Angel’s Ink
The Asylum Tales, Book #1
By Jocelynn Drake
ISBN# 9780062117854
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

Gage has had magical abilities as long as he can remember, but just how good he was became clear when the warlocks came and took him from his family at the age of seven.  He was swept away to the Ivory Towers where he was trained to be a warlock; the most feared beings on Earth.  Gage was more powerful than his mentor, Simon, had ever expected him to be.  Gage escaped as a teen; something that has never been done before.  This could have cost him his life.  But when he was taken in front of the council they decided to let him live as long as he ceased to use his magic except for in self-defense.

Once back in the human world, Gage was quickly taken in by tattoo artist, Atticus Sparks, who taught him all he knows about the art of tattooing and potion stirring.  Gage learned quickly and was able to move out on his own, opening his own tattoo parlor, Asylum.  The business has grown over the years and now he has two employees, who are also his best friends, Bronx the troll, and Trixie the elf.

But a cheapskate client, Russell Dalton, is out to cause problems when his lucky tattoo has had a reverse effect then what he wanted.  He jumps Gage with a gun demanding that he fix the tattoo, which doesn’t put Gage in an accommodating mood.  The confrontation ends with Gage using his magic and now Dalton has turned him into TAPSS (Tattoo Artists & Potion Stirrers Society) and they are breathing down Gage’s neck looking for any chance to shut his business down, to say nothing of his warlock guardian that comes calling now that Gage has used the magic he has been forbidden to use.

And, if that wasn’t bad enough Gage accidentally turned a client that was dying of cancer immortal and the grim reaper has given him a deadline to undo what he has done of forfeit his own soul.  The problem?  He has no clue how to counteract the ingredients he used, but after asking around it seems he will have to die in order to retrieve the one item that might turn the girl mortal again.

Meanwhile, Gage is growing closer to Trixie and now the men that she’s hiding from come storming into Asylum to take her from him forever and to force her into a marriage and a lifetime of servitude to her king.

Gage definitely has a lot of irons in the fire.  How can he solve these problems without using magic that could mean his instant execution?  And, how will he do all this while ducking his warlock mentor who is determined to put an end to Gage’s life for his own political career?  It just might take a miracle!  But anything can happen with a little luck on your side and the company of good friends.

After reading the second prequel to this series, The Asylum Interviews: Trixie, I just HAD to read this book!  And, I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed!!

Gage is a fun and engaging lead character.  He doesn’t backdown from anything, even death!  And, he seems to attract trouble without even trying, like a really big magnet!  He is fiercely loyal when it comes to his friends, no matter what the consequences are to himself.  You just can’t help, but like a guy like that.  There is nothing like an underdog to make you stand up and cheer and route him on!

As I said in my review of The Asylum Interviews: Trixie, I absolutely loved that tattoo shop being called Asylum; it’s just so fitting especially in a world when a majority of the clients are more than human.  I also liked the idea of the potions being mixed in with the ink for various effects.  Seriously, if I could have anything I wanted (money, luck, beauty, etc) based on having a little ink done, I would totally do it, no questions asked, despite the added cost.

The storyline of Angel’s Ink is packed full of action.  Poor Gage can’t take a breath between all the confrontations with his various problems.  From Dalton, TAPSS, Simon, The Grim Reaper, and the Royal Guards of the Summer Court just for starters.  It keeps the story hopping and keeps you reading and wondering what else could possibly go wrong for our favorite tattoo artist.

I found the different creatures that Drake introduced into the story to be a lot of fun even if most of them where just background characters.  Several of them, such as satyrs, gorgons, and minotaurs rarely make it into books, and I found them to be interesting.  Not to mention it helped paint a picture of Gage’s world, a world where all different species live out in the open; it just drew me in.

Overall, I just found this book to be a lot of fun.  It’s Harry Potter for grown-ups (and yes I realize several adults have read Harry Potter myself included!) This was definitely a great start to a new series that guarantees to only get better.  I can’t wait to see more of Gage and Trixie’s growing relationship and to see if Gage will have to forfeit that year in the underworld with Lilith.  There are so many questions left unanswered and I’m truly glad some were left open as I don’t feel it would be much fun if everything was wrapped up in a nice neat bow at the end of every book.  This leaves so many possibilities for Gage and his friends and promises of things to come in the next book; a book that I can’t wait to read!