Sunday 24 April 2016

Carole's Sunday review: Ink and Ashes - Valynne E.Maetani

Author: Valynne E Maetani
Titles: Ink and Ashes
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, & YA
Pages: ebook
First Published: May 2015
Where I Got It: Borrowed friend's version

Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met.

Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father . . . until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed.

So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life.

This was a book club choice picked by someone in the group. However, I have had my eye on this for a while. There were so many mixed reviews, that I avoided it. I am glad someone picked it, so I can finally get myself to read it.

Old secrets, old hurts, old lies, old tradition, new discoveries, new dangerous, new love, and a new beginning. There was a lot going on, but at the same time nothing going on. Poor Claire and her siblings. There is something not being talked about and things being swept under the rug and they can feel it but their step-dad and mom will not talk about it. Did the parents really think they could hide the truth for so long? There is something fishy and Claire wants to know. 

I certainly did enjoy the ride, but.....I wanted more. I know, I know. There is already a lot going on. However, with  the summary and my good guessing talent, I managed to unravel the big secret. When it came true, I felt like it wasn't as climatic as it should have been. Honestly, I felt like there was something missing in he mystery. I did not LOVE this book like I waned to. It was simply decent.

After all the truth came bursting out, the story should have ended. After everything was disclosed, the tears, the apologies,and the hurt was out in the open, there should have been a couple of chapters to tie everything together and ended. However, it dragged on 100 more pages. I was still slightly intrigued hoping more would come to the surface, but meh, nothing really did. 

I am glad it was a short read. Only about 290 pages. It was a quick read and I managed to get it done after a couple of sessions. It is YA, but at times it did not feel like it was. There was a nice balance and it wasn't at all cheesy like YAs tend to be. The parents didn't disappear and were a part of the story/plot; that made me happy. 

The best part of the book, for me, were the characters. The mystery was meh. The thrill was meh. The action decent. The characters had me decently invested and I wanted to know them. I wanted to know why and what would happen to them. I think that is the only reason I kept reading honestly. I do recommend this to those looking for a quick read with some interesting storyline and characters. Not the best book of the year, but worth a read. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 3.


  1. I can definitely get through a book if the characters are worth it so perhaps I'll have to give this a try. Wonderful review!

  2. Even if you wanted more it sounds like a nice one

  3. At least it's not all bad.

  4. The secrets aspect does have my interest. Although, having the ending drag on that long not so much.

    Nice review, Carole!

  5. Ergs. Sounds like one I could skip. Sad that so many elements were just meh for ya.

  6. Wow, interesting that the mystery was solved so early and the book kept going. I think I'll give this one a miss.



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