Following Ink (2013), Katie and Tomohiro, a Kami (descendant of a Japanese god), cope with the danger he poses to her.
Katie and Tomo’s hopes that they can finally be together are dashed when the ink he holds mastery over dramatically malfunctions. Tomo’s powerful, moving, living sketches are dangerous (especially for Katie), so for the sake of their relationship and her safety, they struggle to learn how to control them. Katie researches both Tomo’s struggles and her own connection to the ink by secretly meeting former adversary Jun; Tomo disapproves of their friendship and cannot know. The plot delivers Katie’s answers easily, deploying just a few twists at the end. More interestingly, since Jun and Ishikawa ended up in the hospital at the end of Ink, police suspect the two kendo adepts have fallen afoul of a Yakuza gambling plot and so have their eye on fellow kendouka Tomo; the heroes must keep the true supernatural explanations secret. The least magical plot is perhaps the strongest—Katie’s determined to learn kanji in order to avoid transfer to an English-speaking school, all the while coping with her outsider status. The lovingly drawn depiction of Japan will make readers want to visit. The conclusion, rushed compared to the otherwise leisurely pacing, sets up the sequel.
Weak, formulaic romantic and supernatural plots are offset by rich, setting-driven subplots. (Japanese glossary, acknowledgments) (Paranormal romance. 12-17)