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Ink [Kindle Edition]

Sabrina Vourvoulias , Bart Leib
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.99

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Book Description

Are you marked for disappearance?

What happens when rhetoric about immigrants escalates to an institutionalized population control system? The near-future, dark speculative novel INK opens as a biometric tattoo is approved for use to mark temporary workers, permanent residents and citizens with recent immigration history - collectively known as inks.

Set in a fictional city and small, rural town in the U.S. during a 10-year span, the novel is told in four voices: a journalist; an ink who works in a local population control office; an artist strongly tied to a specific piece of land; and a teenager whose mother runs an inkatorium (a sanitarium-internment center opened in response to public health concerns about inks).

The main characters grapple with ever-changing definitions of power, home and community; relationships that expand and complicate their lives; personal magicks they don’t fully understand; and perceptions of “otherness” based on ethnicity, language, class and inclusion. In this world, the protagonists’ magicks serve and fail, as do all other systems - government, gang, religious organization - until only two things alone stand: love and memory.

Editorial Reviews


"Vourvoulias masterfully weaves an increasingly complex parallel universe at once fantastical and eerily familiar: a not-so-farfetched future world where myth and legend cohabit with population control schemes, media cover-ups, and subcutaneous GPS trackers. She takes us on a whirlwind, goose-bump-inducing exploration of the dualities of life and death, the light and darkness of the human spirit, the indelibility of ink as both marker and recorder of our lives and the shape-shifting, vile nature of colonialism and bigotry. By the time you reach the novel s bittersweet ending, you will know: this story is as immortal as the souls of the nahuales of our ancestors lore, and perhaps just as powerful" --~ Elianne Ramos, vice-chair of Latinos in Social Media (LATISM)

"Readers will be moved by this call for justice in the future and the present." --Publisher's Weekly

"A chilling tale of American apartheid, and the power of love, myth and community." --Reforma

About the Author

Sabrina Vourvoulias is a Latina newspaper editor, blogger and writer. An American citizen from birth, she grew up in Guatemala and first moved to the United States when she was 15. She studied writing and filmmaking at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y. In addition to numerous articles and editorial columns in several newspapers in Pennsylvania and New York state, her work has been published in Dappled Things, Graham House Review, La Bloga’s Floricanto, Poets Responding to SB 1070, Scheherezade’s Bequest at Cabinet des Fees, We’Moon, Crossed Genres #24, the anthologies Fat Girl in a Strange Land and Crossed Genres Year Two, and is slated to appear in upcoming issues of Bull Spec and GUD magazines. Her blog Following the Lede ( was nominated for a 2011 Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) award. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. Follow her antics on Twitter @followthelede.

Product Details

  • File Size: 447 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615657818
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Crossed Genres Publications (October 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009LL3YRU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,485 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Graceful Telling Of Difficult Truths March 10, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It was troubling, funny, beautiful, exciting. The near-future dystopian crisis of immigration rings truer every day and the characters are alive. INK guides us through a broken, angry world through the POVs of various players in the coming culture wars. Each struggles through the emotional, political landscape of privilege, power and heartbreak as the carnage of xenophobia drives faultlines between families, friends and lovers. There are a few moments I wanted more from; at times we switch into someone else's mind just when I was warming to the character we'd been with. Ultimately, INK achieves that most-difficult balance between telling the hard truths about our troubled future and weaving an engaging, page-turning story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Part of the story untold October 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoy dystopian novels; especially when they're well-written. Ink has a great premise and the author, Sabrina Vourvoulias, has an interesting quality to her writing that is reminiscent of a naturally carbonated mineral water. My enjoyment of the novel was repeatedly derailed by the paranormal subplot, which was never fully enough described to elevate it from a solid work to a truly great work; instead the lack scaled my estimation of the work down moderately. I expect that other readers may not be as distressed by the vaguely represented under current.
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Format:Kindle Edition
I heard about this book from the we need diverse books campaign in the diversify your self hashtag on twitter. I was excited with the premise of the book especially being 1st generation American and the current political climate we are in. As I delved into the story I was filled with a lot of strong emotions. I was angry to the point to where I had to put the book down at times. This is a good thing. I do feel books should make you feel things and I truly felt for the characters. I just was not feeling the paranormal part of the book. It didn't feel they meshed well together and it didn't add more to the story. Instead it felt like it was just a filler which I would have been okay to do without. Overall, I enjoyed the story and would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read an alternate reality story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic Dystopian Novel imbued with Magical Love April 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This dark tale, seeped in magical realism, has the feel of a great dystopian young adult novel. What strikes me as unique, however, is that the whole society that this story is set in is not a dystopian one. Most people within the society go about their lives with little awareness about the fate their governments draconian policies are inflicting upon the minority population. In creating a dystopia in and among every day life, Sabrina Vourvoulias has created an engaging love story/ war epic that deeply explores the concept of privilege.

