Audiobook Review: Inked

Title: Inked
Author: Eric Smith
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Published: April 1, 2015
Audiobook Length: 7 hours, 36 minutes
Narrator: Nick Podehl
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Source: Author


Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.

Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.

And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can't escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.

But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.

Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.

Eric Smith takes you on a high-octane fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being different… only to discover that fate is more than skin deep.

My Thoughts:

I 'read' this book on both audio and ebook format. And while I like the story, I was a little less than impressed with the audio book. Here's the deal: Inked was narrated by a well-seasoned narrator, Nick Podehl. I do think this was the first book I've listened to by Podehl. Anyway, I had some problems with it. First, at his attempt to sound younger, he sounded whiny instead. It was sort of a nasaly whine. Second, his attempts at the female characters in this book sounded screechy and also whiny. It was almost hard to take. However when he wasn't speaking the dialog in the book, Podehl sounded okay. I listened to several samples of other audio books that he's narrated in an attempt to compare/contrast this book to previous ones. And from what I could tell, he's actually pretty good. So I chalk it up to Podehl trying to sound as young as the characters in Inked that didn't work.

Now for the story line. Inked has an interesting story line. A society that tattoos citizens, basically branding them into whatever role in life that the Citadel deems appropriate for them. But these tattoos are magical. And as you probably know, magic comes with a price. Caenum and Dreya are life-long friends, though Caenum wishes for more. In a turn of events, they meet Kenzi, who has something that the Citadel desperately wants. In an attempt to deliver Kenzi to safety, the three teens must embark on a dangerous journey. A journey that takes them way into the unknown.

In today's society, tattoos can express a person's creativity, their passions, their personality, and sometimes a drunken mistake. And it seems everyone has a tattoo of some sort. I've seen some beautifully done art work on people's skin that have left me in awe. So it's not hard to imagine the world that Eric Smith has created. Where instead of being an example of freedom, tattoos are a symbol of restraint. 

Inked is a coming-of-age, fantasy adventure. The story moved along quickly, and the characters were likable. I don't often do this, but in this case, however, I would recommend reading the book over listening to the audio. The audio is okay, but the book is much better.

My Rating: