Shadows, the prequel to Ink in the Paper Gods series, tells the story of Katie and Tomohiro in a dual perspective. Set before Katie comes to Japan, it delves into the sadness and despair of both the characters and how troubled they are.
Katie has just lost her mom and there are these choices to be made but she is stuck in that moment, not able to move forward. Hoping that coming to Japan wouldn’t be any worse, she finally decides to join her aunt. But life in Japan is much more confusing than she had anticipated.
Tomohiro is fighting his inner darkness, is being tormented by dreams of death and demons. While you have to read Ink to actually know what Tomohiro is and why he is going through it, it gives you a glimpse of his vulnerability and his thoughts – why he does what he does in Ink.
For the beginning of the series, it doesn’t give out much for the plot of Ink but the backstories certainly help out a lot in Ink. Good writing and great introduction.