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Ink [Kindle Edition]

Sabrina Vourvoulias , Bart Leib
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 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: #398,136 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling but Plausible Future April 19, 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the most powerful roles that speculative fiction, especially dystopian sci-fi, plays in the literary community is that of cautionary prophet, spinning visionary depictions of what the sins of the present may lead us to. Classics like “Fahrenheit 451,” “The Handmaid’s Tale”and“Nineteen Eighty-Four” have become staples of high school and college curricula precisely because of their startling oracular power, that gut punch of plausibility that leaves readers reeling.

With “Ink,”Sabrina Vourvoulias — a writer, journalist and editor with Mexican-Guatemalan roots — has added a powerful meditation on immigration to this growing sub-genre. Set in the very near future, the novel depicts an America in which immigrants are required to receive a biometric tattoo in place of documentation, with colors corresponding to status.

The novel, which spans several years, depicts how this first repressive step (not as unbelievable as I would hope, given the current anti-immigrant climate in our country) leads to further persecution: the banning of the use of Spanish in public, creation of sanatoriums for supposedly sick “Inks” (as recipients of the tattoos are called), reversal of the rights of naturalized citizens, installation of tracking devices, sterilization and finally mass deportation.

Vourvoulias makes the brave choice of telling this story broadly and loosely, using four very different characters in New York State whose intersecting narratives weave together a compelling tapestry of communal victory.

Finn is a journalist whose interest in the Inks is at first a reflection of his desire to sell news, but whose love for an immigrant embroils him emotionally and intellectually with the movement.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Would you be INKed? October 15, 2012
I can't say enough good things about this book. Sabrina Vourvoulias's storytelling style is heartbreaking and joyful at the same time. She alternates between four main points of view, and each character does have a distinct voice and mindset to be explored. The action takes place over quite a number of years as the author's dystopian world grows darker and then lighter. This is the near future, a very possibly real near future, with characters from all walks of life who feel the effects of a darkening society differently but none of whom exists carefree.

There is also, as there always is with this author's work, magic worked into the dystopia. The magic is subtle at first, and very grounded, but ultimately plays an important role in shaping events.

INK is not a book that fits into easy categorization. It's dysptopia. It's magical realism. It's paranormal. It's a societal analysis. It's all of this and much more.

You owe it to yourself to read INK, and see what questions the author raises in your mind ... and to ask yourself, if this society came to pass in my lifetime, where would I fit and what would I do? Would you be one of the INKed?(
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5.0 out of 5 stars INK Made It Personal October 15, 2012
Vourvoulias took me on emotional and frightening journey with INK. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, it was difficult to not imagine living in the dystopian society she creates, where I, along with my family and friends, would be labeled as inks and tattooed with color-coded barcodes to denote our "quality," or desirability, as residents of the U.S. A society where I'd be prohibited from speaking Spanish, where a traffic stop could land me in a facility instituted to "cleanse" me of disease, and where permanent residency and citizenship status are irrelevant, because only certain countries of origin are allowed. Vourvoulias effectively blends folklore with history and creates four characters deeply affected and changed by what goes on around them. Creepy and eerily familiar, INK made me think of the 1930s mass deportation of Mexicans, the forced relocation of Native Americans and sterilization of Native American women. I'm left asking "what if?"
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Magical realism with a tinge of sci-fi. Loved it. Would definitely recommend this book to anyone. I am a fan.
Published 13 days ago by D. Colon Cabrera
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 months ago by Jorge Gonzalez
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a good thing. I do feel books should make you ...
I heard about this book from the we need diverse books campaign in the diversify your self hashtag on twitter. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sofia
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic Dystopian Novel imbued with Magical Love
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... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Anna Abruzzese
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, thought provoking book!
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. Read more
Published 12 months ago by janeg
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read. All too possible.
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. Read more
Published 17 months ago by tld
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 22 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 22 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
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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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