Poison Ink by Christopher Golden - Now available!
Everything had been poisoned, and the poison was spreading...
Sammi, TQ, Caryn, Letty, and Katsuko are floaters. None of them fits in with any particular group at Covington High School -- except each other. One night, to cement their bond, the girls decide to get matching, unique tattoos. But when Sammi backs out at the last minute, everything changes.
Faster than you can say "airbrush," Sammi is an outcast, and soon, her friends are behaving like total strangers. When they attack Sammi for trying to break up a brawl, Sammi spies something horrible on her friends' backs: the original tattoo has grown tendrils, snaking and curling over the girls' entire bodies. What has that creepy tattoo artist done to her friends? And what - if anything - can Sammi do to get them back?
This deliciously creepy psychological thriller is the perfect summer read.
Honors and Praise
"Action-packed horror with a sidebar of romance, sure to entice those with a taste for blood and the supernatural. Delightfully stomach-churning, [with] a satisfying, violent and sad ending." - Kirkus Reviews
YALSA Best Books for Reluctant Readers Nominee
Cybils 2008 Nominee (Fantasy and Science Fiction category)
I had the chance to read Poison Ink early, and I drank up every drop!
Poison Ink is a killer thriller, certain to please fans of the suspense genre. This novel offers twists and turns at every corner, piercing as deep as the spoke-like tattoo which changes the lives of five girls forever.
When Sammi balks at getting the tattoo, she doesn't expect her friends to react as strongly as they do, and their actions and words leave her hurt and confused. Though her friends cast her aside, Sammi never turns her back on them. She knows something is terribly wrong, and she's determined to figure out how to stop it before they destroy themselves.
Each of the main characters are different in both appearance and attitude, making it easy to picture them and distinguish between them. Their differences are what drew them together in the first place: they didn't fit into any of the established cliques at school, so they drifted together, a group of floaters, then became close friends. How they react to the tragedies in this book prove that that bond is unbreakable, even though they themselves will never be the same.
Once again, Christopher Golden has created a pageturner that will keep readers up at night. (It might also inspire them to seek tattoo removal!) Poison Ink is filled with horrors both familiar (fighting with your best friends, getting crushed by your crush) and imaginative. With an action-packed climax, Poison Ink proves to be indelible, and will remain etched in the minds of readers.
Poison Ink is one of my favorite books of 2008. I put this book into the hands of teens and adults alike. I feel as though I am introducing a new generation to Golden's works, and that feels great.
I named Poison Ink one of the Summer Teen Fiction Musts in a piece for SparkNotes Literature.
How It Begins
Excerpt from Poison Ink © Christopher Golden. Reprinted with permission.
On the last Friday night of summer, Sammi Holland and the girls went downtown in search of ice cream. They planned to meet at Krueger's Flatbread for pizza beforehand, a necessary preamble to the main event: an utter debauchery of swirl-ins and sprinkles and fudge sauce at England's MicroCreamery. Afterward, the five of them would wander Washington Street, peeking in the windows of the candle shop, the art galleries, and the bohemian café on the corner, ending up at Cruel and Unusual Books. No way were they getting out of there without hitting the bookshop. Sammi could be very persuasive.
Downtown Covington didn't draw a lot of teenagers. Most of their classmates from Covington High School would be at the mall tonight. But Sammi and the girls just weren't the sort who hung out at the mall.
Unless they were going to the movies, Sammi and her friends steered clear of the Merrimack River Walk. The long, outdoor strip mall had been built less than ten years before, complete with movie megaplex, massive bookstore, and tons of chain clothing stores. On Friday and Saturday nights, hordes of high school kids from Haverhill, Methuen, Jameson, and other nearby towns roved the sidewalks along the River Walk in gaggles, half of them talking on their cell phones or texting their friends who hadn't come along. Like the "main drag" in old movies and TV shows, the River Walk was all about seeing and being seen - half mating ritual and half dance of supremacy.
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Weaving a Tangled Web
I hope you'll drop by Christopher Golden's website as well as the Poison Ink website - and I hope you like what you see! I designed the Poison Ink site based on the gorgeous cover illustration by Chad Michael Ward.