In book review

REVIEW: Wicked Fox

Title: Wicked Fox (Gumiho)
Author: Kat Cho
Genre(s):  Young Adult, Fantasy
Release: June 27th, 2019
Rating: ✭✭✭,5/5

"A lot can happen in two months. 
You can meet a girl who seems angry and secretive and learn that it's all just a front
 for a kind heart that's been hurt too many times. 
I know what it's like to need to hide your bruises behind a facade."

Teased as "reading like a Korean Drama," being the big drama fan that I am, I just had to get my hands on Wicked Fox. I am very interested in any kind of mythology, so to say my expectations for this story were high were an understatement. However, I might've made the mistake of setting them too high, as this book kind of underwhelmed me a little. 

What is this book about?
When the Gumiho (half fox, half human) Miyoung encounters Jihoon, a human boy who's being attacked by a goblin, she rescues him from danger against all Gumiho rules. Now, Miyoung has lost her fox magic, and Jihoon knows that Miyoung is a secret nine-tailed fox. The two develop an unlikely bond. When a shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her magic, she has to choose between her life or Jihoon's. But what will she choose?

"She’d read books that said two lovers’ hearts could race as one. 
This wasn’t true for Miyoung. 
Her heart chased Jihoon’s, speeding in a breakneck sprint to catch up."

What did I think about Wicked Fox?
I really wished I could have loved this as much as I initially anticipated. This was in no way bad, but there were some things that kept me from enjoying it to its maximal potential. Before I get into those, let's focus on the many positives this book had to offer!

The k-drama (esque) scenario is an instant plus from me, and it's written by an ownvoices author, which makes the story and feel of it all the more authentic. The world-building, then, is a nice alternative to the numerous euro-centric fantasies that are already around. The story is based on Korean mythology and features a Gumiho (Half human-half fox). As mentioned, the tone that is set for the story reminded me of a lot of drama's but also brought something new to the table in the form of the YA genre. I would say this was a large part of what drew me to the story and played a huge role in my enjoyment factor, too.

The story itself, however, didn't strike me as a must-read. Wicked Fox simply read like a lot of books I'd already read before. The plot wasn't terribly shocking or original and the characters were hard to relate to the first half of the book. I enjoyed it, but I also had trouble keeping my attention to the plot, and a lot of the times I found myself putting down the book because it was so slow-paced. My high hopes, thus, weren't met as I hoped.

Despite this, I thought the book was still enjoyable, and I'm most certainly picking up the sequel, but this might have just been a case of too high expectations that ruin the overall experience. It wasn't bad, I just didn't enjoy it as much as could have been. All in all, this still gets a 3,5 star rating, but I hope the sequel manages to pull me in more.


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