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Animate Ink

March 31, 2013

Giveaway announcement!!!!photo
The winner of my Renegade Magic earrings is… William Griesmer!  Congratulations and I’ll email you about sending them out.
Thank you everyone who entered.  I’ve got another great giveaway planned for April.  Details will be in next week’s post along with our guest blog by author, Stephanie Burgis!

 

So, this seems to be my year to read about animate drawings.  I read The Rithmatist by Branson Sanderson on rithmatistmy New Year’s train ride.  That book involves magicians who can bring chalk drawings to life and duel with them.  I reviewed it more here.
I also recently finished Ink by Amanda Sun.  Katie Greene has recently lost everything.  Her mom has died and her grandfather is too sick to take her in.  The only relative left is her Aunt who lives in Japan.  Katie has lost her family, her friends, and even her language.  Her aunt has enrolled her in a regular Japanese school instead of an English school in the hopes of helping her assimilate.  It’s working…. sort of.  But there’s so much to remember and it’s even harder when she isn’t fluent in the language.ink
While trying to get something she left behind in the lockers she overhears a horrible break up between Tomohiro, unattainable senior and star of the kendo team, and his girlfriend.  The breakup centers around a portrait of another girl in Tomo’s sketchbook.  The book gets tossed around during the fight and Katie sees something unbelievable, the drawing moves!  Tomohiro gathers up the papers and bolts out of the school before Katie can pin him down and get an answer.
She doesn’t leave it there.  Katie starts to follow Tomo to find out why the ink moves around her.  He keeps warning her off, but she’s persistent.  She’s found something in Japan that interests her and makes her forget about everything she left behind and she’s not going to give him up.  Everyone warns her away from Tomohiro, even Tomohiro himself.  He’s got a really bad reputation.  He had to leave another school after his best friend got hurt really badly under mysterious circumstances.  His new best friend has ties to the Yakuza.  He’s not particularly nice, except when he is… It’s all so confusing, but Katie needs him to explain what is happening to her.
Ink has started to move in her presence; drawings come to life, the ink in her pen seemed like it was going to attack her… She needs to understand what’s going on and why it’s stronger around him.

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.  It’s got some first novel problems with pacing, but I read it in one day so that didn’t bother me too much.  I suspect that if I were reading a few chapters a day it would be a bigger issue.  Katie has some Bella Swan-like issues of being enthralled by a guy who is unbelievably bad for her.  She takes some really stupid risks, but I’m thinking back to how I felt when I was a teenager, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have been that stupid.  Especially after something devastating like losing my Mom.  On the whole, I think she’s foolish, but believable.  I loved the elements of Japanese mythology (altered though they may be) in the book.  Sun’s descriptions of the city were evocative.  Shadow
The other nice thing, is that unlike Bella, Katie isn’t passive.  If Tomo left her she wouldn’t lock herself in her room she’d track his ass down and smack him.  She stands up for herself in some pretty terrifying situations.  I don’t agree with her taste in men (there is, of course, more than one other guy vying for her attention), but she’s by no means a passive, damsel in distress type.  I’ll look for the next book in the series (although, since I read this in ARC I’ve got at least a year to wait).
Sun has written a prequel novella, Shadow, that’s due out in June if you’d like to get some more of the world of the Paper Gods series.

 

I forgot to put my list at the end of the last post.  Sorry!  Here is the list of books I’ve never read before:

Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Trapped by Kevin Hearne
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
Alien Tango by Gini Koch
Alien in the Family by Gini Koch
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Alien Proliferation by Gini Koch
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Redshirts by John Scalzi
Alien Diplomacy by Gini Koch
The Quest of the Warrior Sheep by Christine Russell
Dust & Shadow by Lyndsay Faye
The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman
The Far Traveler by Nancy Marie Brown
The Mouse With the Question Mark Tail by Gregory Peck
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Club Monstrosity by Jesse Peterson
Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George
A  Beautiful Friendship by David Weber
Hunted by Kevin Hearn
Beauty & the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey
Motor City Fae by Cindy Spencer Pape
Sweet Revenge by Zoe Archer
Aunt Dimity & the Lost Prince by Nancy Atherton
Ink by Amanda Sun
Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts
Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon by Nancy Atherton
Death on Demand by Carolyn Hart

If you want to see everything I’ve re-read this year you can check out my Goodreads shelf.  Speaking of Goodreads, they were bought by Amazon.com.  I’m not sure if I want to freak out about it or not.  On the one hand, Amazon has its fingers in A LOT of pies.  That makes me a little nervous.  On the other hand, I’m not sure we’re going to see a ton of change in the Goodreads experience, at least up front.  Jeff O’Neal, editor of Book Riot, has a thoughtful examination of the deal and its implications.

At the end of the day, I’m not jumping off the Goodreads ship right now, but that might change depending on how Amazon monetizes the site.  I don’t do any of my buying from Goodreads anyway because I work at a bookstore, but if the long list of available buying options narrows down to just Amazon I might bail on principle.  I’m like that.  I haven’t bought Exxon gas outside of an emergency because I was a small child when the Valdez disaster occurred and it made me really mad.  I don’t buy Nestle products when I can figure out which companies they own either because of a boycott started in 1977.  For the record, I was born in 1979.  I literally got this boycott with my mother’s milk.  I have wacky principles which will rear their hydra-like heads at strange times.  I use Amazon for lots of things, mostly crafting supplies, but their scope kind of scares me.  They’re into almost everything and the Goodreads acquisition is just one more piece of that.

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