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Tattoo by Candace McBride

Magic, murder, and monsters 

Though pompous with its modern advancements, Sybar City has always fostered a seedy underbelly stretching back millennia. Glory, a humble scholar with a talent for occult research, is unwillingly thrust into this world of ancient malevolent races and scientific exploitation. A girl with issues, she would just as soon crawl into a bookshelf and never come back out, leaving a world which alienated her in childhood to tear itself apart in her absence. But when her psychotic twin sister steals a book representing all of Glory’s amassed occult research, she is forced to step out of her comfort zone and take responsibility for the potential damage her work could cause. The need to find her book and put an end to her sister’s malevolence becomes even more imperative when others learn of Glory’s research and begin seeking the book themselves. Worse yet, she seems incapable of saying no to anyone in need, a distraction she doesn’t need and doesn’t want.

Will Glory find her book before it’s too late? And will random people stop insisting they need her help? How the heck are they tracking her down anyway when she’s slapped enough spells up on her house to deter a stampede of bison.

Tattoo is a horror series with elements of science fiction and fantasy. Folklore, mythology, and history combine to weave an eerie chronicle of supernatural suspense.

Note: Tattoo contains some graphic violence and harsh language.

A series

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Listed: Aug 13, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

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Tattoo is getting better and better!

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Jul 27, 2009: EDITOR NOTE: This series ended Oct 2011, sadly, with the unexpected death of the author. However, it is structured as a series of self contained stories, so readers can enjoy the existing episodes as written although the last one, which I believe was intended to be the final climax, is incomplete.


Tattoo is getting better and better with each new chapter in this series of dark supernatural adventures.

Miladysa’s review gives a good synopsis of the main premise of this series. It is an original idea; arcane tattoos covering the protagonist’s body give her protection, and in combination with her knowledge of magical lore, her courage and disregard for her own safety, and a few other assets, just barely enough of an edge to tackle the devotees of the dark arts and varied eerie situations that come her way. She’s in a strange position; very cut off from the rest of the humanity both by her condition and her own personality. A sad and resigned tone pervades the story.

I see how the beginning, with its vampires and evil twins, could come off as a bit cliched. However, since then, each new chapter has brought an imaginative new idea to life. I’ve noticed the writing style maturing, and love how in the latest episodes the author is making creative use of little known monsters and myths from around the world. Since each chapter stands alone as a distinct story,it would be possible for a new reader to start at the beginning of the latest chapter. If you love the story, you will then want to go back to read the rest.

Overall: Ideas are excellent, execution sometimes a bit rough (but continually improving), updates regular, story intriguing.

UPDATE – July 2010. Proofreading quality is pretty consistent these days, and the writing style has evolved to a level of sophistication that leaves me with no more technical quibbles.

This is an intelligent take on urban fantasy in a Lovecraftian vein which shines due to the author’s extensive interest in mythologies both ancient and modern. Recommended.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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Supernatural Adventures

By Miladysa, editor, author of Refuge of Delayed Souls

Dec 10, 2008: Glory has an interest in magic; in fact more than an interest, she’s made a study of it and developed some ideas and spells of her own. She’s also made a big mistake in writing her knowledge down in a book and now the book is in the hands of her worst enemy. Glory is homeless, friendless and in danger.

Not everything is doom and gloom though. Glory employs her knowledge to her advantage and instructs a tattoo artist to cover [more . . .]

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More than it appears to be…

By Stormy, editor, author of Require: Cookie

Aug 20, 2008: (Review written after reading chapters 1-3.1).

The "stalker" element in chapter one was kind of off-putting, particularly as the sensible thing to do when someone is bothering you is threaten them with a restraining order and/or go to the cops. It also had an unpleasant "Twilight" connotation to it.

By the end of a rather slow chapter one, it really rockets off – if it was a movie, this is the point [more . . .]

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A B-rated horror movie in word form.

By Donna Sirianni, editor

Sep 13, 2008: With all of Glory’s internal griping about how she’s the black sheep of the family and the outcast at school, I was half-expecting something Carrie-esque, especially with the whole date thing. At least I got the blood making an appearance right.

Horror is very hard to write. The foreshadowing has to be just enough that it’s only obvious after the fact. Subtlety is key but this story just doesn’t have it. It’s written like some cheesy horror movie would set up—way [more . . .]

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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A solid premise, but lacks depth…

By zoewhitten, member

Feb 23, 2010: A solid premise, but lacks depth . . . 

This review is based on 5 chapters, of which 7 are available. Before I begin, I want to stress that I DO like the premise of Tattoo, and the episodes are interesting once each problem is fleshed out and the action begins. But Tattoo fails to satisfy on several levels, and blame for this lies mostly in one-dimensional character development.

The premise starts [more . . .]

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The travails of one magically protected, ass-kicking nerd

By Shutsumon, author of Tales of the First

Feb 10, 2010: So far I have only read as far as the end of Chapter Six of Tattoo by Candace McBride. This isn’t because I don’t like it, but simply that I haven’t had chance to read Chapter Seven yet. Tattoo bills itself as Horror with science fiction and fantasy elements, but I find it’s more Dark Fantasy with Horror elements so far.


The characters. Glory is an awesome, magically protected, [more . . .]

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A very enjoyable read

By Xirena, member

Aug 1, 2009: It is a very enjoyable story, I think that there are enough little plot twists for this to be a long lived series. The magical influence of the story is widely varied due to the heroine’s in depth study of magic over the years, her eyes are wide open compared to the rest of the world so almost nothing can throw her. There are a lot of the deeper issues of society touched on, and Glory has an introverted bookhounds view of the world that leads her to expect the [more . . .]

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