Tuesday, July 9, 2013

REVIEW: INK (Paper Gods, #1) by Amanda Sun

Title: Ink
Series: Paper Gods, #1
Author: Amanda Sun
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley
My smiley rating: 4/5


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.


Lately one of my biggest complaints have been about the paranormal genre becoming a little bland, monotonous and…well, boring. No-one is writing anything new that isn’t similar in some way to what someone else has written before. Because I loved the cover and synopsis for this book, I was hoping with all my heart that this book would be unlike its peers in the paranormal genre. From the blurb it sounded like something unique and exciting, and it certainly was!

If you’re into Japanese myths and folklore, anime and/or manga, you’ll have a field day reading Ink. The author did her research of Japanese mythology admirably, and also integrates her own experiences of living in Japan, as well as a few Japanese words and phrases, into the story to make the setting more realistic for the reader. The story takes place in Japan and while I’ve never set foot in Japan and know zilch about their culture, beliefs and customs, it felt as though I was there. The concept of drawings coming to life had my imagination on fire and I completely lost myself in this breathtaking novel with its vivid descriptions and illustrations that practically jumps off the page right in front of your eyes. The characters are well-rounded, smart and highly likeable (eventually), but pretty standard for a YA paranormal romance. What really sets this book apart from most others are the illustrations and drawings in every chapter, as well as the exceptional world-building which includes multicultural elements and the fascinating traditions of the Japanese people. Those were without a doubt the highlights for me.

There’s nothing more I can say about this incomparable novel (without including spoilers, of course) which haven’t already been said by hundreds of reviewers. Despite it taking place in a country with a language that is foreign to me, the author made me feel right at home in Katie’s new world by revealing this beautiful setting one detail at a time and without dumping tons of info at the start or in the first half of the book. The romance in Ink is delicate, yet seductive, and pulls you in all the way. So my recommendation is for anyone and everyone looking for something new and exciting in the paranormal romance genre, and those who root for the good girl falling in love with the ansty bad boy, to give this exhilarating read a chance. This is a page-turner that is near impossible to put down once you start reading it. I can’t wait to see what Amanda Sun will bring us next in the second instalment to this addictive new series!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

This review forms part of my three-month participation in the NetGalley Knockout Challenge for 2013.


Ink by Amanda Sun has 410 reviews. Read it here.



I’m a YA author and proud Nerdfighter. I was born in Deep River, Canada, a very small town without traffic lights or buses, and where stranger safety is comprised of what to do if you see a bear—or skunk. I started reading fantasy novels at 4 and writing as soon as I could hold a pencil. Hopefully my work’s improved since then.

​In university I took English, Linguistics, and Asian History, before settling into Archaeology, because I loved learning about the cultures and stories of ancient people. Of course, I didn’t actually become an archaeologist—I have an intense fear of spiders. I prefer unearthing fascinating stories in the safety of my living room.

​The Paper Gods is inspired by my time living in Osaka and travelling throughout Japan. That and watching far too many J-Dramas. I currently live in Toronto with my husband and daughter. When I’m not writing, I’m devouring YA books, knitting nerdy things like Companion Cubes and Triforce mitts, and making elaborate cosplays for anime cons.


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