G.P. Putnam's Sons | 18 August 2020 | 416 pgs
(This review contains some spoilers of the first book, Wicked Fox.)
In Kat Cho's previous novel, Wicked Fox, she introduced us the mythology of gumihos and their mystical world set in modern Seoul. This is the companion/sequel of WF and it continues the story of Miyoung and Jihoon but features a new set of characters and mythological creature (Dokkaebi) and a few supernatural entities.
As this book begins, Miyoung and Jihoon are deeply affected by the death of their mother and grandmother respectively. The loss of their loved ones and what they'd experienced have seemed to take its toll on them, leaving them in despair and unmotivated. Miyoung suffers the most considering her fox bead is no longer with her and this leads her to becoming weaker as the day goes.
Lee Somin and Junu are the protagonists of this book but they're also friends of Miyoung and Jihoon. Junu appeared in WF before but his scenes are minimal. He's a dokkaebi (goblin) and while he didn't really leave a deep impression on me in WF, he certainly has grown on me in this one the more I learned about him and his backstory. In fact, his backstory and his banters and romance with Somin took up half of this story while the other half was finding a solution to right the balance between the realms of the living and the dead after what took place at the end of WF and the outcome has caused a tear between these two realms, thus causing the supernatural entities to roam the living world and create havoc. Junu knew what he has to do with his unsettled past and to right all the wrongs, but the jeoseung saja (grim reaper) gives him little time and he's to make a huge decision eventually.
Kat Cho has wowed me with this enthralling duology featuring the world of a few Korean mythological creatures and not to mention a cast of intriguing characters whom I'd grown to love during my reading journey. I liked reading about the friendship amongst these characters and learning more about their strengths and weaknesses through the experiences and challenges they'd faced and I've to say Junu stands out the most among all in my opinion. He's flawed and carried the most emotional baggage but despite the vulnerability in him, he also showed us the humane side despite of what he was as a dokkaebi. I was so sad to see the end of this duology and I really hope Kat Cho will continue writing some more of this mythological world in the near future.
Finally, I want to thank Lark for reading this duology with me for our buddy reads. Go check out Lark's blog for her review and here's my answers to her questions:
1. From the gumiho to ghosts to reapers and goblins, Kat Cho includes a lot of Korean mythology in this book. What supernatural aspects did you like best?
All the mythological creatures fascinate me but I've to say gumiho is the most intriguing among all. Gumihos are known for their longevity and their shape shifting power and I think they're beautiful from some aspect.
2. If you had to pick, which one of the four main characters would you most want to be like? And which one would you want as your best friend? Why?
I liked Somin's feistiness and loyalty so these traits are definitely what I most admired about her. And she makes a great friend, too. She's not afraid of what other people think of her and she's always there for her friends, be it for moral support or a listening ear.
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