There is so much to love about this one. It's erotic romance in the sense that there's some seriously smoldering sexual tension that is eventually, ah...moreThere is so much to love about this one. It's erotic romance in the sense that there's some seriously smoldering sexual tension that is eventually, ahem, dealt with. But it's not the sort of sex-for-sex's-sake nonsense that you often run across.
They're not ripping off each other's clothes before you even understand what the heck is going on. And it's certainly not the 'suddenly I want to be ravished when 5 seconds ago I was adamant I'd never bottom ever' crap I keep finding lately.
This is good stuff. The sexual tension is marvelous, but so is the story, the characters, the world. This one puts you in a version of our world where it's perfectly plausible that there's a dragon living among humans who is a historian named Dr. Jones.
The premise and the execution are fabulous. The characters are complex and marvelous. The dragon's vulnerability, the human's strength, the way they misunderstand each other because of their differences, the way they bridge them to find strength and love is fascinating.
I can't recommend this one enough. So well done both as a romance and with the erotic component, because it's erotic as much in the misses as it is in the scores. (less)
I obtained an Advance Reader Copy of INK at World Fantasy Con in Nov, 2012.
The beauty of INK is subtle and seductive, from the cover to the conclusion...moreI obtained an Advance Reader Copy of INK at World Fantasy Con in Nov, 2012.
The beauty of INK is subtle and seductive, from the cover to the conclusion.
It didn't take me long to get into this one. The cover is luscious and, really, how can you not be drawn (Snicker. See what I did there?) to a story set in Japan that promises you "Paper Gods."
Sun creates great characters here, each nuanced and realistic. Katie is a strong female character while still being a teenage girl who gets lost sometimes between her heart and her head. Tomohiro is cute and broody but Sun never asks Katie or the reader to abandon all sense and fall in love with the guy just because he's cute and broody and a little bit dangerous, consequences be damned. And yet the characters are not mini-adults, making choices and viewing things through an over-mature lens.
The best part of the novel for me was being taken to Japan to experience a place I'd never been and live among a different culture for a while. My copy of INK has a glossary in the back. It's a testament to Sun's skill that I didn't realize that until the end. In spite of the fact that she doesn't whitewash or English-ize the setting and characters, she unfolded the world like one of the flowers on the book's cover, slowly revealing the whole without swamping you with too much detail all at once and sending you looking for a list of definitions and explanations. You can't ask for better than that in a multicultural novel.
It felt less like a fantasy book than I expected, which is funny, because the fantasy element is completely intrinsic to the plot and is part of the whole from the first pages. I could see non-fantasy YA readers enjoying this one as well. Though if you're looking for a fantasy read for the lost-in-Narnia feel, this isn't where you'll find it.
A great debut and thoroughly satisfying story for any YA reader. The multicultural elements really put it above and beyond and make this one you'll remember. (less)
There was so much to love about this fantasy by debut author K.T. Bryski. The unique setting, the beautiful writing, and the thrill of knowing this is...moreThere was so much to love about this fantasy by debut author K.T. Bryski. The unique setting, the beautiful writing, and the thrill of knowing this is a young writer with so much potential.
I don't do the "this is what the back of the book cover" says stuff in my reviews. If you want to know what it's about, you know where to find it. I like to tell you the things I loved and the things I didn't and maybe even the things I absolutely hated about a book.
And it was easy to find things to love. So often, a fantasy in which the world's religion plays a large part goes wrong for the reader. Either it's so far from the typical experience it takes a long time to explain and even longer for the reader to figure out, or it feels like one of Earth's major religions with the serial numbers filed off.
The fascinating thing Bryski managed was to essentially do the later, while making it feel fresh and new. You could see it all so clearly because it was very much like what even non-religious people have experienced or at least seen on TV. But the core doctrine was so different, so fascinatingly NOT like anything you've ever heard in church before, that it ended up being the perfect balance of 'I get this' and 'wow!'
The writing itself was beautifully executed. I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Bryski the weekend of the book launch, so I know that this is a relatively young writer in age not just experience, that she was even younger when she wrote it. And that's really exciting when you see such well written prose, when she creates full, rich characters, evokes deep and authentic emotions, knowing that this is her freshman effort and that she's likely to blow you away down the road.
I imagine if I dug down hard enough, I could find things to criticize, but frankly, I don't want to. Why ruin the experience when, whatever weaknesses might have been there were completely overshadowed by the good stuff? I don't usually trust gushing reviews that don't at least note where the author could improve, or where another reader might be disappointed, but I can't be bothered with this one to look for the bad among the good.
I'm thrilled I found this author now, with her debut, and can't wait to see what she does next. (less)