Rating – 4 stars
Growing up watching toons was a past-time I loved like any other kid, and Disney was a favorite channel to tune into. It was with the arrival of Animax that I discovered Japanese animes and quite enjoyed them too. Reading Ink, I was reminded of an anime I quite loved as a kid, called Curious Play, which was originally called Fushigi Yûgi: The Mysterious Play though the stories aren’t similar they have similar themes to an extent.
Both have young teenage girls thrust into worlds beyond their comprehension, they feel alone, scared and both soon fall in love with a mysterious boy and have another suitor that forms a love triangle. Also somehow these girls are at the core of a mystery that is related to ancient powers.
While Miyaka of Curious play was chosen to be a priestess, Katie’ role in the world of Paper gods is yet to be revealed.
Katie Greene, an American blonde girl finds herself orphaned when her mom passes away due to a heart attack. And while she figured with her situation she may be able to stay with her grandparents in Canada, she is taken by surprise when she learns her late mom appointed her sister Diane as Katie’ legal guardian in case of such an event. And so Katie finds herself, on a flight bound for Japan a few weeks after her mom’ death.
In Ink, she is still tackling her move to Japan as she tries to learn the language, understand the culture and make friends. Slowly and steadily as she settles in, Katie is coming to grip with her mom’ death all the while as she tries to figure out the strange boy Tomohiro. Sparks fly and soon Katie finds herself attracted to Tomohiro and the feelings are mutual.
However Tomohiro tries his best to keep away from Katie, but it is to no avail. Soon Katie learns Tomohiro is more than he appears to be. He is a Kami, a god. And somehow her being near him acts as a catalyst that triggers his latent powers to act even more aggressively than ever.
What I liked about this book was the way Sun has written about Japan and its culture, a subject which fascinates me. The characters are well written and though Katie is quite a cry-baby I wasn’t annoyed by the fact as the behavior seemed reasonable most of the times Katie was on the verge of tears. Tomohiro honestly reminded me of Tamahome, the hero of the aforementioned anime – he was sweet, snarky and a guy with so much on his plate I felt sorry for him.
Sun has implied time and again, Katie’ tie to the Kami by frequently mentioning her as an ink magnet, a catalyst but cleverly managed to keep the mystery alive about Katie’ origins and what ties her to the Kami and the terrible powers of the ink.
Rain – Ink sequel seems eons away already and I am dying to know more about Tomo, Katie and the Kami. Not to mention the cover reveal. I hope if not more it as gorgeous as the one above.
Recommended to fans of paranormal YA fiction who don’t mind pushing the envelope and stepping out of their comfort zone.