Title: Ink (Paper Gods #1)
Author: Amanda Sun
Genre: Paranormal, Mythology, Urban Fantasy, Japan
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is 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.
Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.
Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.
Japan is the last place on Earth that Katie Green wants to be. But after he mother dies and her grandfather is too sick to look after her, Katie is shipped off to go live with her aunt in Shizuoko. Struggling to cope with the language and culture change, Katie muddles along in the hope that her grandfather will get better and she can flee Japan and live in Canada. And then she sees the ink. Yuu Tomohiro, the school’s badboy and kendo legend, the guy who cruelly breaks up with his girlfriend and pretends to be someone he isn’t fascinates Katie. And there’s his drawings. The calligraphy that’s so lifelike, Katie would almost swear that it moves…
I’ve never read a book which incorporates Japanese Mythology like Amanda Sun did in Ink. The concept of the power of the pen – or the ink – is something new on the paranormal scene. The Kami are dangerous with their medium being writing – something people take for granted – and yet the spirit in the ink is powerful and non-discriminating. I did think that this book had a very strong start but sort of faded as things developed. I was immediately drawn in at the start but towards the end I wasn’t as captivated.
I loved the way Japanese culture was portrayed in Ink, The way the language and the customs were interspersed throughout the novel was great to read. I wasn’t surprised to learn that Amanda Sun had spent quite a lot of time in Japan. As someone who has never been to that part of the world, it felt authentic and real.
As for the characters – I found Katie to be slightly frustrating. Her behaviour was inconsistent and I thought she was slightly illogical. Her selfish nature took me out of the story at times and I much preferred the easy-going nature of her friends Tamaka and Yuki. Yuu Tomohiro was one of those characters that’s mysterious and gorgeous and as a result one I wanted to read more of. I liked his arrogant exterior but the more we got to know him, the more we got to see he had layers and interesting complexities.
This is a great novel with a unique type of paranormal element. The characters are interesting however I liked the supporting cast more than I did the main character. I’m excited to see where Amanda Sun takes her characters in the next book of the Paper Gods series.
Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia and NetGalley review copy.
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