The Black Tattoo
is a Young Adult
science fiction novel by Sam Enthoven about a guy who gets possessed by a demon inside a tattoo, while his best friend has to fight for his life in an arena made by the Devil himself
. It is also incredibly epic
The story begins with Charlie, whose parents are recently divorced, meeting his father in a restaurant with his best friend Jack Farrell. They leave the restaurant, however, soon after entering. Soon afterward, Charlie is unknowingly possessed by a demon known as the Scourge. He also joins the society know as The Brotherhood Of Sleep, who imprisoned the Scourge in the roots of a tree until one of their own released him. With Charlie's help, the Scourge manages to first kill all the members of the Brotherhood, save for the girl Esme, who has trained all her life to kill the demon. Soon after the death of their members, a possessed Charlie gets into a gateway to Hell, which is essentially a Roman Empire of sorts composed of demonesque species and even gladiator pits. Soon after Charlie reaches Hell, The Scourge's true goal is revealed: He wishes to awaken "the dragon" who created the universe, and upon awakening he will destroy it again. Suddenly, it is up to Jack, Esme and a team of soldiers to stop Charlie and the Scourge from destroying the universe
Tropes associated with this book include:
- Action Girl: Esme is most definitely one.
- Almighty Janitor: Almost literal, in fact. Turns out that God is the Devil's repairman.
- And the Adventure Continues: The book ends by heavily implying that Jack will go on to live a Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World lifestyle.
- Bad Ass: Oh so many... let's see now: Charlie, Esme, Raymond, the Scourge, various members of the Brotherhood of Sleep and the Brotherhood of the Scorpion Flail, and even, surprisingly, Jack.
- Butt Monkey: Initially, Jack. After all, he gets killed within five seconds of entering the arena. He gets better.
- Catch Phrase: according to Jack, everything is just typical.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Heavily subverted. Esme finds out that the Scourge is her father, but dukes it out against the creature, instead of joining him.
- Demonic Possession: How the Scourge works.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Jack and the giant dragon at the end of the book. And Jack manages to talk the dragon out of creating the apocalypse.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Esme versus the Scourge.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?:Jack gives the Dragon a well-deserved "What the hell?" speech at the end of the book. It's AWESOME!
- Does Not Like Shoes: Esme, given her martial artst status.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Charlie.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Scourge considers preventing the end of the world if Esme chooses to live with him as her daughter. Also, Charlie is a milder example. He's not evil, but very misguided, and the only people who make him hesitate taking up the Scourge's offer to rule hell are Jack and his mother.
- Gentle Giant: Raymond can count as this.
- Head Pet: The Chinj's are a kind of this.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Jack's attempt at this is subverted at the end of the book. He tries to switch places with Charlie so he can tell the Dragon not to end the world, something he knows will kill him. However, the Dragon takes a liking to him and chooses to spare him.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The Pigeon Sword.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Charlie's dad, who cheated on his mom, but is later revealed to be worried sick when he goes missing.
- Living Shadow: The Scourge is most definitely this to Charlie.
- Mark of the Beast: The titular Black Tattoo.
- Nice Guy: Jack, who only wants to stand by and help his friends.
- Oddly Small Organization: The Brotherhood of Sleep.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Scourge, until it was released.
- Spanner in the Works: Jack turns out to be a lot more than a simple Audience Surrogate.
- Took a Level in Badass: By the end of the book, Jack.
- Unwitting Pawn: Charlie believes that he's in charge, but the Scourge really just needs a vessel and someone besides himself to command the Dragon to end the world. Jack himself is also this to a degree, because the Scourge uses his apparent death to further manipulate Charlie. That last part backfires horribly for the Scourge.
- Voice of the Legion: Everything the Scourge says is in bold. The Dragon takes this up a notch by both having bold text for his speech and larger text when he gets pissed.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Jack gives Charlie a big and well-deserved lecture on how selfish some of his actions after having gained superpowers have been.