Author: Amanda Sun
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Check this book out on Goodreads.
After almost a year in Japan, Katie Greene has finally unearthed the terrible secret behind her boyfriend Tomohiro’s deadly ability to bring drawings to life—not only is he descended from Kami, the ancient Japanese gods, but he is the heir to a tragedy that occurred long ago, a tragedy that is about to repeat.
Even as the blood of a vengeful god rages inside Tomo, Katie is determined to put his dark powers to sleep. In order to do so, she and Tomo must journey to find the three Imperial Treasures of Japan. Gifts from the goddess Amaterasu herself, these treasures could unlock all of the secrets about Tomo’s volatile ancestry and quell the ink’s lust for destruction. But in order to complete their quest, Tomo and Katie must confront out-of-control Kami and former friend Jun, who has begun his own quest of revenge against those he believes have wronged him. To save the world, and themselves, Katie and Tomo will be up against one of the darkest Kami creations they’ve ever encountered—and they may not make it out alive. (Source: Goodreads)
For Katie and Tomo time is running out. They’ll soon have to face the destiny written for them by the kami. The tragedy of the gods is about to repeat itself and Katie and Tomo’s lives are at stake because of it. They’ll have to gather the secrets of the kami as well as their three treasures in able to stop the world from coming to an end in an epic repeat of a centuries old battle between gods.
I’ve been a fan of this series ever since the first book came out. I think it’s a really interesting series unlike others I’ve read and I think Sun does a fair amount of work to really remain true to Japanese culture and history. This was probably not my favourite of the books in the series, but I still really liked it a lot. As always I liked the action and the plot the most, the characters are a little less that perfect. The main problem with this final installment in the series though is that the pacing was really rather bad.
I really enjoyed the action in this book. There were a few really cool fights making use of the magic ink powers that Jun, Ikeda, Tomo, and Katie all have. I especially loved the final fight of the book, I think it was the best written one of the series and will surely prove to be the most memorable. Beyond the fighting though I really enjoyed the exploration into the past of the kami and the trekking all around Japan that Tomo and Katie did because it really brought something interesting to the book – maybe it brought into focus the sort of scale of power that they’re dealing with. I think Sun really has always written a very interesting system of the powers in these books, and that really only improved in this one.
The characters to me are just sort of…meh? I don’t know if it’s a problem of the narrative (first person), but to me everything felt kind of passive and uninvolved. I’ve never been a huge fan of Katie, I don’t know what it is about her, she’s not a particularly strong lead. Tomo’s characterization has always felt kind of wishy washy to me, and I think that’s excused a lot by the warring gods inside of him, but it still feels very inconsistent. I thought Jun was better developed by the end of this book but it came too late. Overall they’re not really the best thing about this book, and often feel like a shortcoming for the novels.
The biggest problem by far was the pacing though. It took me well over 50 pages to really get into the book, before that I couldn’t get 3 pages without becoming bored. Even past that point that I often found the action to drag or become overly contemplative instead of really active. This was mostly caused by the narration style but I also found there were a lot more kind of unnecessary plot elements happening trying to wrap up the story but I didn’t really care about them at all.
This wasn’t the best in the series but it is still a very good series in general. I’d recommend reading it, because it’s a unique and interesting read.