The immigrant population in this society (which seems otherwise indistinguishable from modern U.S.)are "inked" or tattooed with identifying bar codes that track their immigration status. We enter the story at a point in which the policy had already taken hold and it's consequences began to spin out. Those marked became even easier to discriminate against. Fear, hatred, racism; the focal point for all became anyone who was "other-ed" in this way. Volunteer border patrol agents would take the law into their own hands... law enforcement agents would see color as a mark of criminal intent... ultimately marginalization wouldn't satisfy and things got increasingly worse. The consequences are laid out in manner similar to what we have witnessed throughout history.

Though dark and realistic, the story is threaded through with hope, passion, love and magic. Vourvoulias incorporated some of the more mystical aspects of Latin American culture into the lives of her characters. Magic was used as a natural tool of survival and a deep well of emotional strength.

Her characters loved deeply and in realistically flawed ways. Not every love story had its "happily ever after," making each more precious for the time it had in this world.

I read Ink obsessively and was sad to have to leave the world and vibrant characters Vourvoulias had developed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, thought provoking book! April 9, 2014
By janeg
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, which tells a not-too distant future tale of America's immigration policy, told through the eyes of four characters. The story interweaves mystical elements throughout, which adds an interesting additional perspective. I couldn't put it down, definitely a great read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read. All too possible. November 18, 2013
By tld
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I said while I was reading this book that there were many times I had to close the book (turn off the Kindle) and walk away because it was too possible. I can see the path that leads from the now I live in to the events of this book. I can see it clearly in the proposed laws about identification and education. I can see people and officials desiring a way to mark people permanently, so they and we can never mistake or forget who they are.

The inks in this book--those marked with tattoos denoting their immigration status--are, as they are in this world, Latinos. All Latinos. Even those who are citizens are tattooed, likely so that even they can some day be rounded up. (Notice, every Latino is tattooed. Not every immigrant, every Latino. No matter how many generations back their family came to the US, no matter their legal immigration status. Because it isn't immigration that's the true issue, it's race.)

Something that struck me in particular was a scene where a white man and a Latina woman were discussing proposed ink regulations. She was upset by it, because even though she was a citizen she could see how this harmed her. He commented something along the lines of it is what it is, easily accepting these laws because they didn't directly harm him. This is now. This is institutionalized racism.

I also said once during reading that a certain couple was making me grin like a fool while I was reading about their courtship. The characters in this book feel so real in themselves and in their various relationships. Some are lovers, some friends, some only acquaintances, but all are brought together by this process and all live their lives with it constantly in the background. And that's part of the message: that they keep living their lives, and the fight goes on.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Jorge Gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent first novel
One thing science fiction has always done well is use a futuristic or alternative universe to comment on today's political and social controversies. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Timely
I could not put this book down. It is a peek into a dystopian future if we continue to allow hate and prejudice to cloud our hearts and minds as a society. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Shannon
4.0 out of 5 stars The Latina Handmaid's Tale
If Margaret Atwood were Latina, this eerily believable depiction of where U.S. immigration policy is heading is the novel she would have written instead of The Handmaid's Tale.
Published on December 7, 2012 by Marcela Landres
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
I found the book difficult to put down. The story was well conveyed and written extremely well. I look forward to other books by Sabrina Vourvoulias.
Published on December 4, 2012 by Barbara Feinstein
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal
Ink is a captivating and thrilling novel that I had the pleasure to read. Ink holds everything from drama to fantasy, from fear to love. Read more
Published on November 1, 2012 by Sophia
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read
Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias is a mind bending story that interweaves 5 seemingly "normal" individuals through a time where who you are is decided by the color of the tattoo on your... Read more
Published on October 15, 2012 by Tim Scattergood
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More About the Author

Sabrina Vourvoulias was born in Bangkok, Thailand -- the daughter of a Mexican-Guatemalan visual artist and an American businessman. She grew up in Guatemala and moved to the United States when she was fifteen. Her poetry has appeared in Dappled Things, Graham House Review, Scheherezade's Bequest at Cabinet des Fées, La Bloga's Floricanto, Poets Responding to SB 1070, and upcoming in the anthology In Other Words. Her short fiction has appeared in Crossed Genres Issue 24, Strange Horizons, and upcoming in GUD magazine and on in December of 2014 and April of 2015. It has also been published in the following anthologies: Crossed Genres Year Two; Fat Girl in a Strange Land; Menial: Skilled Labor in SF; Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, and in The Many Tortures of Anthony Cardno. Her novel, Ink ( was released by Crossed Genres Publications October 15, 2012, and was named to Latinidad's "Best Books of 2012" list in December. Her blog Following the Lede ( was nominated for a Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) award in 2011.
She is the managing editor of AL DÍA News Media, and is the editor of their book, 200 Years of Latino History in Philadelphia.
Follow her on twitter as @followthelede.


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