” Ink.
What I love most about this book are the senses of wonder and youth. Many YA books lately are quite mature and heavy, and while I appreciate that young readers are not naïve, I think Metcalf understands that you can expose your readers to things (like sex, drugs/alcohol, and homosexuality) without the main character necessarily experiencing them. I like Joy’s innocence—she’s refreshing. I also respect her anger with her mother, her confusion over her brother, and her distance from her father. These are real problems, but none overshadow the real story here, which is a journey into a world where magical creatures walk unseen alongside humans.
This is my first time reading Dawn Metcalf, and I’m quite pleased that I gave this novel a shot (despite it being outside of my preferred genres). Metcalf’s writing is refined and skillful, but unlike other “seasoned” writers, she does not sacrifice the youthful voice and wonderful style that make this book so enjoyable. I can’t remember the last time I was this enamored by an author and her word choices. I’m not even sure I could explain why, you just have to see for yourself.
Indelible is a love story, but as I’ve said, it’s a sweet one… an innocent one compared to its more hormonally charged counterparts. There is violence but nothing I would call grotesque or over-the-top. As mentioned before, the book contains references to sex and drug and alcohol use but it’s all witnessed by the main character and doesn’t condone or involve her. It’s mostly a clean book that I’d happily recommend for young and less young readers alike.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Indelible is a sweet, imaginative, and fun read that draws the reader in—a great story told beautifully and skillfully. An easy recommend!
(Review originally posted on GliteraryGirl.com)
Thank you to Harlequin Teen for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review.
Indelible is one strange novel with an extremely original premise and out of the ordinary mythology. Metcalf definitely explores uncharted paranormal territory in Indelible; I definitely give Metcalf props for thinking out of the box with this book. The problem is that I really wanted to like Indelible, but it was one of those "It's not you--it's me" cases. Indelible is by no means a bad novel, it's just not my cuppa tea. I have a feeling that Indelible will strike a chord with many readers, but it wasn't exactly what I was looking to read.
Immediately straight from the first-few pages, Metcalf creates a mysterious vibe that the reader won't be able to shake off. There was a ton of intrigue in the beginning of Indelible that urged me to delve further into this novel. Indelible introduces to the reader to a world unlike any other and I loved how Metcalf slowly, eased the reader into it. The problem was that this world wasn't all that memorable and that I felt like I was split between two worlds.
There's a scene in Indelible where Joy is told by Ink that she has to choose between the human world and the world of The Twixt. I felt like throughout the novel I was caught in a limbo between the two worlds. Metcalf creates an interesting contemporary world to contrast the world of The Twixt, but they didn't blend too well. Whenever I felt invested in the world of The Twixt, I felt like Metcalf quickly rushed me into the contemporary world. The vice-versa is also true for Indelible and I feel like the author didn't transition well between the two worlds. I hoped the two worlds would coexist in a better matter like in other Urban Fantasy novels like The Mortal Instruments. I really felt like I never fully had a chance to appreciate either world, because the worlds didn't really mesh well together. Instead of being amazed by the unique world of the Twixt, I felt slightly disinterested while reading this novel.
I feel bad when I compare novels to other novels I've read in the past, but I can't help myself. Throughout the novel, I kept getting this City Of Bones vibe that I couldn't shake off. The whole Scribe aspect of the novel reminded me of how the Shadowhunters in CoB use their steles to create runes. Also the opening scene of Indelible seemed like a playoff of the opening scene of City Of Bones. I wasn't sure if these were simple coincidences that I nitpicked or whether this novel was trying to mimic The Mortal Instruments. These similarities were a bit disconcerting, but they didn't mar my opinion of the book.
I was pretty apathetic towards our heroine Joy; she was nothing special and was a bit too ordinary for my tastes. I didn't even get a sense why I was even supposed to like her because she was just so unappealing to read about. The love interest, Ink was supposed to be this mysterious, brooding character. Instead of being mysterious, Ink felt to me like he was uncomfortable in his own skin and a bit too shy. There's nothing wrong with being shy, but reading about Ink just was pretty awkward and difficult. I really hoped Ink would eventually accept who he was and he would show his true colors, but this never really came into fruition.
