When Lisa accompanies her boyfriend Jed to get a tattoo, she’s scared but knows it will be worth it. Tattoos are cool!
Days later, they haven’t even begun to heal. They are itchy, inflamed and distorted. There is something in there, beneath the ink, shifting by itself.
Lisa and Jed are not alone. Thousands more people find their new tattoos are moving as if alive.
And soon, whatever’s inside will break free…
I love to read something different from the usual fayre and Beneath the Ink didn’t disappoint. And at 35,000 words it’s a lovely, brisk read.
It’s a hugely enjoyable and entertaining science fiction story about the dangers of combining miniaturised drones with plant DNA, taking genetic engineering that little bit further. Entering the body during tattooing, the seeds produced literally get under your skin and start to grow, wreaking havoc and mayhem in the Home Counties.
I loved the satirical edge and social comment as society breaks down, and the secret services struggle to deal with the fallout and solve the mystery of these ‘alien creatures’.
Ingenious, imaginative and skilfully told with a touch of dark humour, this story shows you what can happen when science loses control. Though a very different story, it reminded me of ‘The War of the Worlds’ by HG Wells, which also dealt with the collapse of society in the face of an unknown enemy.
If you ever wondered what could happen when scientists lose control, look no further.