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Angel's Ink - Jocelynn Drake Gage is an ex-wizard who fought his abusive mentor, got kicked out of the wizard club, has a hidden magic lab in his basement and is being stalked by an enforcer from the wizard club who is waiting for him to use his magic so the enforcer has an excuse to kick his ass.

When Gage grows up he wants to have a talking skull and a Tibetan temple dog.

I really wanted to like this one. I had it on my list for months waiting for it. Magic. Tattooists. Trolls. What's not to like, right? 100 pages in I'd revised my goal to just wanting to finish it. After another 50 pages I was happy just to abandon it without throwing it at something.

Aside from the borrowing of elements from better established series, Angel's Ink had a number of fatal flaws.

It's slow. Real slow. If you leave glass panes long enough they start to bulge at the bottom where the glass sort of flows downwards over time. Yep. That slow.

The dialogue is clunky and unnatural. Contractions are not just for pregnant women. They're also for people who don't want to sound like complete wankers when they talk.

I don't care about the characters. Every character in the book is flat and cliched. Flat like cardboard cutouts are flat. Gage tells us about how great/terrible/funny/etc they are, but we do't actually see it, and Gage is so internally inconsistent I don't trust him as a narrator.

The prose is quite awkward and first-draft-y. It gets bogged down making sure the reader understands how Gage is feeling. About everything. It feels raw and unpolished, like an editor needed to spend some time smoothing off some of the rough edges before it went to print.

I read about half of this before I gave up on it. The half I read might have kept my attention if I hadn't spent the last month dating this book's cuter, smarter older brother. As it is, this series has a fair bit of maturing to do before I'll consider another date.