I never felt any chemistry between Ink and Joy, their relationship never really interested me and it felt a bit forced. The supposed romance wasn't distinct enough and was overshadowed by the central plotline. If the author had wanted to include romance in this novel, I feel as if the author should have made the romance more evident.
I never really felt compelled to read more of Indelible and I had to trudge through the slow-paced middle. I kept waiting for something extraordinary to happen to completely alter my opinion of this novel. I didn't even enjoy the ending of this novel and I was so disinterested that I could have abandoned this book at any time without having a strong urge to continue. I was unimpressed with Indelible's plot for the most part and I expected more from Metcalf.
Indelible wasn't the novel for me, but many of my friends seem to have enjoyed reading it. I can only hope that the next novel in The Twixt series is more engaging and will capture my attention better. I will give Metcalf another chance with the next Twixt novel. It saddens me that I didn't enjoy Indelible more, but this wasn't the ideal paranormal novel for me.
One thing I was a little unnerved about was the use of unnecessary facts. I call that "fluff." They are fillers to make the book longer. For example, "She got up, wincing around an old injury of two broken toes..." I just didn't see the relevance to the rest of the story. It was just something I could do without. Now if that were the only time, I would have been ok with that, but it was throughout the ENTIRE story.
Another thing I didn't like was the choppy writing style. I'm not sure if it was because this was an e-ARC or what, but there weren't any chapter markers and it was driving me insane. I was confused whenever they jumped from subject to subject. I felt like it was just all over the place. It was a lot to process.
What I did like was the way it jumped right into the action. There was honestly never a dull moment in the book. It kept me going and worried about what would happen next. I just wish the creepy parts were a bit more creepy.
Overall, I'm happy I decided to pick up this book. It really opened up my world to a different genre. But there were some things I wish I could change.
1. Not able to be forgotten or removed
2. (of ink or a pen) making marks that cannot be removed
To put it simply, this story has made an incredibly indelible impression on me, and I have no doubt that it will do the same to all who pick it up.
What made this story so awesome was the world-building. Metcalf managed to captivate me from page one because, like Joy, I had no clue what was going on the day that her already damaged world truly spun out of control when a mysterious boy with pitch black eyes stabbed her in the eye, marking her as his own. I so desperately want to sit here and explain this complicated and deliciously complex world to you, but I refuse to do so because one of the things that kept me anxious and on my toes was the potential discovery of a new bit of information involving this world. I want you to experience the thrills of learning about this unique world yourself so that you can truly love this book as much as I did. It's just that worth it! Metcalf's world-building was superb, I have no other way to describe it.
And, let me tell you, the characterization was not half bad either. I enjoyed Joy because of her acceptance of the crazy circumstances that is her life. Her best friend, Monica, and her love of sex and innuendo despite being the youth group leader at church brought up a lot of laughs. But what I really loved were the characters found in The Twixt--our monstrous world full of the myths that you never hoped come true.
To begin, Ink and Inq. Indelible Ink and Invisible Inq. Siblings, two completely different personalities, Scribes of The Twixt to mark humans with the signs of their twixt counterparts. One boy, one girl = an awesome twosome of siblings without actually being directly related. See, Ink and Inq were brought to be to serve a purpose, they were not born into this world. Thus, they have to endure this infinite struggle against humanity, observing it and melding themselves to be more human, yet not entirely succeeding because they aren't human. While Inq is mischievous and tends to humanize herself with many good-lucking male slaves, Ink has always been careful not to leave his mark on anyone until Joy came along. Watching Ink's desperation and his journey and yearning to discover himself and to come to terms with his existence was astounding. It makes his discovery of humanity all the more powerful. And it makes the soon to be infamous ear scene all the more delicious and mesmerizing. Yes, ears. You heard me. Read it and you will totally love ears too! Everything from their onyx eyes to their doll hands lacking knuckles, the absence of belly-buttons, and their little shell ears made me feel for Ink and Inq. They had to shape themselves from shapeless molds to parallel humanity, and after a lengthy existence they're still struggling to understand what it's really like to be human and feel. This part of the novel truly resonated with me and got a girl thinking, you know?
