Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun
Paperback, 468 pages
Published 5th July 2013 by Mira Ink
Shelves: arc-or-review, books-i-own, cover-appeal, cultural, magical-realism, read-in-2013, series-or-companions, supernatural, to-read, young-adult
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
A DESTINY THAT CAN’T BE DENIED
Katie Greene is lost in the wake of her mum's death. Sent to Japan, she meets gorgeous but aloof artist Tomohiro, whose tough attitude intrigues and scares her. Then things get really strange. When they're near each other, Tomohiro's drawings start to come to life…
Soon the wrong people begin to ask questions, and Katie and Tomohiro must risk everything to protect the truth.
As soon as I saw Ink, I wanted to pick it up, you can't deny that it has a beautiful cover. When I read the description of the book, I knew it was definitely something that I had to read, I absolutely loved the premise and with lovely artwork spread throughout, reading Ink was a real treat.
This is a book that's set in Japan and as I am quite interested in some aspects of Japanese culture, I thought that this would be a fantastic new reading experience which would possibly also teach me a few things along the way! I have to say that when I first started the book, the actual usage of Japanese language did seem daunting and I was flicking back and forth to the glossary - however, after a couple of times I decided against using the glossary which, for me, was a much better decision. I really felt as though I was with our main character, Katie, as she learnt about the country and grasped the basics of the language. Sun has done a great job of really allowing the reader to connect to the book through the protagonist. As Katie was introduced to new things, so were we, and as she became both nervous and excited, so did I.
The characters that we were introduced to in this book were all clear individuals. I really enjoyed meeting everyone and seeing all of the different aspects to their personalities and learning about their different hobbies. There is quite a mysterious background behind some of the characters, those who are part of the Kami (Paper Gods - those who are able to bring ink drawings to life) and the introduction to this group of people is really intriguing. This book really is only an introduction to these people though and it's definitely left me wanting to know more about the Kami and the history of them.
Something that came through very strongly in this book was the sheer vividness of the descriptions. The setting, in particular, was so fantastically described - I yearned to be there with the characters, walking through blossom filled streets and soaking up the true atmosphere and culture of this Japanese town. Reading about the ink creations coming to life was also a magical experience - a real sense of power emitted through the pages and I think that these scenes would definitely appeal to those who enjoy action in their books.
Overall, this was a book that I really enjoyed. This is something different from your usual offerings on the young adult market and it is something special. If you're looking for a change and to even learn something about a new culture, this is definitely something to try. I am certainly looking forward to the next books in this series and learning more about the Paper Gods.