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 is my most-anticipated read of 2014. Out of every book I read last year, Ink was the one I was most impressed by. I never had the chance to review it, but I was still just so entranced by the world of Ink; its setting, its characters, its charisma – all outstanding.
I was so, so, so worried about how Rain would live up to the hype, though. Would Tomo be the jerk I wanted him to be while still having that cute little sensitive side? Would there be a sufficient amount of Kakigori eating? Would Jun finally leave Katie alone so her and Tomo could be adorable together? All of those and more, burning questions I wanted answers to, and good answers, nonetheless.
But, Rain did it, and, alas, I think I loved it more than I did Ink.
In the sequel, we get a much better look at our characters, and delve deeper into the world that readers have all come to know and love. It was great getting to learn more about Jun, Katie, Shiori, and Tomo. There’s so much more to these characters than meets the eye, and journeying with them a second time was no less fun than the first. Tomo is one of the most complex, and it was great getting to spend more time with him. Jun was also an interesting addition, but I do wish there would have been more time with Yuki and Tanaka.
Sun does a fantastic job of making Japan out to be one of the most scenic places in the world. Even in Ink, I deeply admired just how worldly her writing was. This is a woman who not only knows her location, but knows how to portray it, and without that, there’s virtually no story, so definitely some brownie points go out to our lovely author. One of my favorite points of Ink was most definitely the location. There are just so many beautiful places where such important scenes take place in Rain, and it really sets the mood.
Amanda’s writing style is also impeccable, and I loved the little bits and pieces of Japanese scattered around the book. I found myself catching on to a lot of the dialogue she had spread around. It’s always fun to feel like you’re learning while enjoying a great book, and this definitely rings true for Rain.
There are so many plot twists and deceptions in this installment, and this is what mainly keeps the momentum going for this sequel. I felt like so much more was going on in this story line than in the original, and it was loads of fun trying to make guesses regarding characters and the ink. The ending, even though I didn’t feel it was much of a cliffhanger, still has me dying. My poor little heart wants more.
Rain is a glorious second installment that is sure to please fans of Ink. Make sure to get your hands on this one – it’s well worth the wait!
I am personally dying knowing I have at least another year to wait for the conclusion. Agh!