Read a full summary of Indelible by Dawn Metcalf below. If you can’t remember what happened in Indelible and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.
The Twixt is a realm just beyond the dimension that we all live in. When Joy goes dancing to The Carousel, she spots someone from the Twixt, Ink and Inq. Ink marks her, thus claiming her for himself, and then leaves abruptly. Joy suddenly starts getting threatening visits and messages from frightening creatures. Ink finally explains everything to her, and tells her that for Joy to be safe, they have to keep up appearances and act as if they’re in love. In the process, they do fall for each other, and Joy teaches Ink to be more human. Both Ink’s and Inq’s (his sister) job is to draw signaturae on humans on someone else’s behalf. When Joy tags along with Ink to a few assignments, they realise that she has the power to undo what he has done.
Aniseed, an alchemist, has hatched an evil plan to kill scores of humans with the help of Ink and Inq’s signaturae. kidnaps Joy to threaten Ink. Ink arrives and gives Aniseed what she wants – his signatura. She then tears into his neck, nearly separating his head from his body. The Council arrives to fight Aniseed. Meanwhile, Joy is trapped within a ward along with the scalpel that Ink threw at her before he fell. She realises that it’s up to her to save all those humans. She draws Ink’s and Inq’s signaturae in the air, thus breaking their bond with everyone they had ever marked. The battle is won.
Joy is no longer bonded to Ink, and after he is healed, he doesn’t come to see her at all. On her birthday, when he pays her a visit, she convinces him that they were meant to be together, and the two are a couple again. The End.
Oh, and Ink gives Joy a scalpel for her birthday. Yeah, that’s right. A scalpel 😀
What happened in Indelible?
- Joy and her best friend, Monica, go to The Carousal for a night of fun and dancing. While dancing, Joy sees a boy and a girl with piercing all black eyes who look like siblings. When the boy realises that she can see him, he cuts her in her eye and then leaves with the girl.
- Every time she blinks, the cut in Joy’s eye flashes. The next night, a scary monster appears outside her window and leaves a message, before shattering the window. Joy’s father thinks she did it herself, just to get his attention.
- Suddenly, Joy begins to get weird messages – on her mobile, in notes in her school locker, etc. The name ‘Ink’ is recurrent in them all. One has an address in it, and when she goes to investigate, she finds the place in shambles, like it was ransacked. While coming out, she bumps into an old man who seems to identify her and gives her a message along with an envelope full of money.
- At home, five frail women come to her, bearing another message which she can’t comprehend. She calls up a police officer she knows and tells him about the address the women gave her. But when she calls again to check in, she finds that upon arrival at the address, the officer had gone bonkers.
- The black eyed boy comes to pay he a visit, His name is Indelible Ink and his sister’s Invisible Inq, and they’re both Scribes of The Twixt. When he marked Joy, he made her his lehman. The notes she’s been finding are for him – requests to leave signaturae.
- One night, a banshee accosts Joy and scares her terribly. She calls Ink *simple a matter of closing her eyes and saying ‘Ink’) and he rescue her. To distract her from the trauma of the attack, he rents a tear in the seam of the world, and takes her to Ireland, where he has to draw a signaturae on a man. While there, they realise that Joy has the ability to undo, put back together, whatever Ink does.
- Ink and Joy go to see Graus Claude, Bailiwick of The Twixt. They have to convince him that they have a genuine relationship, otherwise Joy is in danger. The Bailiwick is a giant toad with four hands and has a mute butler named Kurt.
- Joy is payed a visit by an aether sprite who drags her by the neck to another creaturr of the Twixt, Brairhook. He’s angry that Ink has not carried out his request for a signatura to be made, and marks Joy with his own mark as a warning. The mark is the tattoo of a briar rose.
- Ink goes to avenge her, and takes out Brairhook’s heart, which he will return only when Brairhook has earned it back. Joy finds out that she’s the only one who can see Ink’s signatura, an ouroboros.
- When Ink and Inq go to a party to mark the people there, Joy sees that all of them have one signatura in common – a flower like pinwheel of eyes. They find out that its the signatura of Aniseed, an alchemist, whose job it is to maintain the balance of life in both the worlds. She is a formidable opponent.
- Aniseed begins to set traps for Joy with the help of the aether sprites in order to capture her and ask Ink to give her his signatura as ransom.
- Ink and Joy find Aniseed’s hidden workroom where she has stashed away True Names that she has collected. They know she’s planning something, but dont know what it is. Joy realises that Inq’s signatura is one among them, and confronts Inq about it, since you can only give your signatura voluntarily. Inq says it has nothing to do with anything evil, and goes to warn Aniseed about using it for bad.
- Inq is severely injured, and is taken to the Bailiwick, where Kurt and Ink work together to save her. They realise that Aniseed’s plan is to perform a mass killing of humans, with the unifying factor between them all being Ink and Inq’s signaturae.
- After giving her part of himself to save Inq, Ink is no longer able to take Joy back home. The Bailiwick summons Dennis Thomas, an old friend, to take her home. Dennis turns traitor, and hands Joy over to Aniseed. He was also the one who attacked Inq.
- Aniseed traps Joy in a ward along with all the signaturae, and tortures her with a drop of alchemical fire. Ink, although weak, appears immediately. He carves his signatura into Aniseed’s thigh with his scalpel and then throws it at Joy through the ward. Aniseed rips into Ink’s throat so savagely, there’s no way he can survive it.
- The Council arrives along with the Bailiwick, and there’s a battle between the forces of the Council, and the creatures under Aniseed’s control. But he is not bothered by it, since she now has both Ink & Inq’s signaturae, the process of killing will begin as soon as the signaturae as linked.
- Joy saves the day by shearing away Ink’s and Inq’s signaturae from herself, and soon after, drawing it in air, thus cutting away their links to all those people.
- Back at the Bailiwick’s house, Ink is restored to his normal state with Inq’s help, and Kurt is now able to talk. Joy finds that Ink no longer has a claim on her because she no longer bears his signatura. Joy is devastated, but returns home, in the hope that once he is well, Ink will come to her.
How did it end?
Joy makes peace with her mother, and decides to go visit her. It’s been several weeks since Ink visited her. On her birthday, he appears in her room out of the blue, only to tell her that he’s publicly renounced their association, which was a mistake in the first place, so there’s nothing for her to worry about any longer.
Joy argues with him that though she was born with the Sight, he was the first person from the Twixt that she could see. Hence, they were meant to be. Ink finally sees the light.
And so they all lived happily ever after.
Well, atleast until book two.
Bailiwick: The controller of the edge between the two worlds of Earth and the Twixt. All requests for signaturae go through him. Graus Claude, a toad with four hands, is the Bailiwick.
Aether Sprite: Flying creatures with skeletal structures that do the bidding of whomever they are enslaved to at that moment. They also think that can be done without.
Scribe: Those whose job it is to draw signaturae, to keep track of who is who, and who has a claim on whom.
Signaturae: Special marks, unique to each person, that are symbols worn on the skin.