Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.
Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.
And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can't escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.
But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.
Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.
Eric Smith takes you on a high-octane fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being different… only to discover that fate is more than skin deep.
“INKED is an action-packed read with a hero I could root for, magic I wanted to have, and a vivid fantasy world to back it all up. Smith’s prose had me turning pages way past my bedtime.” – Susan Dennard, author of SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY
“A fast-paced page-turner from Eric Smith filled with magic, mystery and mayhem.” – Kristi Helvig, Author of BURN OUT
“With a lively cast of characters and a captivating idea, INKED draws its readers into a world where magic lives on every page.” Kat Zhang, author of The Hybrid Chronicles series
I admit, it was the cover of Inked that first caught my eye. Those colors – awesome! But then I read the blurb and knew this was a story I wanted to read. I absolutely loved the world set up. People are tattooed on their 18th birthday (these tattoos aren’t static, they magically shift around), and the tattoos choose not only their form, but they shape the future career of that person. Cool idea, huh? Would save a lot of time and college money…but Caedmon isn’t sold on the idea. He’s afraid of what shape his tattoo will take, and since it’s super-close to his 18th birthday, he’s deciding to run away, leaving everyone he loves and the only home he’s ever known behind. Which is risky because people who aren’t tattooed (Unprinted) are outcasts.
But, once he pops the scribe (aka magical tattoo artist) in the face, things get out of control. Big secrets come out, an assassin shows up, forbidden magic appears, and Caedmon finds himself on the run with the scribe and his BFF/wannabe GF, Dreya, headed for a place where magic is accepted. Along the way, they meet some interesting characters, face some unexpected challenges, and just when they think they’ve found their happy place, war is on it’s way.
Besides the coolness of the tattoos, what I loved best about the story is the relationship between Caedmon and Dreya. They were fun together, and I enjoyed watching their childhood friendship blossom (sometimes awkwardly) into something more. There’s tons of adventure, magic to unravel, enemies to overcome, and tough, life-changing decisions made. Definitely a fun YA worth the read.
His writing has appeared locally in the Philly Weekly, The Inquirer, and on Philly.com. He’s written for the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Boing Boing, and is a regular contributor to BookRiot and Geekosystem.
His essays have appeared in the Bygone Bureau and The Apiary, and his first published piece will appear in THE ASTEROID BELT ALMANAC with the Hand & the Hand Press in April 2014.
He’s the co-founder of Geekadelphia, a popular hyperlocal geek blog in Philly, and the Philly Geek Awards, a ceremony honoring local geeks in his city.
Eric holds a BA in English from Kean University and an MA in English from Arcadia University. He currently lives in Philly. You can find him on Twitter at @ericsmithrocks and @geekadelphia.
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