Cover Copy: Buyer beware . . .
Looking for a tattoo—and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of true love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using unique potions—a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks—to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart’s desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has its price.
No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Tower where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him the right to practice magic. And if he disobeys, his punishment—execution—will be swift.
Though he’s tried to fly under the radar, Gage can’t hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead—or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage might just make it through this enchanted world alive.
My Thoughts: Gage is a warlock in a tight spot. He’s the only one to ever survive leaving the collective of witches and warlocks, and the only reason Gage isn’t dead is because he’s agreed to masquerade as a human and to not use magic. As a tattoo artist, Gage has a little leeway with the latter, for tattoos in Low Town can come with a little something extra in the ink. Need help with your love life? You can get a love potion mixed in with your ink and presto! Your social calendar will be full. Gage also has been allowed to use magic in case of self-defense. And in his case, he really needs it. Trouble has a knack for finding Gage.
Gage’s old warlock mentor isn’t happy about Gage being free. In fact, his mentor seems desperate to eliminate Gage at any cost.
But that’s just one of Gage’s many problems:
He’s recently completed a tattoo for a woman that accidentally made her immortal. And now the grim reaper is ticked because he didn’t get to collect her soul. He’ll happily take Gage’s soul instead, if Gage can’t make her mortal again.
Gage’s employee and sort-of girlfriend, Trixie, is also masquerading as a human tattoo artist, until her elf kin come to take her home. Trixie doesn’t want to go back to living with the elves, and Gage vows to help her stay in Low Town.
And then there’s the matter of an unhappy customer…
Gage is a great character, and aside for his knack for getting into trouble, he has a heart and a conscience– both of which seem to make more trouble for him, not less. The combination of magic and tattoo artistry provides a new venue for urban fantasy with potential for conflict and entertainment. It’s nice to see some new creatures, too. Warlocks, elves, trolls are the main creatures featured, but Low Town is populated with other interesting creatures, including a talking cat.
ANGEL’S INK is quite different from Jocelynn Drake’s vampire series, Dark Days series, but recognizable as a Jocelynn Drake creation. Where the Dark Days series was very dark in voice and tone, the Asylum Tales series is light. It’s urban fantasy that edges closer to humour than horror.
ANGEL’S INK is full of action and plenty of characters trying to escape their problem pasts. With a satisfying ending, it’s a great start to what promises to be a fabulous new series. Check this one out if you like urban fantasy with action and characters who keep getting themselves into tangles.
Series: The Asylum Tales, #1
Acquired: publisher via Edelweiss
[At the time of this review, ANGEL’S INK was not available for Kobo.]