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Angel's Ink: The Asylum Tales

Angel's Ink: The Asylum Tales

Written by Jocelynn Drake

Narrated by Michael Urie


Angel's Ink: The Asylum Tales

Written by Jocelynn Drake

Narrated by Michael Urie

ratings:
4/5 (24 ratings)
Length:
10 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 13, 2012
ISBN:
9780062265012
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

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.

Publisher:
Released:
Nov 13, 2012
ISBN:
9780062265012
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

Jocelynn Drake is the New York Times bestselling author of the Asylum series and lives in Florida. When not at her desk, she is most likely to be found playing video games, watching movies, or hanging with her family.

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Reviews

What people think about Angel's Ink

4.2
24 ratings / 13 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    I love this new series in all areas. The author has once again built a unique supernatural world. All the characters were interesting and well constructed. I also loved that there were already three short stories with this series. I enjoyed all of them! Can't wait for the next book or short story.
  • (3/5)
    This is the first book in the Angel’s Ink trilogy. It was an okay urban fantasy that seemed to pull lots of elements from urban fantasy series that have already been written. I thought the story was a bit scattered and that the characters were a bit underdeveloped. However, it was okay.This story reminded me a lot of the Dresden Files. Gage is a warlock that has fallen out of favor with the Ivory Towers. He is trying to keep a low profile running a tattoo parlor. However, things get rough for him when in one day he draws the attention of the Guardian that’s supposed to watch his magic use, accidentally makes a girl immortal..drawing the attention of a grim reaper, and is almost killed by his old teacher.A lot happens at once very quickly in this book and you can tell that Drake is struggling to juggle all the rapidly introduced plot lines. Because of all these intertwining plotlines the character development really suffers and characters that could be really interesting end up lacking.This is more of an urban fantasy(UF) than a paranormal romance(PNR); in fact the romance in here is pretty weak. The love scenes that are here are poorly written and awkward, so if you are looking for a good PNR this isn’t it.This book also seems to steal a lot of elements from other PNR/UF series out there. There just wasn’t a lot unique here. Pretty much everything was mediocre and this whole book was kind of blah.Overall this was a mediocre urban fantasy book. Some of the plot elements are interesting but there are too many things introduced at once and as a result character development really suffers. This is a lot in here that seems like its pulled from other UF/PNR series. I am not going to be continuing the series, it was just too “blah” for me.
  • (3/5)
    This was originally reviewed on The Book Hookup here

    **I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher but that did not affect the review**

    My review: 3.5 stars. I was so excited to get my hands on an ARC of this book as it seemed like it would be a dark and gritty read…I was so right. Then it was topped off with the fact that the story is told from Gage’s POV, which is always refreshing to hear from the hero as opposed to the heroine.

    The story: Gage gave up the life of a warlock because he didn’t agree with the superior mentality witches and warlocks felt they deserved. However, his differing opinion made him an outcast with a huge target on his forehead. Instead of a life in the Ivory towers, he opened a tattoo parlor in a seedy section of town. However, not all of his work was about ordinary tattoos…many times (for a price) the ink was mixed with potions to find luck, money, love or whatever the customer was willing to pay for. He didn’t do his job alone, he employed Trixie (a gorgeous elf with her own secrets) and Bronx (a troll with a loyal heart).

    Before long Gage finds himself wanted dead, and not by just one person. This book tells the story of him sorting out many situations at once, including the romance.

    While I was definitely interested to see where the story headed, I found it was still easy to put the book down.

    The romance: It was good, but the fact that Trixie was an elf was a serious issue. I could only picture Peter Pan with pointy ears. I know she was supposed to be voluptuous with beautiful curls in her blond hair, but frankly, the term “elf” just could not be anything but that image I just mentioned.

    The hero: Gage is not a bad guy, he is just trying to get by and do the right thing…but it seems like he can’t catch a break. Anyone and everyone seems to want him dead. While this seems like a lot for the reader to keep track of, even with all the threats, the story is told clearly and I never found myself scratching my head or needing to go back and double check facts. The author tells a very fluid story that built effortlessly.

