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Ink Paperback – December 4, 2012
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The Eagle Tree
A young boy must fight to protect what he loves, but can he do it without risking his family?Learn More
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"Damien Walters Grintalis writes with a distinct voice, yet one which contains whispers of Sturgeon, Bradbury and Ellison.”
—Jamie Todd Rubin, Writer & SF Signal Contributor
“As soon as I read this one, I immediately wished that I thought of the idea — but if I had, I doubt I could have executed it half so well.”
—Matthew Bennardo, co-editor of Machine of Death on “Like Origami in Water”
The griffin inked on Jason’s arm looks real enough to take flight. Jason thinks his new tattoo is perfect. Until he wakes up one night to find his arm temporarily ink free. Until he finds a brick wall where the tattoo shop should be.
As Jason’s world spins out of control, he realizes a truth is as sharp as the griffin’s talons. The tattoo is alive, it’s hungry, and if Jason tries to kill it, he’ll die. The artist will remove it for a price, but he’s not interested in money or Jason’s soul. He wants something far worse…
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Top Customer Reviews
From the initial reviews, I was excited about this one. I've read a few short stories from Grintalis and I like her writing. It's always been crisp and she gives us a great twist. Halfway through Ink however, I really felt as if I was reading another author's work. Where was the characterization? The bizarre angles and strange perspectives? We are introduced to Jason with his use of the word "bitch" to describe his wife. Not a good start and it doesn't get any better. The female counterpoint, Jason's new love interest, serves only as the "golly really Jason" and "you can do it Jason" emotional prop. I was really surprised that a female writer came up so short on depth here. The narrative itself is one more "the devil made me do it" tale. Jason of course has made an inadvertent pact with Mr. Devil himself and his tattoo comes to life in the end to destroy him. A friend pointed out that this is the exact same plot as a Tales From the Crypt story, including the note-for-note ending.
This was a very disappointing debut from an author that held promise in her short stories. A weary tale complete with the hint of a sequel, it never moved beyond the cliché horror tropes. I struggled to finish it. Grintalis has the talent to give us challenging, intense horror. This is not it. I do hope that in round two she finds her voice.
It's the story of Jason Harford, a young man devastated after having been left by his wife just before the novel begins. He sets out to soothe the pain of rejection, telling himself he's celebrating his newfound autonomy by doing things his controlling ex-wife never would've permitted. He gets drunk in a bar, and acquiesces to a stranger's suggestion that he should get a tattoo. The tattoo artist, a crusty and uncomfortably menacing old guy Jason calls "Sailor," asks Jason to sign a liability waiver before he proceeds. Jason starts to wonder what he's gotten himself into, but the resulting tattoo of a griffin is beautiful, exactly what he wants. It impresses his friends, even leads to a hookup with an attractive young lady named Mitch, who also happens to have a griffin tattoo.
Jason starts to think he's dodged the worst of the pain of being rejected by his wife. A cool new tattoo, more time to spend with his friends, even a cute young lady who fell into his lap, and seems really into him. Maybe things will turn out better for Jason, not worse... right?
Most readers will have guessed that the significance of Jason's tattoo goes more than skin deep. The name of the book, and the sinister nature of the tattoo artist (real name John S. Iblis) should make clear there's a price to pay, a reversal to come.Read more ›
Wow. And this is supposed to be her debut? I say kudos! Ms. Grintalis is an amazing talent. INK sets in deep with a tail that is farfetched, yet- as any great writer can do- pulls you in, and makes you believe the nightmare real. I was pulled in, fast and hard, the way a great book (especially in the horror genre) should work. I will from here on avoid any tattoo artist that says "the devil's in the details". I never give away anything in my reviews so just let me tell you, the end of this book had me spinning in my chair, racing to the end in the best possible way- and I was not disappointed.
I'm happy to have read such a great book from Samhain Publishing. This is what I expected to find when the head horror honcho at Leisure Books took on the same role for Samhain's Horror line. I am officially a salivating member of the DWG fan club. I cannot wait to see what this talented writer offers up next.
In conclusion---If you were ever a member of the Leisure Book Horror Club- YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK. If you like great writing and scary stories- you will love this book. Trust me-buy it now!
And I'm glad I did. Not only did I discover a new favorite fictional place, 1303 Shakespeare Street in Baltimore, but a new writer to watch. Damien Walters Grintalis has a lucid style, an ear for dialogue, and an eye for detail that serve her story well. She also seems gifted with that storytelling quality sometimes called profluence - once the hook is sunk, and she sinks it early, the reader is reeled surely, if not always comfortably, through the plot. After all, this is horror, and horror of a particularly unnerving sort. Bad enough when the monsters are out there. Much worse when they're under our own skin. Or, in this case, under Jason Harford's skin.
After his belittling wife leaves him, regular-guy Jason (I'm thinking John Krasinski) decides to assert his new-found independence by getting a tattoo. Cautionary tale: Choose your skin artist with care, and stay far away from a certain John S. Iblis. He inks a magnificent griffin into Jason's arm. The trouble is, the griffin doesn't always stay put. And that routine permission-to-tattoo form that Jason signed? Turns out that impression he had of ornate script shifting under the mundane typeface was more than an impression. The form was a contract, with some very nasty fine print boilerplate; once Jason puts his signature to it, he becomes fair game for the infernal Iblis, or Sailor as Jason thinks of him, after the sea-faring "avatar" in which Iblis first appears to him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have considered getting a tattoo on several occasions throughout my life and after reading Ink, I'm glad I never did. Read morePublished on February 28, 2014 by G. J. Wise
This is an excellent read! Although there were some slow points toward the middle of the book it picks up again and doesn't let loose until the very end. Read morePublished on December 10, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I liked the IDEA of this book more than the book itself. And I agree with what another reviewer wrote: that this book would have been better as a short story. Read morePublished on November 30, 2013 by K. Dieng
With Grintalis' horror debut, she's done something marvelous and stunning that few masters of the genre can do: build suspense and dread away from the scene. Read morePublished on November 10, 2013 by Rodney C.
I've been following Grintalis' lyrical and unsettling short fiction for a while, so I was looking forward to seeing what this distinctive writer might do in a longer work. Read morePublished on September 4, 2013 by Randal K. Jackson
As this journey begins we find ourselves meeting up with Jason Harford, whose wife has left him after several miserable years. Read morePublished on July 29, 2013 by Horror Novel Reviews
Ink's a great book if you don't mind the slow burn. Creepy horror that's well-written and fun. If you like darkness, you've come to the right place. Read morePublished on April 26, 2013 by B-Movie Man
As this journey begins we find ourselves meeting up with Jason Harford, whose wife has left him after several miserable years. Read morePublished on April 4, 2013 by diegosaville
You like monsters?
You like cringe-worthy horror?
Then you'll enjoy INK, the debut novel by talented author Damien Walters Grintalis. Read more