Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Emotions & Feelings, Fantasy, Love & Romance, Mythology, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: Paper Gods #2
Published by Harlequin Teen on June 24th 2014
Source: Provided by Publisher
Amazon, Barnes & Noble , The Book Depository
American Katie Green has decided to stay in Japan. 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 her return 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.
As in with INK by Amanda Sun, I deeply enjoyed the setting descriptions she provided of various Japanese places that left me in awe and wanting to know even more of Japan. There is a rich history provided of each place like the shrines, as well as other cultural aspects of Japan like the bento lunch boxes, yukatas and kimonos, festivals, and how people behave there. All the while I would think “Wow, poor Amanda if she went through this while being an exchange student herself!” But it was great that she wrote about it here because it gave us a more realistic feel to Katie in the book. I guess Mangas and Animes don’t give us much on that sometimes.
In Rain, the author focuses more on the problem Tomo and Katie are facing with the Yakusa and Kami, in addition to Tomo’s self-control of the ink that wants to destroy Katie and maybe all of Japan too. There is some romance in the story but it wasn’t the main thing. They are, after all, facing an impending doom. Of course they don’t have time for that. Although, there were a few things here and there that were sweet between the two. Though, please Tomohiro, when the brooding male tells the female to keep away from him for both their own good, it usually never works. That was irksome while reading but I was glad when they both gave up and just decided to defy everything by being together. Katie and Tomo forever <3.
Katie was considerably less annoying in this book and I could appreciate her weird tendencies more. She’s fiercely loyal to Tomo, her friends and aunt. Brave, smart, reckless, and sacrificing, she’d do anything for the ones she loves. It was great to see her interact more with them more as they helped her emotionally and academically rather than just being there when needed like it happened in Ink. However, she couldn’t drop her bad stalker tendencies as she would go wait for Jun by the train station and even go to his school several times. You had his phone number dummy, you could’ve called him.
Jun really bothered me here. I was kind of suspicious of the dude after the revelation of him being a Kami by the end of Ink. Here though I was really compelled to like him, even like the attempt at a love triangle that I often HATE. I couldn’t help but smile and even encourage him in pursuing Katie, not because it was romantic but more because it was amusing and I really wanted to see how this affected Katie’s and Tomo’s relationship. Seems like Jun was a complete ass by the end, again. I’m not spoiling, but man I loved his character. He’s conflicted, calculating, secretive, and deceiving. He may look like a cute guy, but he isn’t. I loved how we see his true self and it was epic.
Rain has also more action scenes when it came to the ink, specially with Tomo. I could see how slowly but surely he lost control and so did my hope that things would turn out for the good, that Katie would find the answers they needed to save him. While there were some parts of the book that were slow or buildups for the big thing, it was highly compensated with those last few chapters where hell breaks loose, literally.
This story was incredibly creative and left me wanting even more of this great world Amanda Sun has created. I love the drawing descriptions, the cultural references, the history, the characters, the plot, the kami! It’s so refreshing to see a book tackle a mythology that isn’t so known as Greek and Roman for a change. We’re still left hanging with more questions as to what will happen now, how it happened… And Tomo and Katie, what’s going to happen there? I need more evil kami, drawings, romance, and Japan.
Rain was a definite improvement from Ink, and I can’t wait for more. Highly recommend you to pick up a copy and get into the dangerous world of the ink.
Rating: 4.5 stars
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