Indelible by Dawn Metcalf is the first book in The Twixt, a series that comes out this summer. Joy Malone never expected to be involved in another world where monsters loom at your windows, sprites come to visit you and everyone wants to know about her; but that’s exactly what happens to her one night when she sees a boy with all black eyes and he tries to cut out her eye. Instead, he wounds her and accidentally marks her as his property. Now, Joy must pretend to be this boy’s chosen for the future, otherwise, there is certain death for both. This was supposed to be a simple ruse… but in the world of The Twixt, nothing is simple.
This is perhaps one of the most unique books I’ve read for a fantasy world that has sprites and similar creatures. Indelible can’t be called a fairy book because the world of The Twixt has many other creatures that fall within its realm, like Valkyries. The Twixt is a world encompassing several different magical characters. Metcalf has done a great job crafting a new world with a system that dictates how the human world and The Twixt must coexist without tipping the balance. Both worlds need each other and the way in which they interact and maintain this balance is monitored in a wonderfully creative way.
This uniqueness is especially seen in two of the main characters: Indelible Ink and Invisible Inq. Ink and Inq were created for the purpose of linking The Twixt and humans by marking humans, thus keeping the magic of The Twixt alive. This was a very creative way to structure The Twixt and create some characters, and is one of the reasons why this book stood apart for me.
Joy, the protagonist, is an interesting character. Having been involved in something she was not expecting or welcoming, she takes in stride that she’s Ink’s chosen one and tries to play the part as best as she can. She tries to make herself necessary to him; by doing this, she ensures that she won’t be left alone to deal with this world as well as protection for herself, her family and friends.
This is one of her main concerns: ensuring the safety of her loved ones. Joy tries not to mix up her life with Ink and The Twixt with her normal life because she understands how dangerous that can be. It becomes increasingly hard, but she still continues trying not to let them overlap. This was something I appreciated from Joy; her motivation to go with the supernatural and try her best is not curiosity, but the desire to be safe and protect others. As Indelible progresses, that motivation slowly morphs to include other things, but that intent to protect still remains.
Ink is also an interesting character. He was created for the purpose to mark humans for the creatures in The Twixt so that they can accommodate their charges into their hospice, whether it is protection or unlocking more knowledge. However, the intriguing thing about Ink is that he doesn’t know how to be his own person; he basically has little to no personality and is defined by the work he does. But when Joy drops into the picture and he’s forced to spend time with her for the ruse, things start to change. He learns from her and slowly begins to change. This makes for a very enjoyable romance since both are learning from each other and have to go about it in strange ways due to their circumstances.
Perhaps the one thing that was distracting was the lack of information and coherence in some parts. Sometimes, time would pass from one event to the other, but the date, an important element for that specific situation, wouldn’t be specified and it made some events confusing to follow. Other times, particularly the parts where characters were explaining more of The Twixt to Joy, the information was so condensed and unclear it was difficult to follow. There were parts I had to reread several times to understand. This struggle to follow events and understand the explanations was jarring. I wanted to continue reading, but I was confused and had to stop to figure out what I was missing. That being said, Indelible was captivating. I’m eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Mara Delgado Sanchez, the Young Adult Reviewer at Girls in Capes, is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in fiction. She draws inspiration from writers such as Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf and is an avid reader of young adult novels, science fiction, and fantasy.