I liked this book enough, but it could be a lot better.
The Twixt book 1
Genre: Young adult fantasy/paranormal romance
Amazon description of Indelible:
Some things are permanent. Indelible. And they cannot be changed back.
Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye.
Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep and a life that will never be the same.
Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both.
Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.
I absolutely love the setting/world-building of this book. The magic is unique and complex. There is a definite Alice in Wonderland feeling to parts of it, while others are darker and more paranormal.
However–it was also confusing. I still don’t think I really understand what the Twixt is, or how the signatures work (the magic), even though I’ve read this book twice and am starting the second. Most of the actiony scenes were really confusing and left me unsure of what was going on or how it affected the rest of the book. The glimpses I caught of the magic and resulting conflicts were powerful, but I wish they had been the entire book instead of rarities.
Joy in an interesting protagonist. She is loyal and fierce. Her relationship with Ink is interesting, though I would have liked a longer build-up for their romance (as it is, it is borderline InstaLove). Their romance is intense in a classically paranormal fashion. The one thing about her that bothered me was that she never really saves herself (until the end), counting on Ink to get her out of confrontations. Part of this is because the conflicts are magical and she can’t really defend herself against them, but it just got repetitive with her being put in danger and Ink saving her.
The one character who fascinated me was Inq, Ink’s sister. She had the most character traits of any of the characters, and they all worked together to create a weird but fun character. Her dynamic with Joy was infinitely more interesting than Ink’s. It frustrates me that Metcalf didn’t make all of her characters as impressive as Inq’s.
The plot of Indelible takes a while to become apparent. From the description on the dusk jacket, you would think that it is mostly focused around the charade Ink and Joy have to put up as lovers. That is only part of the book, and they become romantically involved so quickly that it the conflict does not create that much drama or plot depth.
The actual plot, which becomes clear later in the book, is interesting but needed more explanation. It felt like Metcalf was rushing to finish the book, instead of actually capitalizing on the meat of her book. I would have liked more of the conflicts of the book to be focused on the specific plot. As it is, the middle of the book doesn’t have a specific purpose for the plot of the beginning or the ending.
Still, this book is an enjoyable read. Fans of paranormal romance who enjoy fantasy elements would have fun with it. The book is no stunning display of literary genius, but it is a good one-day read.