Plus, I have to throw a shout out to Bailiwick in there. My first impression of you, dear humongous toad monster that I now love, is that such a name was not a good name for a breed of monster since it was more fit for a butler. But you and your lovely spats--have I mentioned that I love Metcalf's sense of humor? Because I do!--have earned a special place in my heart as a trusted confidant!
Metcalf's writing shines through not only with her amazing world building, but her attention to detail and easy ability to invoke passionate emotions within her readers. I was holding my breathe while reading about first kisses, my heart beat fast when new, scary monsters introduced themselves. And worse, I feared the destruction of all humanity alongside Joy when the hatred of some Twixt creatures arose as their scheme to rid the world of all humans began to be exposed. She has the ability to make her plot points resonate with us, and I could not let go. Plus, the emotional relationship between Ink and Joy was so amazing. Watching him learn to love and her learn to love in their own ways was astounding. And seeing a girl who realizes the moment she loves someone, but doesn't blurt it out to the world in a fast and annoying case of insta-love was rather amazing, too.
However, with that being said, I have one small issue with this story. As much as I want to connect to a character and I want them to have a back-story, I felt as if Joy's actually took away from the plot. She had a lot of family drama and a mother who I'm not quite a fan of. This nasty family-drama monster chose to rear its head at the most inopportune times and I felt that it often took away from the plot because I was so wrapped up in the Twixt that I nearly began to hate her reality. I wanted to be in the Twixt and not in her reality. While I think this could easily have been intentional on Metcalf's part, it did frustrate me at times.
Dark, gritty, and real, I could not put this book down. Full of passionate emotions, beautiful detail, amazing world-building, unexpected surprises, and absolutely marvelous characterization, Metcalf's amazing writing style truly shines through and leaves you begging for more. Book two, I need you now because book one is sticking with me for quite some time.
INDELIBLE, you are simply indelible.
Warning: this book does have a few crude sexual remarks in it and is rather graphic and detailed during violent yet completely awesome fight scenes and all-out battles. If any of this bothers you, this may not be a good book for you.
If I had to summarize this book in one word, it would be: Strange. I'm just not certain where on the 'strange' spectrum I would place Indelible. It could be closer to the 'so strange it's amazing' area or the 'this is whacked out strange.' For now, I'm going to say it's somewhere in the middle.
The idea behind Indelible is unique. I can guarantee that you have read nothing like this. I would even bet a kidney on it. However, because it is such a unique concept, it was hard for me to buy into it 100%. I never made it past the relationship between Ink and Joy. How can one instant take you from "I hate your guts" and "I could care less about what I did" to "you may be my soul mate". That was too much of a stretch for me. I think if more time would have been spent making the transition between those feelings, I would have been more okay with it. Buuuuut, then there is that whole thing about Ink not really being anything (I got the impression of some oozing, swirling vortex inside of a pseudo-human candy coated shell). Now, that was just weird. So naturally, I just couldn't see how Joy could have romantic feelings towards something that was described repeatedly as nonhuman-- and to the extent of being nothing at all. Way too far into left field for me.
Other than the relationship aspect that really seemed to drive the majority of the book, I had a few issues with the story telling aspect too. I hate to admit it, but I got confused sometimes-- which is not easy to do. I can't really say what it was that had me baffled, but I ended up rereading entire paragraphs trying to grasp what was being said. That made me almost give up on the book. I was around 30% finished when I felt like I didn't want to read anymore. Then I picked it up the next day and read about 30% more. Something pretty important happened, and I figured I needed to find out what the cause was (because I had my hunch). I did end up finishing it, but I do not think I will read the next book in the series. It just didn't move me the way I've seen others proclaim. I felt like once I looked beyond the dazzle of the uniqueness, I was left with too much of an unbelievable story. (and yes, I know it was a fantasy but it still didn't click with me)