The Black Tattoo Hardcover – 5 Oct 2006
|New from||Used from|
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Granted, he's a pretty useless hero. I'll admit that for much of the book I lent toward agreeing with other reviewers who disliked him because of this. Even after hints that he might have finally been given a few extra abilities of his own nothing materialises. He remains totally and utterly normal. But toward the the end I started to suspect this was the point. He is the most powerless individual in all of Hell. He is simply below notice of the movers and shakers of the underworld. But in the end he is also unquestionably the hero. Such courage as he has is almost superhuman by itself, more so since there is nothing but unassuming backbone to support it.
Esme is just plain awesome. I always love a well-honed warrior and just go gaga over a female one. I suppose I should at least mention Charlie. He's a git. He just is.
I got fairly tired of all of the ridiculous descriptions of the different demons. A whole section of the middle seemed dedicated to this. The story seemed to lag a little, bogged down by one description after another. Similarly there seemed to be a lot of 'great black wings wrapping around them' going on. It seems that one description apparently covers a lot of different sounds. All-in-all, I enjoyed it.
I'd recommend this to anyone, not just teenagers, the story moves at a nice pace although some adults may find it a bit below them in a literary sense. It is worthy of a sequel which I would also read. Good stuff with some interesting subjects - religion and God/Hell etc being given a fresh perspective. Grab it, read it, but don't take it too seriously.
I loved Enthoven's depiction of London - he's comfortable with his location and has his characters move around it with ease. I also enjoyed his depiction of Hell, which was something I had never seen before (effectively, he makes Hell a living location, pitching it on the back of a gigantic dragon). He doesn't stint on the gore and ew! factor (there's a particularly horrifying scene involving Jack drinking demon bat vomit that's lovingly drawn out and makes you laugh even as it makes you gag) and he has a wide variety of demonic characters, some good - some not so good, who are vividly brought to life (my favourite being the Chinj who helps Jack). I also thought that he brilliantly captures the inarticulate dialogue between teenage boys, particularly when they're discussing emotional issues.
However, there are flaws. I'm not sure whether Enthoven really strikes a balance between his three characters and there are times when each seems a little stereotypical (Charlie with his anger, Esme with her anger and Jack with his ordinariness) and I think that some readers may find the introduction of Charlie and Jack into the new world of demon hunting to be a little too pat whilst the despatch of the various older members of the society at times feels like a checklist of death. The biggest problem however is the ending. Without wishing to give too much away, Jack goes through a major change in the book that seems to have just gone away or not been dealt with by the book's end (even though Enthoven's taken care to establish which Jack is in trouble with his new situation) and we're never really told what the effects of this change are, beyond some broad allusions to telepathy. I was also left confused as to what was going to happen with Charlie and Esme at the end, given the way in which they each achieve their aims and the discoveries they make in the process. Enthoven doesn't really examine the aftereffects at all, certainly not for Charlie and I would have liked to see some form of resolution - although the final chapter clearly leaves the way open for further books and more adventures. Enthoven also seems to leave the way open for a love triangle between the three and I really hope he doesn't go down that route because it's been done to death in YA fantasy and I think would serve to throw up more characterisation problems than it would solve
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
I thought the writing was poor and seemed to talk down to the reader, assuming they are idiots.Read more
But, basically, it's a "by-the-numbers" rehash of fantasy standard ideas - a sort of "Jiggy McQue Meets Buffy".Read more