*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Wicked Fox
Author: Kat Cho
Publisher: G.P. Putnam and Son’s Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Finding a light, engaging, YA series is always exciting. Wicked Fox combines the legends of fairy tales with modern day Korea, blending folklore with current teenage life. Gu Miyoung is but a legend. She is a gumiho. Immortal. Lethal. She’s always tries to take gi from those where are not good people, killing out of necessity, but only going after those who do not deserve life. But taking gi is still taking a life, something that Miyoung struggles with every day. She meets Jihoon, a human. He goofs off in class and skips out on work. He loves his grandmother deeply, but his relationship with his own parents is strained. Something attracts Miyoung to this strange girl, irrevocably changing his life.
Miyoung is certainly an interesting character. Although she is a demon, she knows very little about her kind. She is a mystery that the reader gets to uncover as they move through the story. I’m intrigued by this series if only to learn more about her. I felt disconnected from Jihoon a bit. He’s definitely the class clown, but he’s very endearing and very sweet. I don’t think his story arc allows us to get to know him as deeply as we could. Although his perspective is shared throughout the story, I still walked away from this book with Miyoung at the centre in my mind–not something I disliked, but I would have liked to get to know Jihoon better. Further time could have been spent on the secondary characters as well. We are introduced to a few of Jihoon’s friends and family, but little time is spent exploring their personalities. They are sidelined for the main plot and served very little function.
Overall though, the story is incredibly magical and the folklore lends an almost ethereal quality to the story as a whole. It combines love, friendship, family, death, and so much more into an exciting first novel in this series. I look forward to seeing where it goes next.