Monday, May 13, 2013
ARC Review: Ink by Amanda Sun
I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.
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.
With such a unique premise and awesome setting, I knew Ink was a debut I'd definitely have to check out. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed. Aside from the mythology and the setting, Ink is much like any other paranormal book.
My main problem is with the main character. For the first half or so, I could not stand Katie. She makes some terrible decisions. She abandons her friends constantly to spend time with her crush, Tomohiro. Not only that, but she continually stalks him even though he's not interested in her. She actually follows him around a bunch in the first third of the book, trying to find out more about him. In my opinion, that's just plain creepy - not romantic.
Speaking of which, the romance is a little unhealthy. A third into the book, Katie states, "It still frightened me, what Tomohiro might be capable of." She's scared of him, yet she will not stop hanging out with him. Just a little bit later, she thinks, "Attacking a friend with a blade? That wasn't my Tomohiro." Now, of course Tomohiro is not truly as dangerous as he seems at first. He does end up turning into an interesting, complex character. But, I was troubled by the fact that Katie still tries to pursue a romance with him when she's afraid of what he could do.
Still, Ink is not a completely bad read. I really loved the mythology and the way magic is portrayed in this book. This is definitely the most original aspect of the book. The mythology is unlike anything I've ever read about. Very cool stuff. And the fact that it's set in Japan is really interesting, too. The author does a great job mixing in Japanese customs and words.
Although I loved the mythology and magic parts, it wasn't quite enough to make up for the bad romance and irritating main character. Still, I think the story improves a lot more in the last half, so I'm rounding the 2.5 rating up to 3 stars. If you can get past the romance and main character and enjoy the uniqueness of the plot, then I'd recommend Ink. Sadly, for me it was a lot like most paranormal books.
* Thanks to Netgalley for offering me a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
My rating: 5 out of 10 (2.5 stars)
~ The Bookworm