Ink by Amanda Sun
ARC: Provided for Review by ATW ARC Tours
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.”
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.
Ink is a beautifully penned, lush story that comes to life in such a vividly gorgeous way. It is an amazing story that will whisk anyone away on an intriguing tale of adventure, drama, and terrifying discoveries. Amanda Sun does an extraordinary job of cultivating and creating her own spin on Japanese mythos and the Paper Gods. Right from the start, Ink, is an incredibly gripping and compelling novel that will keep reader's invested until they've finished the last page.
The characters are wonderfully nuanced and brilliantly developed, strong, and interesting. Katie is a beautifully flawed, yet strong female herione that reader's will find easily relatable. Her constant ability of getting lost somewhere between her head and her heart, is probably one of the most beautiful of her flaws. She comes across this incredibly real character that is easy to sympathize with, as she has to learn to adapt to a new culture, learn their language and way of life, as well as work through the grief of losing her mother on top of moving a country away to live with her aunt in Japan.
Tomohiro, on the other hand, is full of mystery, wonder, and intrigue. As broody and cute as he can be sometimes, he is dangerous to a fault. Not just to himself, but to other's as well. Drawn to Katie like a magnet, he's also terrified at what his secret may do to harm her as well. This is part of the reason he is as moody as he is, sometimes. It's hard not to feel for him, because of the painful dark secret that he lives with on a daily basis. Being Kami and knowing that soon his powers could potentially take him over and any humanity he has left in him at all, has to be incredibly terrifying. It's easy to see why he often comes across as a cold hearted jerk who doesn't care about anyone around him or why he tries hard to keep Katie at arm's length, while still being inextricably drawn to her.
Sun's brilliant incorporation of traditional Japanese myth is flawlessly beautiful in many stunningly vivid ways. Her attention to detail will definitely not go unnoticed, when reading this gorgeous novel, so full of life, love, and other terrifying secrets turned to reality. She has this way of transporting you to another world across the country ocean's away, through her gorgeous imagery alone. Getting lost in the world that she creates is such a wonderful experience that anyone would enjoy, while reading this novel.
Ink is an originally unique novel, with an impeccable conceptualized plot that is sure to stun and wow anyone who picks this novel up. I would recommend it strong to anyone who enjoys fantasy. While it is considered a fantasy novel, I can still see those who don't usually read fantasy easily enjoying this book and getting lost in the beautiful story it has to tell with it's rich detail, attention to plot, and strong characters. It's definitely a must read debut for the year 2013.