Author: Amanda Sun
Series: Paper Gods
Publisher/Source: Harlequin Teen
Synopsis (Goodreads): 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.
Review: 4 out of 5 stars
** Contains possible spoilers from the first book**
Rain is the second book in the Paper Gods series by Amanda Sun, I enjoyed the first book in the series, Ink despite a few minor issues so I was eager to dive back in to the unique world the author has created.
Rain begins where Ink ended; Katie Green has remained in Japan and is continuing to learn about the culture and the ways of the Kami, which her boyfriend Tomohiro is still trying to understand as he is directly connected to the ancient gods and of his dark heritage.
The characters are wonderful, Katie is still fumbling in a new country and Tomohiro is at odds with what he is so tries to avoid this important aspect but together they work through it all and do it well. Jun also makes a return, I quite liked him in the first book and in this I never quite knew whether he could be trusted or not, I liked the overall role he ended up playing. Each of the supporting characters was written well and interacted in a believable way.
The plot is most intriguing and is becoming more complex as we learn about the Kami mythology, ancestry, the real life paper drawings and the evilness which is following, I definitely enjoyed this sequel a lot more than the first book, unanswered questions were revealed and characters were further developed. One of the things I have most enjoyed is the customs, legends and traditional aspects; it is creative and unique amongst other YA fantasy novels which I have appreciated.
Amanda Sun’s writing is beautifully details and the setting is vividly described as was the cultural aspect. It all came together nicely and made for a riveting read. And mention should go to this series beautiful covers, they are stunning!
Thank you to Harlequin Teen Australia for the opportunity to read and review Rain by Amanda Sun.
About the author: I’m a YA author and proud Nerdfighter. I was born in Deep River, Canada, a very small town without traffic lights or buses, and where stranger safety is comprised of what to do if you see a bear—or skunk. I started reading fantasy novels at 4 and writing as soon as I could hold a pencil. Hopefully my work’s improved since then. In university I took English, Linguistics, and Asian History, before settling into Archaeology, because I loved learning about the cultures and stories of ancient people. Of course, I didn’t actually become an archaeologist—I have an intense fear of spiders. I prefer unearthing fascinating stories in the safety of my living room. The Paper Gods is inspired by my time living in Osaka and travelling throughout Japan. That and watching far too many J-Dramas. I currently live in Toronto with my husband and daughter. When I’m not writing, I’m devouring YA books, knitting nerdy things like Companion Cubes and Triforce mitts, and making elaborate cosplays for anime cons.