Review of Ink and Shadows, by Rhys Ford

I borrowed a copy of Rhys Ford‘s Ink and Shadows from Hoopla, through my local library. I’m on vacation at the moment and I read this in the car while driving from home in Missouri, to visit family in Tennessee. (Obviously, I was in the passenger seat, so while riding to Tennessee.)

Description from Goodreads:
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.

Would someone tell who the main character of this book was? I’ve finished it and still can’t decide. Similarly, what was the main plot? The romance between Death and Ari, the magus’ attempt at immortality with a bunch of characters that were little more than names, the budding friendship between Kismet and Mal? I don’t know. This book has lots of interesting elements, but no consistent thread. There’s lots of fighting, but not enough tying together what they are fighting for. It had interesting characters, but you never really get to know them. I found this book almost fun, but ultimately flat and disappointing. The writing itself was just fine, except for the head hopping, which was frankly horrible. I finished this feeling pretty so-so about the whole thing. I’m finding Ford to be a very hit-or-miss author for me. Some of their books I love and the rest fall on their face.

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