Sunday, July 6, 2014

BR: Rain (Paper Gods #2), by Amanda Sun

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. 
-- Back cover

So... Rain. (Paper God #2). Sequel to Ink. By Amanda Sun.

See, the problem with taking so long to write a sequel is that the expectations from your audience get higher and higher the longer it takes to publish. Which, of course, isn't fair. But, you know, we're spoiled YA readers. Our expectations are for quick publications and each book better than the last!

Unfortunately, that's not what happened with Rain.

Was it good? Yes. Did it blow Ink out of the water? No. Did it finally clear up WHAT a Kami is and how the ink works? YES, finally.

Are there new relationships and characters introduced that enrich the story? Yes, which is one of the best parts of the book. Ishikawa takes his friendship with Tomo seriously again, and even Katie starts to tolerate him. Jun becomes a key player. And preggo whats-her-bucket comes and makes a mess out of everything. (Who IS that baby's daddy?! Why can't she go bother HIM?!)

Will there be another book to follow Rain? Yes. I'm trying not the get my hopes up. I'd rather be happily surprised than disappointed.

I still think this series is a great read simply for the Japanese culture. It's rich and vibrant, and frankly, I don't there is much-- if anything-- on the YA market set in Japan. Major props for that.

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