I'm on a roll with reviews!
Author: Amanda Sun
Release date: 24th of June 2014
Series: The Paper Gods #2
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 320 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
When she first moved to Japan, American Katie Green had no idea she would get caught in a battle between the Japanese mafia and the supernatural forces that have governed Japan for most of its history. Despite the danger, Katie is determined to stay put. She's started to build a life in the city of Shizuoka, and she can't imagine leaving behind her friends, her aunt and especially Tomohiro, the guy she's fallen in love with.
But the decision to stay is not as simple as she thought. She's flunking out of Japanese school and committing cultural faux pas wherever she goes. Tomohiro is also struggling—as a Kami, his connection to the ancient gods of Japan and his power to bring drawings to life have begun to spiral out of control.
When Tomo decides to stop drawing, the ink finds other ways to seep into his life—blackouts, threatening messages and the appearance of unexplained sketches. Unsure how to help Tomo, Katie turns to an unexpected source for help—Jun, her former friend and a Kami with an agenda of his own. But is Jun really the ally he claims to be? In order to save themselves, Katie and Tomohiro must unravel the truth about Tomo's dark ancestry, as well as Katie's, and confront one of the darkest gods in Japanese legend.
The first book in this series wasn’t really as excellent or satisfactory as I was hoping and I expected quite a lot due to me really enjoying Japanese themed books and wanting something exceptional to come with that setting which has a million possibilities that haven’t yet been delved into.
My main con was simple – nothing really happened till the end, where the story picked up pace all of a sudden and there was action and revelations galore. It was basically Katie running between talking to Jun to talking to Tomo and then some bits with the annoying pest Shiori and then some with her friends and repeat. The story kept going in circles and there was no substantial progress. It wasn’t entirely tedious to follow, however, because there doesn’t always have to be a lot of action, sometimes the complicated relationships compensate for the lack of development. Still, the backstory and mythology that this story has set up is fascinating and intriguing and I would have loved to see it explored to the degree it deserves. Despite this, as soon as the ending was near, I have to admit that it got quite action-packed and I was on the edge of my seat. The revelations were with cool twists, which predict promising developments for the last book (hopefully). Overall, I really really loved the tone and place this book ended with.
Another aspect I didn’t like shouldn’t be a surprise anymore:
Why was there a need for a love triangle? Ok, I have to admit that till about 75% of the book I was fine with that, it wasn’t that bothersome, but then suddenly Katie let’s something happen that upped the triangle to the level of “aggravating.” In a way it can also be called a two-way triangle, because there was also Shiori, who wasn’t entirely happy (which is an understatement) with Tomo and Katie and acted jealous, crazy and put her nose where it didn’t belong.
Despite my whining, I actually really enjoyed the book, even though, there were a multitude of aspects I wasn’t entirely fond of. The intensity and the-expect-the-unexpected atmosphere regarding the ink was exciting and you never knew when it would manifest and cause trouble again or what it all meant anyway, was it a blessing to be tamed or a curse. The mythology aspect was very well done.
The background of everything Japanese was again top notch, bits and pieces of this different society didn’t over flood the plot, it was subtle and explained in detail only the parts that were necessary for character development or plot. School life was portrayed realistically as well, for example, the fact that Katie was urged to study kanji more diligently or face expulsion and an international school. And the fact that she actually did work hard to be better.
Katie was confused and just running around without any results in this, which was a pity because I did like her in this book since she didn’t run away from issues and was actively trying to solve them or at least gather information. Her too close involvement with Jun did get on my nerves in the end, but the initial reasoning for the contact was logical and fine.
The boys: I liked Tomo, I really did, and I somewhat liked Jun till one point, then I didn’t like him that much, but I, at least, understand him.
As was with the first book, I generally liked it, but there were many faults as well. Since the theme and overall plot is definitely to my liking then there is no way I won’t take up the final book, especially with how things ended – I predict this series will have a superb conclusion (hopefully)!