Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Ink

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: Going into this I was really excited.  If I could have one superpower it would be that whatever I draw would come to life.  But, hey, that's my inner artist coming out, and for Tomo it isn't nearly as fun as it sounds.  

I really enjoyed this story.  Japan is definitely one of those places that I'd love to visit and I love the culture in general.  Katie has just moved there, after the death of her mother and is thrown into a world she can barely even begin to understand.  It's a new country, new culture, new language, and a new family.  She's having a hard time adjusting and the language barrier isn't exactly helpful in aiding her in making new friends.  She's already an outsider, but when she meets Tomohiro her life gets even more complicated. 

Tomo is a cold hearted jerk who looks down on Katie and has a bad reputation to match his attitude.  At first, Katie's determined to give it right back, but as she gradually gets to know him, she realizes that there is a lot more hiding beneath his cold hearted exterior.  Tomohiro is hiding something, and Katie is determined to find out what it is.  

I greatly enjoyed this story.  Japan, hot boy, and art.  Yep, pretty much sold me. What's not to like? While I loved the concept of this story, there were just a few minor things that bothered me.  Katie's attraction to Tomohiro was just kind of off.  Like it changed from hatred, to curiosity, to open interest.  It wasn't like love at first sight, but even when Tomo was still being a jerk she was undeniably attracted to him and her decisions reflected that.  I just take issue with girls falling head over heals for an asshole.  Granted, he acted like that to keep people at a safe distance.  STILL. No me gusta.  And throughout the story I feel like their relationship was just so up and down I got whiplash on occasion.  Overall though, I enjoyed them as a couple.  I just hope their relationship evolves a bit more in the next book.  Mutual trust.  All that jazz.  

I really loved the incorporation of traditional Japanese myths/gods.  I have a thing for pre-christian religions and I just think they're so interesting and the mythology behind them is so cool.  I can't wait to find out more about the Kami and why Tomohiro's powers go on the fritz around Katie.  And speaking of Tomohiro's powers, wow.  It sounds so cool to have what you draw come to life, but for Tomo almost everything he draws tries to kill him or the people he's with.  He can't control his drawings, they have a life of their own and it often leads them to destruction.  He's determined to protect Katie from his drawings and himself, because he knows that when she's around his control slips.  His Kami powers are dangerously close to taking over him, and what's left of his humanity will slowly slip away.  

Of course there are outside forces at work as well.  The Yakuza has taken an unhealthy interest in Tomo and his powers, and there are other Kami out there as well that are looking to use Tomohiro.  And Katie of course is wrapped up all in the middle of it.  Overall I greatly enjoyed this book.  It was a very unique concept and I enjoyed both Katie and Tomo.  Can't wait for the next one.