Title: Ink and Shadows
Series: Ink and Shadows, #1
Author: Rhys Ford
Genre: Fantasy / Mystery & Suspense / Paranormal
Length: Novel (304 pages)
Publisher: DSP Publications (July 7th 2015)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4 1/2 Hearts (Combined)
Blurb: 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.
Product Link: http://www.dsppublications.com/books/ink-and-shadows-by-rhys-ford-135-b
Reviewer: Leigh & Tams
Leigh’s Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts What the hell did I just read, and how do I explain it? How about fucking awesome. That line just about sums it all up. This book drew me in and did not let go from start to finish and it left me wanting more.
The legends and myths Rhys Ford has taken in this book, well she turned them on their heads and made something special out to them. She has written characters that are unique and intriguing. I found myself loving them for each of their personalities. I wanted to know their stories inside and out. I was laughing with them, getting pissed off with them, and understanding them.
Kismet sees what no human should. He sees behind the Veil. He sees the things that are hidden, he sees the shadows, and he sees the dead. To get away from it, he turns to alcohol and heroin. They are only things that hide the things that go pump in the night.
Mal is the newest Horsemen. He is not a fighter, and he takes flack for that from the others. He also feels alone even surrounded by the other three.
Until he meets Kismet.
Together they start to form a bond. They each give the other something that is missing in their lives. Friendship and companionship, and perhaps something else.
This is not just a book about Mal, aka Pestilence, and Kismet. It is also about the other Four Horsemen. I wanted to know about Death and who he is. I felt for him and the job he needs to do. I wanted to know War and the love he has for Death. I saw how hard Death’s calling is on him, and I saw the need War has to take care of Death. I loved the way Famine was the only girl, and was so kick ass in her own right.
This was just an amazing read. The writing was so well done. The story moved so fast I never realized how long the book was. I just knew I had to keep reading to see what would happen next. From start to end I was engrossed in the lives and adventures of these characters.
I cannot wait until the next book comes out. I need to see what happens next between Mal and Kismet, and Death and War. I want to see what battle they all have to fight next. I simply want more.
Tams Review: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts Kismet is a troubled, tortured soul, believing himself crazy due to the things only he sees. To cope with the visions of people long since dead and creatures that feed on flesh, he has developed a nasty heroin habit. Problem is, his habit is only fueling his nightmares. A Magus out for revenge against the Four has been experimenting on a drug that will thin the veil that separates our world from a far more dangerous one, and Kismet is the key to his success. But the youngest of the Four has taken quite a liking to the little psychotic tattoo artist with the wild hair and haunted eyes.
Mal, also known as Pestilence, the youngest of the Four Horseman, is still getting comfortable in his role. He’s young and not exactly well received by War. Ari is old and set in his ways; he has a bad attitude and the skills to back it up. He’s the perfect embodiment for War. He’s also in love with Death, and makes no secret of that fact, much to Death’s dismay. With Famine away at play, Death is on his own for a new task and sends Mal with Ari to check a threat to the veil and all hell literally breaks loose.
With the veil thinning the Magus’s plans are falling into place, but the Four won’t go down without a fight. And the youngest who was previously perceived as immature and unthreatening finds a reason to fight when he finds Kismet. With the help of a few avenging angels of sorts, the Magus is sure to attain his goal, to bring the head of a Horseman home to decorate his mantel. But one half human half immortal with a fancy for disease throws a fairly large monkey wrench into those plans.
Nothing pleases me more than for an author to take something, a certain belief of a legend or a story, and bend it into a different mold. That is what Ford has done with Ink and Shadows. The Four are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but in this story they are not what you might think. Yes you have War/Ari, Death/Shi, Pestilence/Mal and Famine, the odd girl out, but my thoughts on their existence in this world is not shrouded by evil as most stories lead you to believe. Then there is Hope and Charity, now here is the conundrum, these angelic like beings are more in line with Lauren Kates angels from Fallen than what you would associate with their names.
Then you have the Magus, the Dark Fae, the Wraiths… there is a plethora of fantastical creatures and beings in three hundred pages. You know what I like most about Ford’s books, aside from her astounding attention to detail? I like that she can write a story that reads like a horror movie, I’m talking I don’t want to turn the lights out scary, and still you will be so engrossed in the story that you can’t pull away from the darkness. Now, be warned, this is not a romance by any stretch of the imagination, and that in and of itself turned out to be very refreshing. This is full on battle between the Four and those that would destroy them, and therefore humanity. Oh but there is a niggle for future stories. Ari wants Death in his bed again so bad he can taste it, and he might actually walk away from a fight if Shi would follow him into the bedroom. And Kismet definitely got under Mal’s skin.
I’ll admit I didn’t know if I would like this book to start. There is a lot going on and I didn’t quite wrap my brain around some of the elements. But as the story played out and more was revealed, things explained in a broader context, I really became intrigued by the characters and their place in the story. I’m excited to see what comes next in this new series, I’m crossing my fingers, toes, eyes and anything else that will cross that Ari and Shi will have some more page time. Preferably naked, breaking things while they try to maintain dominance over each other.
If you like a sort of gothic, sort of urban type of fantasy story full of twists, turns and surprises with some absolutely amazing writing, then grab a copy of this one.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *