E-galley Book 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.
The first few chapters, well okay, about one third of the book all I could think about was "Kami-sama, this girl is obsessed!" I knew she was intrigued with the boy with all the bad-boy, brooding, hidden sweetness/closet saint mysteriousness about him but she was borderline stalking him. She WAS stalking him! Was this a knee-jerk reaction to being out of one's element? All of the signs said he was trouble and she ran to him anyway - in spectacular style I might add.
You ran desperately, scaled a wall, hang on to a tree and challenged the guy. The guy just smirked at you and point out that he could see your panties.
I laughed out loud at that because THAT was a typical anime scene. Of course the typical anime couple from here henceforth enjoys a competitive and love-hate relationship like what happened between Hikari and Kei of the anime S·A(スペシャル·エー) or betwen Alice and Natsume in Gakuen Alice.
Ink tried to capture that feeling with Tomohiro and Katie's relationship but it fell short. Tomohiro's character was well-thought out and developed steadily but his development was dragged down by Katie's character which tried to be complex but just ended up annoying.
Main character aside, I loved the story and I loved the concept. I've been missing Japan since I came home last December and I've been reading any book regarding the country every chance I get. And so here we are.
The book looks at a new perspective of the Shinto mythology and here the kami's descendants are able to manipulate ink through drawing and calligraphy. It builds upon the premise that the word kami means God or more closely, spirits that dwell all around us and also paper as well; but let me point out that the words employ different kanji - 神 (god/spirit) , 紙 (paper). And so does hair - 髪 (kami). Both kanji may have evolved quite differently. I cannot quite connect those two but I am just going to roll with it.
And for the most part, I loved it. Sun created something that I hadn't come upon before and for the first book, I'm giving it: