Thursday, June 20, 2013

ARC Review: Ink (Paper Gods) by Amanda Sun

Ink (Paper Gods)
Author: Amanda Sun
Publication: Harlequin Teen; Original edition (June 25, 2013)

Description: Ink is in their blood.

On the heels of a family tragedy, Katie Greene must move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn't know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks and she can't seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

When Katie meets aloof but gorgeous Tomohiro, the star of the school's kendo team, she is intrigued by him…and a little scared. His tough attitude seems meant to keep her at a distance, and when they're near each other, strange things happen. Pens explode. Ink drips from nowhere. And unless Katie is seeing things, drawings come to life.

Somehow Tomo is connected to the kami, powerful ancient beings who once ruled Japan—and as feelings develop between Katie and Tomo, things begin to spiral out of control. The wrong people are starting to ask questions, and if they discover the truth, no one will be safe.

My Thoughts: I just came to the end of my eARC of INK and was surprised to see a glossary at the end. This would have been useful to have before (or while) reading the book. I did stumble over many of the Japanese words in this story that didn't always seem to be translated for the reader. I could feel what Katie felt being dumped into a culture not her own and trying to survive without drowning. Katie had the added burden of dealing with the sudden death of her mother which precipitated the move to Japan. She is also living with an aunt that she doesn't know very well.

It seems natural that Katie would be looking for connections and anchors and she seems to have found one in bad boy, artist, and kendo star Yuu Tomohiro. Of course her first impression of him comes when she accidentally overhears him cruelly breaking up with his girlfriend. He is hard for her to understand because sometimes he is kind and other times he is cruel. This seems to me to be a case of insta-love where she falls for his pretty exterior when not knowing anything about him.

The story takes a turn for the paranormal when Katie sees Tomo's drawing move and lift themselves from the paper. Katie's curiosity has her following him around town while he tries to discourage her interest. We gradually learn that he is a Kami and is afraid of the talents he has. Being a Kami also brings him to the attention of the local yakuza who want to use his powers for evil. Somehow Katie is enhancing Tomo's powers though her role wasn't really clear to me.

I think the strongest part of this story was the setting and seeing how Katie adjusts to living in Japan. I thought the romance was the weakest because I didn't see Tomo's attraction. I thought the mythology of the Kami was interesting and hope it is developed more in later books in this series.

Fans of the paranormal and especially my young anime fans who adore all things Japanese would be the best audience for this debut novel.

Favorite Quote:
I felt the heat rise up my neck. Yuki had not warned me he was so, well, pretty. Okay, gorgeous. I almost expected sparkles and rainbows to burst out of the walls anime-style, except his lips were turned up in a smirk, and the way he crumpled against the wall exuded a smug superiority.
After hearing lots of buzz about this title, I requested it from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I read it as an e-ARC too and didn't find the glossary till the end too! I loved this book and found it to be super unique!


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