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Alice Broadway has quite an active imagination, isn't it a good thing.

She has created a surreal world which heralds back to the seminal creation of Malorie Blackman and her Noughts and Crosses.

It's amazing when someone takes a theme and twists and melds it into a world, one we could be living in, one we believe in and one that makes us think heavy thoughts.

Imagine a world where your skin is your actual life story, some can 'read' it and others just live it. Leora is a 'reader' she also wants to break the mould and be the best 'inker' usually a male role, good on her...

We are swiftly taken into this cultish, semi religious and wonderfully realistically imaged world of 'blanks' and 'marked'.

It echoes society and our prejudices and even beliefs in a very clever way, simply told with just enough tension and nuance of growing up and finding love, finding a role and questioning power and our parents. It is an ideal book for those that want something that will allow questions to be asked and maybe answered from within a framework of 'what if'.

Tattoos are now the way society portrays the good and bad of life, our 'skin book' lives beyond us and is revered and brought out almost daily, we reflect on the good and bad of our ancestors and crave to be the best we can and adorn ourselves with Ink. 

I don't like spoiling plots, so I prefer to just say enough to entice avid reading and hope that eventually you will see my reviews and maybe directly get in touch to discuss the themes of any books I do review.

This world of 'The Saint', The 'White Witch' and of a government that seems to care all and yet is all pervading in judgement and retribution, harks me to think of just what I do think of, we are not allowed freedom and yet it is the one thing we all should have in a free world. Part Orwellian, part Bradbury (Illustrated Man) and totally fresh, this book is a vibrant and portentous look at growing up in a strong family bonded society, where work and history mean so much.  It is very clever indeed, the sensuality that Alice manages to evoke is superb too, without going into too much detail, she really does a fine job.

I'm so looking forward to Book 2 and hope that some of you read 'Ink' and try and get along on Weds 21st march 6.30pm to Bolton Central Library to meet Alice and get book two... Or get in touch pronto and order, use my paypal on the home page, pay £5 a book and send me details of names and places to send  to...

A truly excellent take on the morals and perils of a totalitarian society that is seen from within by teenagers growing up, finding love and finding a way to be seen, whether on their skin or not.

Truly a fine debut and a worthy 9/10 only docked a mark because obviously there is a sequel I haven't read, I have to be mean sometimes!