“Well, dear, sometimes the universe works in odd ways, but family does not always come about through blood.”
Author – Kat Cho
Published June 25th 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre – Urban Fantasy, Korean Mythology
When I first heard about the release of this novel last year, I was automatically intrigued! An urban fantasy inspired by Korean folklore? I was completely onboard especially since I am quite a fan of k-dramas! And after reading this, I can honestly say it definitely did feel like a k-drama! I could pinpoint so many scenes sprinkled throughout the story which were reminiscent of iconic moments in the dramas I have watched. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this novel! It was super fast paced, with great characters and a great mix of romance, fantasy, and angsty drama!
Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.
But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.
Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway.
With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.
Miyoung – Heavily guarded; Brave; Can be fearful; While having to deal with her strict mother, Miyoung is forced to maintain a balance between her Gumiho and student life which requires mostly blocking any form of human interaction. No matter how hard she tries, Miyoung finds herself to be very different from her mother since she refuses to give into the monstrous side of her gumiho form. It was very interesting to see her perspective while trying to manage her supernatural abilities and overcome her fears of her nature.
Jihoon – Playful, Curious, Determined – I was drawn to Jihoon from the moment we were introduced to him. I felt he had the characteristics of a male lead of a kdrama – charismatic and playful – and it was very interesting to read about his journey with Miyoung and his friends. Which leads me to my next point – Somin and Changwon – who were both wonderful additions to this novel since their friendship is so precious!
The novel itself had me feeling as if I was walking through the streets of Seoul! I felt completely immersed in the setting as if I was right beside the characters themselves. The author did a tremendous job in making sure we as readers are completely within the story through her level of detail. The pacing was also brilliantly done! Since the chapters are quite short and we have important plot elements revealed in each one, it becomes quite addicting at one point where you can’t help but keep reading. If only I did not have an exam or work, I am pretty sure I would have finished it in one sitting!
Overall, this was such a fun and cute read! Being a k-drama fan, I was stunned at the amount of Korean terminology I instantly recognized and more importantly, the amount of iconic k-drama scenes. If you are a fan of these dramas, then I am pretty sure you know what I am talking about haha
The characters are also a great element of this book. They were all different and had their own unique voice with plenty of backstory to give them enough depth. There were moments where you felt deeply for the struggles they were going through and other moments where you were a bit aggravated but thats the kdrama life!
Nevertheless, I thought it was a great read for those who are looking for a pick me up or just want to read a refreshing urban fantasy. We normally do not see too much of Korean mythology represented in YA fiction so I was so happy to read more stories from this genre. I especially loved how the author dove back and forth between the current story and back to Gumiho folklore. It added more depth to the story and I loved that I was able to catch a glimpse of the Korean culture through this book.
I also heard the next book will follow two side characters from this debut novel and when I heard who they were, I automatically went to grab a copy of the sequel/companion novel. I can’t to read the next installment and dive back into the world with all these lovable characters!
Have any of you read Wicked Fox? What were your thoughts on it?
Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!