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.
The first thing that drew me to Amanda Sun's debut, Ink, apart from the gorgeous cover, was that it's a story set in Japan and I'm a sucker for all things Japanese and I was not let down. After a family tragedy Katie is forced to move to Japan to live with her aunt. She barely knows the language and the culture, and she never even wanted to move to the country. When she sees Tomohiro, the star of the school's kendo team, with his drawings that start moving, Katie soon learns that Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan and being near Katie is causing his abilities to go haywire. If it's not the drawings coming to life that's going to endanger Katie's life it's going to be the Yakuza who is trying to prove that Tomo has some sort of power. Now Katie might not get out of Japan alive, especially if she continues sticking with Tomo, but can she really stay away from him?
The best thing about this story was the setting. It was good to see a story take a different culture and setting and describe it perfectly in the story. Sun shows a deep understanding of the Japanese culture, and it was good to see that the Japanese language was thrown in to emphasise some dialogue. It should be warned that there is quite a bit romaji thrown in, although there is a glossary (but I didn't find the glossary until after I had finished reading the story so I found the glossary pointless or else it would have been time consuming).
The mythology behind Ink was interesting and something different as I had never read another story with Kami and it was great to learn about another paranormal creature.
The only problem I had with this story all came from the characters. Although I liked Katie, a lot of her choices I found as idiotic like why she keeps following Tomo around when he threatens her, I can understand wanting to solve the mystery of his paintings, but there's also a fine line between detective and stalker and she actually crosses over to the stalker area and I have no idea why she can possibly like Tomo because his attitude for the majority of the story is that of an arse, even if he's just putting it on to get people to stay away from him. For me the characters were full of cliches and were not fully fleshed out.
Other than that, I actually enjoyed this story quite a bit. I could get past the characters and delve into the culture and the mythology and I will give the second one a go to see how the story plays out. I recommend this for anyone who loves paranormal romances or stories set in Japan.
Source: Netgalley2013 Debut Author Challenge: #7 of 12