    The ending: It came together really well, with quite a few twists and turns and lots of action. It ended in a great place that wasn’t a cliff hanger, but there is oh so much more of the story to be told.
  • (5/5)
    Tattoos are real big in popular culture these days, so books with tattoo artists are a thing. Here the artist is also a wizard, a rule breaker and general all around trouble magnet. But we also have weres, fairies, ogres, and other magical creatures. Total fantasy, but interesting. The story moves along and keeps you engaged. Getting in and out of various troubles keeps our wizard very busy.
  • (3/5)
    This was a 'Free Friday' offer through Barnes and Noble for Nook. It looked interesting and I figured that if it wouldn't matter if it stunk because I didn't pay for it. I won't say that it was the best urban fantasy I've read but I am happy to report that it was pretty darned good and I enjoyed it enough to look for the next in series just as soon as I can. The premise: a warlock runs a tattoo parlor. He employs a fae in hiding and a troll as artists. Both are very good at their craft. He has renounced his past and has to watch his back at every turn. His former teacher wants him dead. The Council keeps an eye on him and he know that if he uses aggressive magic and they find out, they'll kill him. In walks a girl who asks for a tattoo in the shape of angel wings. She is dying of cancer and wants the ink just because. Gage sometimes puts a little extra something in his ink and he decides to help this girl. He adds a tiny bit of angel feather to the mix, thinking that it might help to heal her. When Death shows up at the studio, he is none too pleased. Instead of healing the girl, the addition has made her immortal. Death tells Gage that she was on his list for pick up in a few days and he has to collect a soul (quotas and all that) so if her soul is not available, he will take Gage instead. Gage has only days to figure out how to reverse the immortality. But in addition to that, someone is after his fae friend and he really cares about her so he has to help her. And don't forget that his former teacher keeps trying to kill him. A lot happens in this book... and a lot doesn't. It was interesting enough to make me want to continue. The cast of characters is really diverse and I loved them all (even the ones I didn't). But there is a lot of non-action and that is not what I look for in urban fantasy. I hope to pick up the next one in the series and find that the action factor has increased exponentially. Given how the book actually ended, I have a good feeling that I will not be disappointed.
  • (4/5)
    While the world as a whole seems pretty standard for urban fantasy, I did enjoy Drake's concept of magic happening through tattoos. I also appreciated having a break from the female first-person POV, although that remains my preferred way to experience urban fantasy.

    In a story that otherwise has very little graphic violence and no other graphic sex, I was a little surprised by the one scene that was basically right out of erotica. I really, really don't need to hear about which body parts are being inserted into others to appreciate the intensity of the connection between two people. It's actually MORE meaningful when the intimate details are left to my imagination, while I focus on the characters' emotions.

