Friday, 26 July 2013

Ink (Paper Gods, #1) by Amanda Sun (2013)

Description 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.


From the first page, I felt like I was in Japan myself. I have read from somewhere that the author herself, has liven in Japan when she was younger - and this really shows. All the cultural things from language, traditions, mannerism, history to buildings are described precisely and subtly integrated in the story. As Katie struggles with the completely new culture, so do the readers. However, when she becomes more familiar with the language and interactions, also the reader feels more comfortable while reading. I was really absorbed in the world of Ink, and I have to say that the novel has one of the most original and interesting plots I've read.

Katie is a character of whom I have very mixed feelings. On the other hand, I admire her courage to put herself out there when she is in a strange country, virtually with no basis with language and customs. Nevertheless, she manages to become part of the society (but of course first encountering some obstacles) and live her life to the fullest. That being said, Katie also had this really annoying side to her - she was very co-dependent. She needed to be constantly near Tomohiro and at times was even possessive of him. A huge no-no for me. 

The strength of the novel definitely has to be the setting and the idea - an ink god in Japan. Ink stands out from the majority with its unique idea, and I was really impressed by the fact that someone had decided to write something more original. Most of the YA authors seem to rotate the same ideas, but Sun had created something completely new. The story in whole was very coherent and I was never bored while reading it. 

If you are interested in Japanese culture, but also like a twist of paranormal in your books, Ink is probably a really good choice to read. The book kept me captivated the whole time, even though Katie's personality without fail lowered my overall score for Ink. I think the book would have worked as a stand-alone, but apparently Ink is a part of trilogy/series. I think this is kind of a shame, because there seem to be less and less decent stand-alone YA books. Nevertheless, I'm really interested how the story will develop and I will most definitely read the second book, Rain. Actual rating 3.5.
“They tell you you'll forget how it used to be. You'll get used to it, that it's better to move on. They don't realize you can't. You're not the same person anymore.”


  1. I was curious to hear what people thought of this book. I thought the cover looked interesting but wasn't sure about the story.

    1. I think the story in itself was amazing, but the fact that events take place in Japan has a direct consequence on how the characters behave. The behaviour definitely isn't the same as it would be for example in the States. I think some people will love this, others maybe not so much. I found it refreshing. :)

      Thanks for stopping by!


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