Author: Amanda Sun
Publication date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: e-ARC from publisher and author via Netgalley
American Katie Green has decided to stay in Japan. She’s started to build a life in the city of Shizuoka, and she can’t imagine leaving behind her friends, her aunt and especially Tomohiro, the guy she’s fallen in love with. But her return is not as simple as she thought. She’s flunking out of Japanese school and committing cultural faux pas wherever she goes. Tomohiro is also struggling—as a Kami, his connection to the ancient gods of Japan and his power to bring drawings to life have begun to spiral out of control.
When Tomo decides to stop drawing, the ink finds other ways to seep into his life—blackouts, threatening messages and the appearance of unexplained sketches. Unsure how to help Tomo, Katie turns to an unexpected source for help—Jun, her former friend and a Kami with an agenda of his own. But is Jun really the ally he claims to be? In order to save themselves, Katie and Tomohiro must unravel the truth about Tomo’s dark ancestry, as well as Katie’s, and confront one of the darkest gods in Japanese legend.
*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads
With a riveting and utterly striking plot, Rain is everything I hoped for in a sequel. Amanda Sun’s writing is as vividly beautiful as it is in Ink. Her captivating words paint an authentic and breathing picture of Japan. Aside from the author’s writing, I love the rich and well-developed backstory that explained the connections of Katie, Tomo, and Jun to the ink. Also, the thorough illustration of the Kami history helped reveal the true identities of the characters. Clarity and understanding of the Paper Gods world ensued after the revelations that resulted to my greater appreciation of the series. Moreover, Rain exhibits brilliant character development as the pressure-filled situations in the story highlight each character’s capabilities and vulnerable points. Tomo, Katie, and Jun have come a long way as characters but I feel that there’s a lot more to discover about them in Book 3. Katie’s struggles of living in a foreign country are also given attention in Rain.
The romance in Rain brings forth an exhilarating emotional rush that will set readers’ hearts drumming in a buzzing rhythm. As Katie and Tomo’s connection escalate from puppy love to a mature romantic relationship, both characters learn more about each other on a deeper level. Readers would really feel the love between Katie and Tomo as expressed in their tender moments. Their unquestionable chemistry clearly defines how significant they are to each other. What’s more, the strength of Katie and Tomo’s relationship gets tested when problems arise in the form of Jun and Shiori. Jun’s intriguing strategy to win Katie’s attention (and heart) is unbelievably insane, for me, at least. Jun’s motives show his immense desire for power. On the other hand, Tomo’s pregnant friend Shiori puts her jealousy toward Katie on display. Her character totally surprised me! It turns out Shiori’s not the girl that she was in Ink. But honestly, I think it’s a genius twist to increase the tension in the story.
Emblazoned with an electrifying and magnificent cinematic vibe, Rain is a sequel that’s definitely worth the wait! Amazing from beginning to end! 🙂