Author: Amanda Sun
Review: The opening to Ink was great we meet Katie who is living in Japan with a friend of her family after the death of her mother. It is on a normal school day that she overhears a breakup between Yuu and Myu and she notices something strange, Yuu’s drawings move like they are alive. Now this was an unique concept I hadn’t seen before and I was really intrigued, I liked Katie as a character because she is very lively but also very self-conscious because she doesn’t speak the language very well and is still trying to integrate herself to Japanese society.
As we approach the 1/4 mark in the novel, I liked seeing the strange relationship developing between Yuu and Katie. I also like the attention to detail in this novel from the school routines of the Japanese children to Katie adjustment to Japanese culture and traditions. I also felt that I really got to know the characters and was extremely interested in seeing where their story lines were going to go. As we cross the 1/4 mark in the novel, I liked seeing Katie begin to understand Yuu and notice that they have so many things in common. I also like the addition I liked how the author uses the theme of moving images to draw Katie to Yuu and give them some common ground in order to build their relationship on, which I find can be overlooked in YA novels so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this plot device. I also liked the fact that Yuu slowly opens up to Katie but holds back because of his mysterious past. Katie and us the readers are just dying to find out what is really going on under Yuu’s cold exterior.
As we approach the half way mark in the novel, we learn what Yuu is and how he can make the drawings come to life, we also learn how Katie is being drawn into his mythological and fantastical world and while Katie is a little scared she is also very intrigued because she has feelings for Yuu although neither has acted on them yet. I also the fact the Sato and Jun are presented as slightly antagonistic and it does suit their personalities. I also liked the fact the author including the constant threat of yakuza towards young men in Japanese culture and it really enhanced and helped the storyline progress. As we cross into the second half of the novel, we see Katie and Yuu become more comfortable with each other and they really relax in each other’s presence. We also see Katie relax more into her new environment and she slowly begins to forget about going back home to live with her grandparents and even begins to see Diane as a bit of a mother figure in place of her own lost mother.
As we approach the 3/4 mark in the novel we see Yuu’s power get out of control just like it did with Koji although Katie is able to help him stop it before it became deadly for either of them. It is also here we begin to see the pair as a couple rather than as friends which was great. We also see Sato make his emergence after he witnesses the incident where Yuu was hurt, he even tries to convince Katie that Yuu is safer with the yakuza because there are worse people out there wanting to use him but neither Katie or us the reader are sure he is telling the truth or if he is being controlled by his fear. We see things coming between Yuu and Katie especially since Katie discovers that she is connected to the kami in someway. I was struggling a little at this point to figure out where the story was going because we didn’t really have an antagonist we have some characters that present some antagonistic tendencies but no real villain for the protagonists to overcome but they may appear before the end of the novel. As we cross into the final section of the novel, we see the truth about the Kami revealed and both Yuu and Katie are faced with a choice be together or die and for them the choice is obvious even if it means sacrificing their own lives for the other.
The final pages of this novel were absolutely astounding with everything literally coming to blows and Katie takes the easy way out but at the last moment she decides that she is going to live her life the way she wants despite what the consequences of these actions could be. Overall, I absolutely loved Ink, it was perfectly written and presented and I can’t wait to read the second book Rain. I highly recommend this novel to all fantasy lovers or for readers like me that love anything set in Japan, it highly deserved its rating.
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Kindle Edition: amazon.co.uk