Review: Ink by Amanda Sun
Series: Paper Gods #1
Author: Amanda Sun
Published: June 25th 2013
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Source: NetGalley eARC provided for honest review
Oh my god. He's…he's a sketch."
THE GOOD:The story:
After Katie looses her mother she has to move to Japan to live with her Aunty. At first she feels lost and confused by the foreign language & cultural difference, but slowly as she learns the language and embraces the local food & customs she starts to make a new home for herself in Japan.
Tomorohiro was a little hard to like at first with his arrogant attitude and coldness towards Katie. However in the scenes with just the two of them we see the real Tomo, quieter and thoughtful. At times we get to see the young teenager that he his - he blushes when when Katie first calls him by his first name (using first names is considered very personal in Japan, where they usually address each other with last names.)
The romance is not the focal point of this story - it's more about the Kami & the ink, however they do develop feelings for each other and get closer throughout the story. Their interactions were actually very realistic for their age. They both get shy & embarrassed when alone, not sure how each other feel - it was actually quite cute! Little romantic interactions were effectively sprinkled throughout the story, so the main action was never interrupted.
Sun made very clever use of Japanese language throughout the story - it enhanced the Japanese atmosphere and I felt like I was really in Japan. While she does include a glossary at the back of the book for all the words she's used, I personally didn't find it necessary to look them up. In the context of what's being said it was usually clear what the meanings were:
"I'm not okay." I whispered.
Yes that's right, this book has some illustrations & they just enhanced the story all the more. Ink drawings that Tomohiro sketches are scattered throughout the book and I swear I saw some of them move…seriously…I thought I was going crazy :)
THE BAD:There was one scene where Tomohiro does something quite horrible to Katie, and while at the time I was fully aware that he was doing it to push her away to ultimately protect her from his Kami powers, it still didn't sit well with me. I think there were perhaps other things, even nasty things he could have said or done to push her away - but this just seemed wrong. And it was interesting that the author wrote at the end of the book that this was a hard scene for her to write, because she knew it was out of character & very wrong of him to do. Yeah I know I'm being picky, sorry :)
FINAL WORD:After studying Japanese for 5 years at school (although sadly I remember very little of it now), I've always had an interest in Japan & would desperately love to got there one day. This book brought me very close - I could see the Sakura (cherry blossoms), smell the curry and feel the power of the Kami & ink! This was a fun and very creative story that fans of fantasy romances are sure to love!
CONTENT:Sexuality: mild-medium / some kissing, minor casual mentions of sex, ***spoiler***>>Tomohiro pressures Katie to sleep with him - an action intended to push Katie away to protect her***end spoiler***
Violence: medium / Yakuza (violent Japanese gang) threaten violence, guns, kendo fighting
Language: medium / several f*ck and sh*t
Drugs & alcohol: none