My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I so, so badly wanted to give this book a higher rating but it was just too frustrating. When it started I was absolutely delighted and felt like I was stepping into a new world with its own rules where magic simply existed as a natural thing.
The idea of tattoo magic was brilliant, I could see them coming to life on the skins of the people visiting the tattoo parlour but then the story narrative went off sideways on a ranger that just never really felt earnt or properly explained.
Two many concepts were thrown into the story without any real level of depth or any sense of how they fit into the world.
The supposed romance element was almost non-existent, there was more chemistry between Dan and Ethan than with Dan and Isaiah imho and Caiden’s weird reaction to Dan’s friendship with his tattoo partner Kiern came totally out of left field.
Oh yeah on the romance front. Everything apart from kissing, as is sadly often the case in fantasy novels, happens off page. I’m not expecting erotica or porn without plot, I do, however, expect an author to give me something on page which demonstrates two characters are supposed to be in love.
As for the ending, well let’s just say that was a huge let down given everything that built up to it and as for being abrupt, if it had been any more instant cut off I’d have thrown my Kindle out the window.
There were also a few minor typos but as this an ARC they may get ironed out before publication. Because this is book one in a series, I’m hoping for a bit of better plotting and more exploration in the narrative as the series goes along.