I finished Ink Exchange, the second novel from the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. This isn’t exactly a continuation of the first book, more like a companion novel. The main characters in the story are Niall, Leslie and Irial.
The story opens with Irial watching Leslie as she goes to Pins and Needles and there she meets up with Seth and Aislinn. Familiar? Of course it is. This scene is from the first book of the series. The difference with the two perspectives is this one is told in Irial’s perspective. It tells us what went on with him and Rabbit, the tattoo shop owner. A lot of connections and mysteries were revealed as the story progressed like what Rabbit is, his connection to the faerie world, his heritage etc.
The heroine in the story is Leslie, Aislinn’s friend. She’s a girl who seems tough and happy on the outside but is actually hiding a lot of skeletons in her closet. She has been through a lot because of her family. Her mother left, her father is a drunkard and her brother is a drug addict who torments her whenever he’s high. Her story made me want to save her from all of these people. Anyway, one day she decides to get a tattoo and thus, her involvement with the Faerie Courts begin. I like the way she was written. It made me want to read the novel even if it isn’t exactly a continuation of the first one. I think her mysterious persona was written well. She was not annoying as well which is a plus point for me since I tend to get annoyed with female characters who whine and cry a lot. Truth be told, I don’t think she cried that much in this book.
Then there’s Niall. Niall was already mentioned in the first novel. He is the Summer King’s advisor and friend. I liked him from the first novel and I liked him even more here. His past and the reason for his scars were revealed in this novel. I find his character very intriguing and I enjoyed getting to know him more through this book. This guy is seriously tormented. There were times when I just wanted to give him a hug or something. I think his a well-developed character and I can’t wait to read more about him.
Lastly, there’s Irial, the Dark Court King. I find his character and his relationship with Niall very intriguing as well. There were times when he made me cringe because of the things that he does but then again I guess I could understand him in some ways. I just can’t place my finger on whether to like or dislike this guy. I’m still on the neutral part I guess. Still, this intriguing character made me want to read more as the story went on.
Overall, I think this book was written well though I still liked the first book more. I think there were parts that were just too slow for me. Keenan and Aislinn were supporting characters this time around and I think it’s nice that the author focused more on the other characters. I actually find that refreshing. I think this book explained a lot of things that went on in the first novel like events from the first novel that seemed insignificant and some characters were introduced that I think would have big parts in the upcoming books. Again, this series made me see faeries in a different light. I never really thought that faeries were the political and conniving type. haha. I believe that both The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa and Wicked Lovely did a marvelous job at mashing up faerie politics and love. I’m giving this book 4/5 stars again even though I still prefer the first one.