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3.5 Stars: Ink by Amanda Sun ARC

Ink by Amanda Sun lured me in with its beautiful cover and interior illustrations. I was intrigued by the premise of ink drawings coming to life and couldn’t imagine a better setting that Japan. Ink had the right mix of Japanese concepts and explanations for those of us who aren’t as familiar with the culture. While I hope the next book in the series goes a bit deeper than Ink did, I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the second Paper Gods book.

Note: I received an ARC of Ink from a friend. Some things may have changed in the final version.

3.5 Stars: Ink by Amanda Sun ARC

Ink by Amanda Sun (Paper Gods #1)
Published by Harlequin Teen on June 25th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 326 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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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.

3.5 Stars


  • Japanese mythology is pretty awesome and throwing Kami into the paranormal genre was an exciting direction to go.
  • As I said above, Ink has interior illustrations along with the gorgeous cover :D. I’m really hoping there are even more in the finished copy since the drawings really added another element to a story about ink having power.
  • Books that are supposed to take place mainly in another language are always tricky. I found that Ink had the right balance of japanese words and explanations for me as a person who doesn’t know much about Japan and certainly doesn’t know any Japanese.
  • The romance was very sweet and for once I found a “bad boy” character that I actually liked :D.


  •  Ink turned out to be quite predictable. I could tell that it was trying to have plot twists, but they were fairly obvious to me.
  • There was a lot of repetitive phrasing in my copy of Ink, though hopefully this will be fixed in the final version.
  • Ink spends most of its pages focused on the MC and her love interest, leaving little room to develop any of the secondary characters. I really liked two of Katie’s friends and wish that they had gotten more developed.


Ink had a great premise and good moments. I wish that the plot had been as original as the premise, but I ended up being a bit disappointed by lack of depth. I also know very little about Japanese culture and language, so it is possible there were errors that I didn’t catch (if you’ve read it and know there were mistakes, let me know!). I’m excited for the second book, with hopes that some more time will be spent on character development all around and a fresh plot to match the premise.

3.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya


 Ink by Amanda Sun

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Miss Mimz says:

    I’m glad that you enjoyed this one more than I did :) The romance was just too much of a focus and it tainted my enjoyment of everything else :( The setting and mythology were definitely cool though!

    • That’s completely fair. I think I was prepped for the romance from other reviews I saw. Turns out that can help me over look things apparently haha

  2. I completely agree, my review also touched on the positives of the setting and culture but also the negatives of the weird romance. Such a pretty cover. I hope the next book focuses more on the aspects of the drawing and fantasy elements.

  3. The romance made me DNF. And I felt that the book kept focusing on the oddest, most mundane details.

    The cover is, still, to die for.

    • Definitely fair! I had read a couple of reviews about the insta-love so I was prepared and I think that helped. Plus I got it through GR early reviewer program so I really needed to right a review to make it more likely that I win in the future ;-)

  4. I see that a lot of people have complained about the “romance” tossed into this story, but liked the rest of it. If I do read this at some point, I’m going to borrow it from the library.

  5. Pabkins says:

    by the way – oh the giveaway dragon was oh so cute. Did you design him yourself ?

    • Thanks :D I had bought a pack of stock images that have the purple dragon in different scenes and then I worked with a designer to pull an egg out of that one and put a book in instead :D

  6. Pabkins says:

    You make good points – I would have loved to see more secondary character development also!

  7. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads says:

    Sounds pretty interesting. I like books with illustrations because I can’t always imagine how something is supposed to be.

    That kind of sucks that it was predictable, although I’ve found that I’ve read so many books that most are becoming predictable for me now. I hope the finished copy has less repetitiveness and there is more character development for you in the next book! It’s always a shame to have an interesting character be rarely acknowledged.

    • It’s a little creepy since the drawings are coming to life, so you have to keep your eye on them and make sure they don’t come out of the book at you ;-)

  8. Glad to see another positive review for Ink, after so many negative ones! I do think it’s interesting that this book and The RIthmatist both explore the idea of drawings coming to life, but I tend to think that Sanderson did it better (even though I haven’t read Ink).

    Great review. It’s nice to know that the Japanese terms weren’t overwhelming, either, which makes me think Ink will be a bit more accessible than Stormdancer.

    • Oh Sanderson definitely did it better, he’s just such an amazing writer to begin with :)

      That was definitely a problem for me with Stormdancer, much better in Ink


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