Friday, 23 August 2013

Mad Musing On: SHADOW, and INK by Amanda Sun

SHADOW (Paper Gods 0.5) BLURB:
 Meet two teens whose worlds are about to change forever in this paranormal Young Adult novella, a prequel to Ink by debut author Amanda Sun…

Katie Greene’s worst nightmare comes true when her mother dies, and she’s devastated to learn that she will have to leave the only home she’s ever known. Desperate to find where she belongs, she must decide if she has what it takes to start a new life across the ocean. 

For Yuu Tomohiro, every day is a nightmare. He struggles to control his strange ability, and keeps everyone at a distance so they won’t get hurt—even his girlfriend, Myu. At night, a shadow haunts his dreams, and a mysterious woman torments him with omens of death and destruction. But these haunting premonitions are only the beginning…

INK (Shadow Gods 1) BLURB:
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.

MAD MUSINGS:  Can I just take a moment to admire those gorgeous covers?
The novella, SHADOW, was released a few weeks before INK was, but it should really be read as a part of the main story, I think, because things about the main character, Yuu Tomohiro, make a lot more sense that way.  And it also has Katie's back-story in it, which doesn't really go into much detail in the main story.

I thought this was a fresh take on the typical YA story, by Canadian author Amanda Sun.  For one thing, it takes place in modern day Japan, and for another, it doesn't use the typical werewolf/vampire/insert favourite monster-of-the-moment here.  There are other paranormal beings at work in this story.  I was quite taken with the way that Katie was a fish out of water - she moved to a whole new country after losing her mother, and we learn about Japan through her eyes.  I can definitely relate to the things she was feeling in the days after she lost her mother because I felt a lot of those same things after losing my father suddenly at the age of 14.  It made me feel really close to Katie, and therefore to Tomohiro, by default.

I enjoy a good story that makes me want to look up things and places on the internet, and this story definitely peaked my curiosity.  So I thought I'd share some of the beautiful places and other things that I looked up while reading INK.

First of all Shizuoka City, Japan - the setting of the story:

Sunpu Park and Castle, Shizouka, Japan:

Cherry Blossoms During the Cherry Blossom Festival or Hanami:

Toro Iseki - an archaeological ruin in the midst of Shizouka:

The famous Otorii Itsukushima Shrine in Myajima : 

The martial art of kendo:

The goddess Amaterasu and the Kami:

And a famous artist in Japan, Tairo No Yoshitoshi

Did I mention that if you get this book off of i-tunes, you get moving pictures???  Very appropriate for a story about pictures that come to life, right?

What more is there to say, except I give this book 5 stars, and very much look forward to the next book?


Thank you to Harlequin Books and NetGalley for the Arc of this book in exchange of an honest review. 


  1. I love this book and the novella as well. Every single thing about it :-)

  2. Dang it Tammy! Now I really want to go to Japan! Great review. I really want to read this one and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    1. I'd love to go to Japan too :) I've got quite a travel bucket list..... maybe one day.