    Although the voiceover narrator did a great job with the main character's voice, his other voices drove me crazy, esp. the voice for Trixie, which basically made her sound like a drag queen. The narrator gave many of the other characters accents that are straight out of some kind of database of stereotypes, and all of them were "over acted." I would've MUCH preferred that the narrator make only slight adjustments in his voices for different characters, and I'm hoping he at least toned them down for the next book in the series.
  • (3/5)
    i liked it. not too many weird creatures that i had to try and keep track of and remember how the rules worked in this world. it had a bunch of conflicts that the protagonist had to solve. he only really solved one so this better be a series. a bit of romance. lots of action, both physical and magical. first person point of view which i prefer. she wrote 2 ebook prequel novellas to this story which i recommend you buy and read to give you more back story on the characters, but it's not necessary.
  • (4/5)
    I’m always on the lookout for a new, good urban fantasy series. Though Drake is a known name urban fantasy world, she’s managed to slip my radar until now. Angel’s Ink was getting good buzz at ALA earlier this year and I was lucky enough to snag a copy. I think tattoos are beautiful (though I am too fickle myself to commit to one) and was immediately intrigued by the idea of being able to get a tattoo imbued with magic.The story revolves around ex-warlock Gage Powell. Tired of the cruel and superior attitude of the witches and warlocks, he left his training and now lives in exile among the humans. Though banned from doing magic, Gage has found a way around the rules and runs Asylum, a tattoo parlor where he offers permanent ink with a little something extra. He’s aided at the shop by Bronx, a troll with a good heart and Trixie, an elf with secrets of her own. Gage can’t seem to stay out of trouble though and, after a tattoo goes very wrong, he must try to fix it while surviving more than one enemy.Angel’s Ink reminded me a lot of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. You have a warlock who is in trouble with the magical council and who isn’t allowed to do (much) magic. Gage has his own guardian, much like Harry Dresden, who is tasked with keeping tabs on him. One step out of line and it’s execution time. However, unlike Harry Dresden, who always seems so martyred and put upon, Gage has a brighter outlook on life. He’s just trying to run his business and live a normal a life as possible. It’s hard not to like Gage. He’s smart, funny and very loyal to his friends. He wants to do the right thing, even if that means putting himself at risk.I also really liked Gage’s friends and fellow tattoo artists at Asylum. Bronx, the big hulking troll, isn’t as mean as he looks. He’s a steady and calming presence and he has a big heart. Trixie is kind of what you would expect from an elf – pretty and sweet but with a bit of spunk.The story was well paced and action packed. I think there could have been a few less fights (seriously when wasn’t Gage getting tossed around?) but it certainly kept things interesting. There were a lot of sub-plots going on within the story, but I was able to easily follow along. The story also has a pretty hot romance, which I wasn’t expecting and was a pleasant surprise.All in all I found Angel's Ink to be a very entertaining read with really likable and complex characters. I really want to learn more about Trixie and Bronx and what happened to Gage in the Ivory Towers. Drake’s created a rich and magical new world that I am happy to have found. There’s still a lot more to learn about this world and I am looking forward to following Gage and his friends into the next chapter.*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.
  • (4/5)
    I'm a huge fan of the Jocelyn Drake Dark Days series, and eagerly awaited her new series The Asylum Tales. Gage is a tattoo artist with the ability to insert a little bit of magic in his tattoos using special potions and ink. Along with his partners Bronx, a troll, and Trixie, and elf in hiding, he had tried his best to stay under the radar of the warlocks who would like nothing more than to see him dead. Unfortunately Gage's attempt at a good deed toward a dying woman turns his world upside down. He needs to fix his mistake or forfeit his own life. The story is really engaging, and the interaction between the characters is entertaining. There is a wide variety of interesting species introduced in the story, and the ending left lots more to be told. I look forward to the next installment.
  • (3/5)
    I'll be honest, I had high hopes for this novel. In some ways, Angel's Ink lived up to those expectations, and in other ways, I was disappointed. The character development was all right, but the growth was non-existent. The plot made sense, but there were actually too many problems. The pacing was slow, and the ending wasn't anything to write home about. I'll read the next in the series, but I'll check it out from my library first. Gage was an interesting character on the surface, but he's apparently the dumbest man on earth. I didn't understand why he did a lot of the things he did. His idiotic actions seemed to be for the sole purpose of pushing the plot forward. The fact that he'd survived for two years on his own prior to this book would make one think that he's intelligent. Well, his actions in the book counteract that. I didn't know which part to believe. I loved Trixie in the novella about her, but she was boring and flat in this novel. She's extremely passive and almost weak. I just wasn't her biggest fan. She bored me quickly. Bronx was kind of absent for a lot of the novel, and when he was around he didn't have much of a personality. *yawn* My favorite character was Sofie, the witch turned cat. She was at least interesting. Oh! And Gideon! I loved him. I hope to learn more about him as the series progresses. The villains were a bit cheesy, and the other secondary characters didn't offer much to the story. The plot, as I said above, had so many problems that it took away from the suspense felt when a new one occurred. By the 900th one, I was just like, "meh whatever." I didn't care. By the 60% mark, I was ready to just wrap this shit up and move on. Things just dragged out way too long. I think if Gage had been less stupid and if 900 problems weren't introduced for no reason that I can think of, then the book would have been much more enjoyable. OR if the characters had grown as a result of the problems, then I could have understood their presence. As it stands, though, I do not get why they were there. Overall, I'd recommend this book to people who love urban fantasy novels. You may very well love it! I, however, only had lukewarm feelings for Angel's Ink.
  • (5/5)
    Read for Review (Edelweiss)Overall Rating: 4.75Story Rating: 4.50Character Rating: 5.00First thought when finished: Angel's Ink is my kind of Urban Fantasy: a little love, a little humor, and a whole lot of kick ass!What I thought of the story: Angel's Ink was a fast paced story full of heart. I loved watching Gage get out of all his predicaments with his friends by him at every turn. He did have a penchant for trouble but I think that the part I loved most was that it all came from him being a loyal and good person!What I thought of the characters: Bronx, Trixie, Sophie, and Gage are all fantastic! My favorite character was Bronx, I am always a sucker for the loyal and brave sidekick. I also really can't wait to learn more about Gideon and personally I hope he is in the series more in the 2nd book.Final thought: Angel's Ink was a fantastic beginning to a series that I hope continues for a long time!
