Rise (The Paper Gods #2.5)
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Synopsis on Goodreads:
A long, long time ago, before the world was as we know it, Izanami and Izanagi came into being. Two of the first of the ancient gods of Japan, they crafted the world from ink and their own imaginations. Izanagi wants, more than anything, to be with Izanami—but one moment of pride could tear them apart forever.
Yuki and Tanaka have been friends for as long as they can remember, but lately deeper feelings have been bubbling beneath the surface. How do they navigate the transition from friendship to true love without destroying the powerful bond between them?
Set a millennia apart, can these two couples, living parallel love stories, find their happily-ever-afters?
RISE by Amanda Sun is a great companion read to THE PAPER GODS series & an insiders look on secondary and minor characters. The chapters alternate between the Izanami/Izanagi story and the Yuki/Tanaka story and the transition is very smooth. Both stories are connected so alternating them was the only logical choice, in my opinion. Sun does it well enough that you still want to know what happens next, but not on such a huge cliffhanger so as to feel like you’re being thrown into this entirely, different story.
The author explores strong emotions like jealousy, envy and self-doubt & shows how keeping these emotions deep inside can cause destruction and chaos. This was one of the things that connected the two stories and had you wondering if Yuki and Tanaka’s story would have the same ending as Izanami and Izanagi. I went into this slightly familiar with Japanese mythology so I did predict one of the endings, but Sun was still able to surprise me with her own interpretation.
I especially loved the Izanami/Izanagi story. I like when an author shows us the mythology of their book world, and the writing is so beautifully done. The reader saw something like this in RAIN, but Sun is able to focus entirely on the lore by making Izanami and Izanagi the main characters. I’ve heard briefly about these two deities before, but Sun provides a new perspective on them. I’m very excited to read STORM, the last book in the series!