Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Author: Amanda Sun
Book #: 2
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: .5
Goodreads Rating: 4.06
Published: June 24th, 2014
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.
Rain had many of the aspects I loved from Ink. Rich Japanese culture, likable characters, high drama... maybe too much drama. While Ink felt almost effortless Rain seemed to be trying to hard to keep us at the edge of our seat when it came to the romance side of things. So I wasn't a big fan of the romance in Rain but everything else was still golden.
Katie Green made the decision to stay in Japan. She says it is because she would miss her friends, her aunt, because she can't give up on the whole Kami thing... but really, she didn't leave because of Tomohiro. We all know this, but let the girl lie to herself if she must. Katie's staying in Japan isn't without it's complications. She is falling behind on her Kanji, she is not at the same level as her classmates in school because of the language barrier and she refuses to go to English school (even though it would make life 10 times easier for her). Not only is she falling behind in school but she seems to be making Tomohiro worse. She doesn't know where her Kami powers are coming from, but she is sure about to find out.
Katie is still as likable as she was in Ink, though a bit gullible. She does spend a lot of time trying to solve the mystery of her Kami abilities and ways to help Tomohiro control his darker side. She is selfless, and doesn't give up. She also spends a lot of her time putting her foot in her mouth due to cultural differences. It is hilarious.
The one thing that dragged the story down for me was the love triangle that was fed to us. It was just unnatural really. It wasn't necessary to keep the story interesting, and the more page time it was given the more I wanted to put the book down. Or at least hit Katie very squarely upside her head. There are times where a good love triangle is justified but just not this time. It took away from the overall story, plus it deviated our attention from the romance that gave us so much joy in Ink.
Tomohiro is worst than ever. He decided to stop drawing, which is ridiculously stupid of him. The Ink needs to come out somehow. The inheritance of the Kami in him is dragging him over the edge, he is drowning in ink. Katie seems to be making it worse, but nobody knows why. Which is why she spends so much time apart from Tomohiro in this title, but doesn't mean I have to like it. Tomohiro is just as dark and irresistible as he was in Ink, though Katie seems to be having a hard time of getting to him so she spends a lot of time with Jun which I did not enjoy.
The mythology behind the Kami is interesting as well as very intricate. It is complicated and there are a lot of characters playing a role; both old as dirt and present. We still have a lot to uncover about the Kami, but so far it has been a solid fun-filled ride. We definitely dwell deeper into the Kami past and how Katie and Tomohiro are connected to them. The answer may surprise you...
Rain was not a sophomore slump which I am SO happy for. It was entertaining and it answer a lot of questions while posing many many more. Getting to revisit the characters was just what I needed. I can't wait to read the third book in the series, specially since a love triangle isn't something I see in this series future anymore. No to love triangle, yes to Katie and Tomohiro!
Conjured by Natascha De Marco at 12:04