I finished Ink Exchange Friday night. It was miles different than the first book, but, as usual, Melissa's writing was creative and clever.
Initially, the second book appears to be similar to the first book (Wicked Lovely) which revolved around Aislinn's introduction to, and purposeful manipulation of, the faerie world. When the author introduces Leslie, Aislinn's best friend, as the main character of the second book, you make assumptions that this book will be about another girl discovering who she is while navigating the difficulties of being introduced to the faerie world.
However, while that presumption is somewhat accurate for the second book, Melissa cleverly deceives you. Ink Exchange isn't about the "main character" Leslie. Melissa simply uses Leslie's character and life to reveal more about the "real" main character(s) - Irial & Niall. It is a fascinating read because you honestly believe that the book is about Leslie for the first half of the story. However, as the story is woven and you still don't have any particular feelings of like/dislike towards the main character, you begin to wonder - what is the author doing here?
And then it comes together - the two men (faeries) who fall in love with Leslie are the true heart and soul of the book. Leslie is simply an accessory to show you the softer sides of two complicated men who are destined to the "Dark Court" of the faerie world. One evil - One who walked away from evil for good. And yet, they both are and aren't what they seem.
Should you read this book?
I would definitely recommend it if you tend to enjoy stories about sentient mythological beings in the modern world. Melissa weaves a crafty and intriguing story and creates characters who are, at once, both believable and imaginative. However, don't expect to fall in love with Leslie's character because she disappoints as the main character. However, prepare to enjoy the unexpected pleasure of the tender feelings that you'll develop towards a character who may not "deserve" your affection and a character who begins to earn your heart.
Ink Exchange, by Melissa Marr