Ink has quite possibly just claimed the notch at the top of my favourite books read so far year. Unique, inspiring, culturally educational, sometimes a little dark yet at the same time truly beautiful, Ink was an absolute pleasure to read.
Sure, it had an abundance of POV breaches. In fact, this is probably the most breaches I’ve seen in a traditionally published book, however, the fact I’m still raving about it, and the fact those POV breaches didn’t mar my enjoyment of the read one bit, should tell you just how awesome I thought this book was.
We have Katie as MC. I found her intriguing, easily to connect with, alluring, believably feisty because she knew exactly when to feel overwhelmed and her attitude and reception of events could go from one end of the scale to the other with an genuine-ness that helped bring Katie’s character to life.
And beside Katie we have Tomohiro. Goodness, I loved this guy. His ‘ability’ was so unique and awesomely portrayed, the darkness surrounding him so exciting yet frightening to observe, and the growing awareness of himself in relation to Katie was so subtly and expertly written in that there’s not an ounce of contrived-ness in this book.
Beyond him were all the background characters, who each played equally as important a role in flooding this story with colour and directing Katie and Tomo along the paths they needed to tread in order for their characters to develop so fully. From Katie’s couple of friends from school, to Tomo’s trouble-infested friend, to the mysterious Jun, who seemed to have a draw to Katie of his own even if he didn’t recognise it, to Katie’s aunt, and even the ‘gang’ and the teachers from the school. Each and every single one of them added a layer of the life and soul of this book.
And then we have the story itself. I can’t fault it—can’t fault the telling of it one little bit. No, the writing wasn’t perfect, but the threads of this tale were so beautifully woven together that everything seemed to be perfectly in place. Katie’s backstory didn’t even feel like back story because it was shown as being a part of who she is NOW. All of the Japanese culture references didn’t feel like asides, or ‘lessons’, or pauses to keep the reader on track, because they were so naturally embedded into the narration or the dialogue, I followed along with ease and without a singular hitch to my stride, and at the end of almost every chapter I found myself pausing to chat to my family about every new item I’d learned. If lessons at school were as compelling as this book, I’d have walked away with all my grades intact. Even the explanations for the mythology that surrounds this tale was shared with no adverse affect on the pace—no taking the reader out of the moment for blocks of asides from this author, no pages of static dialogue whilst some wise old guy gets the MC up to speed. Nope. Just more proof of the enormous talent of Ms Sun.
As for the plot. I’m not going to really say anything on that, because I think this is the kind of tale that the reader should fully discover for themselves, and I don’t want to spoil a thing.
Just know that this book is beautifully haunting, dark yet full of light, culturally and educationally stimulating, enticing and immerse-worthy, and I am so, so glad I finally picked it up.
One final word to the author: Bravo, Ms Sun. When can I have the next instalment?
P.S. My review seriously doesn’t do this book justice.