Reviews: A Mini Swarm of Urban Fantasy

Posted 28 July, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Review | 30 Comments

miniswarm (1)

18406840     NIGHTMARE INK (Living Ink #1) by Marcella Burnard

     Urban Fantasy; 351 pages, ebook

     Publisher: Penguin/InterMix; Published: April 15, 2014

An interesting concept, living ink that bonds with the person it’s tattooed upon. Once inked, the magical tat itself enhances certain aspects of the wearer (strength, speed, etc.). But it can go so wrong, harming or killing the person and, when it starts to go wrong, it has to be bound, which is the same as “killing” the living ink and turning it into a flat, regular tattoo. Isa is one of the few who can both tattoo living ink and bind it, though she doesn’t have one of her own. Until she’s kidnapped by a sociopath who inks a massive creature on her (yeah. He’s a really nice guy.). While this story was a bit uneven in its pacing and story development, I’m pretty intrigued by this start of a new series. I think I’ll be keeping my eye on it!


20650531     FREE AGENT (Grimm Agency #1) by J.C. Nelson

     Urban Fantasy; 304 pages, paperback

     Publisher: Ace; Published: July 29, 2014

      I don’t think I’d be a very happy camper if my parents sold me to a Fairy Godfather, even if it was to save a sibling with a miracle (heck. There are times I’m not sure my brother was worth the birthday presents he got. Every. Single. Year. *sniff* Yeah, yeah. Totally kidding, Scott! Love ya!). But Marissa is an indentured servant to Grimm, a powerful Fairy Godfather, working to earn enough Glitter to pay off her family’s debt. Again with the interesting concepts! While, at times, the “Fairyland” speak got a bit overwhelming (too much glitter this and princess that), the story itself trundled along at a good pace, keeping me turning the pages even as I rooted for Marissa to find away out of her servitude and help the princess find her prince.


15814895     DARKLOVE (Dark Ink Chronicles #5) by Elle Jasper

     Urban Fantasy; 336 pages, paperback

     Publisher: Signet; Published: December 3, 2013

You know those people who come to you for advice or your opinion, nod and agree and thank you for your heartfelt words then turn around and do whatever the hell they were going to do anyway? Yeah. That’s the main character, Riley, for much of the story. Determined to find rescue her fiance, she keeps throwing herself headlong into dangerous situations without thinking about the consequences. Despite my quibbles with Riley and her non-advice-taking self, I really enjoyed this fifth and final installment (at least, I think it’s the final one…there was a good conclusion and epilogue but I’m still not convinced this is the end).

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30 Responses to “Reviews: A Mini Swarm of Urban Fantasy”

  1. I love these mini swarms Mary! They’re awesome:) I really like the sound of Nightmare Ink – such an interesting concept. I kind of want to give it a try even with the uneven pacing you mentioned:) And I think Riley from the Dark Ink Chronicles would drive me absolutely batty with her reckless search for her fiance. Still, her behavior obviously didn’t detract too much, so that’s quite the compliment to the rest of the story!
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  2. Nightmare Ink sounds really cool. I’ll be keeping an eye on that series too, and hoping the kinks get worked out. Free Agent . . . I haven’t totally given up on it, but I’m having a VERY hard time getting past the early description of the princess and her cumulative freshman 12. I haven’t read the other one, but the MC sounds kind of like one of my other favorite UF MCs, so I’ll have to check it out. Great reviews, Mary!

  3. I love your mini swarms! They give the exact info I’m looking for, and so neatly. Midnight Ink reminds me quite a bit of Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent. I really enjoyed that one, so am intetested.
    Thanks for the reviews!