*CLAXON* I’m back in the swing of a reading schedule and I’ve actually finished a book! I’ve finally clawed my way out of the reading slump that uni caused and I’m ready to jump back to it.
This week my commute book has been Ink by Alice Broadway. I picked this up last week after hearing Alice talk about her book at Victoria Aveyard’s event at Waterstones Piccadilly (which you can read more about here).
Author: Alice Broadway (DEBUT NOVEL ALERT)
Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin forever. 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.
First of all can we just loOK HOW PRETTYYY
I know we don’t judge books by their covers but come on. This is a thing of beauty right there. Looks glorious on your bookshelf, glorious whilst you’re fighting for elbow space on the tube, it’s just so pretty and that makes me happy.
I really liked this book. It was a lovely easy read that I just lapped up and sped through without even noticing the page numbers whizzing by. The book is set in a world where life is recorded through the ink on your skin and the citizens have strict beliefs as to why this must be the case. We join the protagonist, Leora Flint, in the aftermath of her father’s death, which has left her reeling. Through mourning him and visiting his skin book she discovers that something isn’t quite right, which leaves her questioning her whole life and her beliefs.
It’s really clear how much Leora struggles with having to question everything she has been brought up to understand. I felt I could really empathise with her. What seems on the surface to be a fairly simple plot idea very quickly expands into a complex web of events that you’re aiming to fit together as much as Leora is. What I really loved about this novel is that there is a huge amount of backstory and plenty of explanation of the society’s beliefs woven into the story. I find that some authors struggle to do this effectively and it has the impression of someone who jumps in, very over excited, with a vaguely related story when they’re telling you about something that happened the day before. This is not the case with Ink. The backstory and tales are constantly adding to the bigger picture of Leora’s life. It’s obvious that there’s some kind of drip feeding and foreshadowing going on but you can’t quite work it out until the very end.
The ending of Ink was excellent. The last 50 pages were full of action and were where everything fully made sense. It completely changed up the pace of the novel which until that point had been steadily plodding towards the truth that Leora was so desperately looking for. That last little bit exploded, leaving us with characters that were the exact opposite of where they were at the beginning of the novel. Serious A* for character development and a kick ass cliffhanger.
In terms of a commuting read, I have absolutely no complaints. Perfectly easy to read a chapter every few stations meaning you shouldn’t have to disembark mid-chapter (which I’m telling you is essential to avoid if you get on the tube during that last 50 pages or so). Chapter length is very important to me 😂 there is absolutely nothing worse than a chapter the length of a short novel, or a chapter every page. So if that bothers you, you’ll be delighted to know there are no such problems here. Just good old happy reading. (I’m sorry, I’m a freak I know 😂)
This is a solid debut novel and I am officially counting down until the release of the second one this coming February.