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Ink and Shadows by Rhys Ford
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Ink and Shadows

by Rhys Ford

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Series: Ink and Shadows (Book 1)

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This was very different from the other Rhys Ford books I've read. I've heard others say this about it (much to her chagrin) :-) but there's a sweetness about it I didn't find in the other books. Don't get me wrong--there's still lots of cool wraiths--the big ones are cool and impressive but I have to admit I really like the little tadpole ones that eat through flesh. It's a dimensional thing, don't worry. But I loved the relationships between the four Horsemen (yes, those Horsemen) and just how different they were, especially the one between War and Death. The two eldest, they have been around each other for centuries, involved in a convoluted courtship that has developed into a dance. As Pestilence, the youngest of the four, says when asked if Death and War are lovers; "Not now, but they have been. Probably should be...Sometimes I think the world is spinning out of control because both of them fight about how they feel. But I know that's not true." I love that. And the friendship between Mal, (Pestilence) and Kismet is also fun and interesting. I'm so curious to see what Kismet's role plays out to be. I am definitely hooked on this series: I care about what happens to the characters, and while there's a HFN ending, there are things brewing behind the veil... ( )
  waclements7 | Oct 27, 2015 |
The writing in this book is so wretched that I don't think the book should have been released. So many sentences are so agonizing to read that I stopped at around 60%.

Ms Ford and her copyeditor do not know how to match singular and plural verbs with singular and plural nouns. There are dozens of mistakes. "…either Mal or Min are… ." "None of us have… ." "There's someone who…" "There's always a few…" "Everyone has their use…" "…there's five." Plus loads of misplaced or vague modifiers and places where it unclear who "he" is and who is acting. "A patter echoed under [his] fingertips, drumming a pattern along the doorjamb." Huh? It also bothered me that Ms Ford can't write a fight scene to save herself and her sex is greasy.

Besides the usual mistaking of "than" with "from", "who" with "that", and "less" with "fewer", "dove" with "dived", "leech" for "leach", Ms Ford writes that a coat was "worn soft from years of wear." Something is not "realistic of a person." An empty eye is "pupil-devoid." "[He] knew more than what he was telling." Someone asks "How big of one?" In a fight one cocks a dagger. About a painting the word "collection" is used to mean "depiction" or "representation." Corpses, with presumably stilled hearts, somehow manage to bleed out large pools of blood. A man is "older than what [he] originally guessed." A wraith has "muscled legs, bristling with talons" which seems to imply that clawed toes pop out all over. A broken fire hydrant is "decimated." After an explosion "their hearing [is] momentarily deafened." And what is this "crimpling" that cushions do when you sit on them?

The one that made me quit reading? "A cicatrix scarred over the bullet hole, the rounded smooth scar nearly watery in appearance."

Ms Ford's portrayal of characters is mind-numbingly bad. Mal is a weakling tripping around in a mental haze. Min must be short for Minimum in that she barely registers. Kismet (a truly icky name) does little but crave heroin through many many pages.

Most of the book is not taken up with the actual plot and its necessities, but by pathetic dialogue between the immortals Shi and Ari. In the human world, and humans are the ones most likely to be reading, one does not cuddle intimately with someone and then deny intercourse. Shi's behavior with Ari is trashy. On the other hand, Ari's single note whine and wandering hands are boring, then very boring and finally irritating as hell. I grew to hate him. He even detours from killing wraiths to force his attentions on Shi, copping a feel every second sentence. Ms Ford is trying to portray the pull and push of desired yet feared intimacy but anyone who has had to push away an overly aggressive suitor will recoil. We call this harassment or even rape these days.

As I said, I quit reading at about 60%. Hard to tell what pushed me over the edge. Mostly I think it was Ari's tongue.

I received a review copy of "Ink and Shadows" by Rhys Ford (Dreamspinner) through NetGalley.com. For what it is worth, the only "ink" in the part I read is when we first meet Kismet who is working part-time in a tattoo parlor to make some cash for heroin. ( )
  Dokfintong | Jul 18, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rhys Fordprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tremblay, GregNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Kismet Andreas lives in fear of the shadows.

For the young tattoo artist, the shadows hold more than darkness. He is certain of his insanity because the dark holds creatures and crawling things only he can see—monsters who hunt out the weak to eat their minds and souls, leaving behind only empty husks and despair.

And if there’s one thing Kismet fears more than being hunted—it’s the madness left in its wake.

The shadowy Veil is Mal’s home. As Pestilence, he is the youngest—and most inexperienced—of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, immortal manifestations resurrected to serve—and cull—mankind. Invisible to all but the dead and insane, the Four exist between the Veil and the mortal world, bound to their nearly eternal fate. Feared by other immortals, the Horsemen live in near solitude but Mal longs to know more than Death, War and Famine.

Mal longs to be… more human. To interact with someone other than lunatics or the deceased.

When Kismet rescues Mal from a shadowy attack, Pestilence is suddenly thrust into a vicious war—where mankind is the prize, and the only one who has faith in Mal is the human the other Horsemen believe is destined to die.
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Kismet lives in fear of shadows, which hold more than darkness. Mal longs to be more human, to interact with someone other than lunatics.

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