June 20, 2013

REVIEW: Ink (Paper Gods #1)

Ink (Paper Gods #1), by Amanda Sun
To Be Published June 25, 2013
Publisher:  HarlequinTeen
Format: ARC - obtained from BEA
Genre:  YA paranormal
To Buy:  Amazon  * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository

Rating:  4 STARS

(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.

I've never read a book like Ink before. I've read a lot of books - over 150 last year and over 100 so far this year. And, among all those books, Ink stands out as something truly different. Let's take a look at why.

The Setting
I do believe this is the only book I've ever read that is set in Japan. Amanda Sun does an excellent job taking me there, even though I've never been there. The towns, schools, landscape, people, culture - it's all here in stunning detail. I want to go there now just to see all these things for myself.

The Concept
Amanda Sun took a page from real Japanese culture and added a really cool paranormal aspect to it. It's taking a little realism and injecting it with the fantastical. This is a story about kids who are affected by a unique power that causes ink to come to life. For some, drawings simply move on the paper. For others, they actually leap off the page. And, it's all tied to ancient Japanese spirits. I really love this concept!

The Art
When you reach a certain age, you stop reading books with pictures. Amanda Sun makes an exception - with good reason - with Ink. The drawings in question throughout the story are featured on the pages of the book, and it is a really awesome addition. I love visual aids.

The love story, although a bit typical and prey to the dreaded insta-love phenomenon, was sweet. It could've been a little further developed. Despite that, I did really like the character of Tomo. He was mysterious, a little scary at times and nice when he wanted to be. Katie, was a little too "damsel in distress" for my tastes. When she gets into trouble, she has a tendency to just scream a lot and flail about. My favorite moment of hers comes right at the end when she finally stops being all wishy washy and makes a difficult decision because it's best for her, not necessarily because it's safe. Finally.

I'm excited to see where Amanda Sun takes this story in the second book. There is plenty of drama and danger left to be had for Katie and Tomo. 


Danny said...

Yeah, I 'm so happy you liked this one too Krista!!!!! I absolutely adored the mythology here, the pager gods were something I didn't see before!

Unknown said...

I'm glad you liked this one also! I ended up giving it 3.5 stars, just for a few minor things I didn't care for. But I enjoyed reading this one! Great review Krista!

Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros