Author: Amanda Sun
Published: July 5, 2013
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Source: e-ARC from the publisher
A MAGIC MIGHTIER THAN ANY SWORD
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
*Image and synopsis from Goodreads
For a long time, I’ve been wishing to read a paranormal/fantasy YA novel set in Asia and has a unique and compelling plot. I browsed every shelf at bookstores looking for something that suits my interest, but did not find any. I wanted a story that will blow my mind with its awesomeness and will make me beg for more after reading the last page. I discovered Ink from a book blog late last year and I considered that moment an answered prayer. I was instantly dazzled by the gorgeous cover and the equally undeniable synopsis. Set in Japan? Drawings come to life? Oh my gosh, I WANT this book! I put Ink in my 2013 TBR list right away.
Amanda Sun did a great job in telling the story. Her thorough and comprehensible descriptions combined with the well-paced story sequence made this debut novel a vibrant read. Ink immediately whisked me away from reality and shoved me into a glittering fictional world that radiates color, magic and mystery. I’ve never been to Japan but when I read Ink, I felt like I went on a field trip to that country. Amanda Sun captured the soul and magnificence of Japan’s reality and outstandingly integrated it into fiction. Her first hand experience of living in Japan is a huge factor in presenting its rich culture. Authenticity bleeds on every page and that’s one of the reasons why I find this book so good. I’ve always had a thing for effortless and organic writing and Ink embodied those qualities.
I found the Japanese words planted within the story—places, food, expressions—really interesting and informative. I was not only reading for enjoyment but also learning at the same time. Ink made me appreciate the Japanese culture and language. In fact, I remembered my Japanese foster sister, Yuri, who stayed with my family for a few days last December 2012. She and her classmates had an educational tour in the Philippines. Yuri taught us a few Japanese words and one of those was Ohayo.
The paranormal aspect of Ink is fantastic. It certainly gave the story a heartbeat that resonates in its entirety. The Kami enraptured me with their power and mystique. I was just a few chapters into Ink when I felt the mythology’s mystery embracing me with its allure. Because of that, it became impossible for me to stop reading so I let myself fall into its trap. I devoured Ink in three days and it was a phenomenal experience.
Katie and Tomohiro are both wonderful characters. Katie is a brave, independent and motivated girl. She doesn’t give up easily and would really fight for what she wants. On the other hand, Tomohiro is a tough guy. Yet beneath his tough exterior is a caring and loving person. He’s a gifted artist and a good cook! Isn’t that awesome? Katie is lucky to have a boyfriend like him. If Katie wouldn’t mind, I’d like to borrow Tomohiro for a day and ask him to cook for me. Haha! Readers will undoubtedly swoon over their relationship. At first, Tomohiro was a jerk towards Katie and of course, the girl hated it. Tomohiro was an enigma, a puzzle that Katie wanted to solve. So she followed him everywhere he went until she got answers to questions swimming inside her head. As Katie and Tomohiro learned more about one another and uncovered their secrets, they fell in love. Their falling in love was kind of fast but it was so sweet and adorable.
The last five sentences of Ink gave me chills and left me hanging. I could not stop thinking about the story even after I finished reading it. I’m so eager to find out what happens next but of course, I have to wait until next year for that.
Ink is a spectacular, one-of-a-kind debut novel that displays beauty and truth in the heart of a mystical world. Truly, a beautiful masterpiece.