Series: Paper Gods #2
on 1st July 2014
American Katie Green has decided to stay in Japan. She's started to build a life in the city of Shizuoka, and she can't imagine leaving behind her friends, her aunt and especially Tomohiro, the guy she's fallen in love with. But her return is not as simple as she thought. She's flunking out of Japanese school and committing cultural faux pas wherever she goes. Tomohiro is also struggling—as a Kami, his connection to the ancient gods of Japan and his power to bring drawings to life have begun to spiral out of control.
When Tomo decides to stop drawing, the ink finds other ways to seep into his life—blackouts, threatening messages and the appearance of unexplained sketches. Unsure how to help Tomo, Katie turns to an unexpected source for help—Jun, her former friend and a Kami with an agenda of his own. But is Jun really the ally he claims to be? In order to save themselves, Katie and Tomohiro must unravel the truth about Tomo's dark ancestry, as well as Katie's, and confront one of the darkest gods in Japanese legend.
Katie Greene knew staying in Japan would be difficult. Her boyfriend is a target of the Yakuza and has the powers of ancient Japanese paper gods running though his veins. Trying to control the ink is difficult for Tomo and only made harder by Katie’s effect on his drawings. But unable to stay away, Katie is determined to help Tomo manage his Kami powers. The ink is growing stronger every moment they are together and between Takahashi Jun trying to get them to join his Kami group and Ishikawa still tied to the Yakuza, things aren’t looking good for Katie and Tomo.
As a second book of a series, Rain does a brilliant job of bringing everything I liked about Ink along with new and exciting twists. As a book set in Asia with an American main character, Amanda Sun does Katie’s cultural struggles justice. She has to cope with living in a country speaking a language she’s not fluent with and try to keep up – both academically and personally. Relationships follow a different code with different expectations between dating couples than what Katie is familiar with and school – nothing really could have prepared her for that. But Katie is strong and resilient.
Tomo’s powers are stronger than ever. But in order to help him, Katie has to learn more about the Kami and how they influence the ink. Not knowing where else to turn, Katie starts meeting with Takahashi Jun in secret. Considering Jun wants more than just friendship, Katie knows it’s risky but there isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for Tomo – except stay away. I liked how Katie’s relationships grew with both these boys over the course of the novel. Tomo is growing darker and more unpredictable but Katie is determined to do whatever she can. Her own powers are a mystery and Jun seems to hold the answers. Katie’s romance with Tomo is cheeky, funny, lovely and just a bit dangerous. The progression of their relationship was a pleasure to read.
The mythology in this book is nicely interwoven with Katie and Tomo’s story. I’m not familiar with Japanese legends but I really enjoyed how Sun explained the Kami. We get to discover them and their history along with Katie. Regarding the Paper Gods, there are some interesting discoveries and a few more mysteries along the way to be discovered.
If you liked Ink, then I think you’ll love Rain. Rain is not just a bridging book between a brilliant first novel and the last in a trilogy. It is full of a lot of drama, excitement, betrayal and action. I can not wait to see what is going to happen in the third book of the Paper God series! If you are looking for a story touching on mythology that’s a little bit different then this series is for you. Romance, action and gods not quite like any I’ve read before, Rain is a fantastic follow up. and I’m looking forward to the third book!
Thanks to Harlequin Australia for the review copy