Review: Ink by Amanda Sun
Ink (The Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Published: June 25th, 2013
I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.
Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.
A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.
And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.
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, drawingscome 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.
Reading INK was like watching someone test the water with their toes. The potential for a great story was within the author’s grasp, but I didn’t feel like she was willing to part from the comforts of YA cliches. The setting and culture of Japan was kept at arms length from the reader, since the narrator was neither a native nor wanted to become one. There’s a huge difference between watching a foreign movie with subtitles and a foreign movie “Americanized” (try watching both versions of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO). This book was the latter.
The book seems well researched enough. I enjoyed the descriptions of the area and the authenticity of the food. The scenes involving the ink were vividly described and were the few times I connected to the characters. I felt the magic and with the gray-tone images within the book I almost could see them come to life on my screen. I also enjoyed learning about the Kami, which are part of Japanese mythology (at least in this book).
Katie’s best friends, Yuki and Tanaka, lack depth and seems like they only exist for plot purposes. Neither one has any personal progression throughout the novel. I’m not quite sure why Myu disappears completely from the novel after the breakup. I would think that she would get involve in Katie’s life (negatively or positively) once it becomes apparent that her ex has a new girl on his mind. The love triangle, sigh, do I need to even go there?
It becomes apparent as the story progressed that it was moving in a very linear and predictable path. I wasn’t surprised at any of the twists, but I was pissed off at Katie for how she treated Jun during his big reveal. I was disappointed by Katie’s decision at the end and moreso by the fact that INK is not a standalone novel. Not every story needs to be drawn out into a trilogy. I think that even with the ambiguous ending that I would have been satisfied with letting my imagination fill in the future for Katie. (C+)
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.)
Amanda Sun was born in Deep River, a small town where she could escape into the surrounding forest to read. An archaeologist by training, her intense fear of spiders keeps her indoors where she writes novels instead. She will write your name in Egyptian Hieroglyphic if you ask, though. The Paper Gods is inspired by her time living in Osaka and travelling throughout Japan. She currently lives in Toronto, where she keeps busy knitting companion cubes, gaming and sewing costumes for anime conventions. Ink is her first novel