  • (4/5)
    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: Dark, urban fantasy set is a masterfully built world with lots of action but with so much going on it can be distracting. Opening Sentence: The hammer of a gun clicked as it was cocked. The Review: Angel’s Ink starts off a fascinating new series where humans live alongside the supernatural. This world has seen its fair share of blood spilled, most of it by witches and warlocks. Gage is currently a tattoo artist but was once a warlock in training. But once a warlock, always a warlock, he has to hide what he is for fear of hate, retribution and revenge against warlocks. Gage tries to act like a tough, cold hearted man but he really has a soft spot when it comes to the ladies and even some of his close male friends. So when a girl with terminal cancer walks into his tattoo parlor wanting angel wings tattooed onto her back, he tries to use his special potions to come up with a way to prolong her life. Unfortunately this backfires in such a way that he ends up in a fight for his own life. Gage is a trouble magnet. Just when you think that this guy can’t get drug down any deeper he gets thrown down another hole. Angel’s Ink is filled with many plot devices that sometimes may have you wondering where this story is going. The story is not just about the girl getting the angel tattoos. Gage also has to face his evil ex-mentor that is out to kill him and the trouble that his friends Trixie and Bronx are going through that he takes it upon himself to help solve. One of the main elements that I really enjoyed about Angel’s Ink was the tremendous cast of characters. I got to learn more about Trixie and Bronx from the novellas than in the actual novel and I thought Chang was funnier in the novella. He was in but his eccentricity that finds him really intriguing. Gideon, the warlock watching Gage, has many secrets but it was his actions at the beginning of the novel that had me wanting to know more about him. My favorite character has to be Sophie, the witchy talking cat. Angel’s Ink is told entirely through Gage’s point of view. Gage is not supposed to use magic as a part of his leaving his warlock training but he often uses it when he gets into trouble, using his magic just gets him into even more trouble. The romance may seem to play out quickly but in the timeline of the book, it has been playing out for two years. In the end, Angel’s Ink will appeal to fans of dark, urban fantasy. As the beginning of a series, it sets up many storylines that will be finished later. As it is, I can’t wait to see what is next for Gage and his circle of friends. Notable Scene: As I focused on directing more lightning at Simon, it felt as if a large hand wrapped around my throat and squeezed tightly, threatening to close off my breathing. I couldn’t stop myself from raising both hands and clawing at nothingness as I struggled to catch my breath. The hand tightened and proceeded to pull me, on my back, across the open space behind the tattoo parlor. I commanded the lightning to pound the ground where Simon stood, but I was blind to his exact location. If I was lucky I would take him down before I was strangled to death. And then the invisible hand released me. Holding my throat, I rolled onto my stomach and looked up at where Simon had last been standing. The air rushed from my lungs. Trixie stood behind him with one arm thrown across his chest, her other hand holding a large knife tightly against his throat. I don’t know how she’d managed to sneak past us both unnoticed, but I wasn’t going to question this change in events. Shoving to my feet, I gathered together the energy swirling about me and reached out for Simon’s soul once again. This time I would simply pull it from his body and release it into the air. The soul would not be able to reenter the body and the warlock would be dead. Sure, I would lose a year of my own life for killing him with magic, but it was a price I was willing to pay for Trixie. Only those with a death wish attacked a warlock.FTC Advisory: Harper Voyager/Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Angel’s Ink. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
  • (5/5)
    Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:I've been a fan of Jocelynn's writing for quite some time. DARK DAYS is one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series, so when I found out that she was writing a new series I was simply intrigued. After devouring the first two prequel eNovellas to the series - The Asylum Interviews - Bronx and The Asylum Interviews - Trixie, I could not wait to get Angel's Ink into my hands. I received an ARC of Angel's Ink from HarperCollins in return for an honest review, and couldn't put it down. I read the entire thing in 1 and 1/2 sittings and only wanted more... My exact words on GoodReads upon finishing the book were: "Simply incredible! Action packed, gripping, & so unique I couldn't stop saying "wow"."I'm a bibliophile. I read. A LOT. And I'm a genre specific reader sticking to the Paranormal, so trying to find a new and fresh spin on Urban Fantasy these days isn't the easiest thing to do. The Asylum Tales gave me that in spades. The world was beautifully crafted and multi-dimensional allowing for growth throughout the series yet not becoming too overwhelming in the first installment. The characters were well rounded with wonderful back stories, allowing for continued development throughout the arc. The action was intense, the mystery intriguing and surprising, the romance frustratingly wonderful (in keeping with Jocelynn Drake form) and the plot gripping.Our hero, Gage, is a potion stirring tattoo artist; the best in Low Town. He's also a warlock who wants nothing to do with the egotistical and maniacal world of the other witches and warlocks of the Ivory Towers. Having it in his blood though makes it very difficult for Gage not to use magic, especially when he runs into trouble around every corner, and boy does he ever!Our heroine, Trixie, is an elf on the run from the Summer Court. She's been in hiding for years and has been keeping a low profile working with Gage at Asylum as a tattoo artist. When the warriors of the Summer Court finally track her down in Low Town, she has no option but to turn to Gage for some help hiding out, and since he's madly in love with her, he simply can't say no.Our other hero, Bronx, is a troll and Gage's other business partner. He's loyal, steadfast, and almost too intuitive. I absolutely love Bronx and I cannot wait to find out more about him in future books - I just KNOW that he's got one heck of a story to tell. :)I can't go into plot too much without spoiling things so I will just tell you that it's a wild ride and utterly fabulous. I would suggest reading The Asylum Interviews - Bronx and The Asylum Interviews - Trixie before starting Angel's Ink. It helps a lot with the world building and character introductions and they're just SO good!LITERAL ADDICTION gives Angel's Ink 5 Skulls and would recommend it to anyone who wants an amazing new Urban Fantasy to fall in love with.