Monday, 3 June 2019

Gumiho (Wicked Fox) by Kat Cho – review


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 men. He's drawn to her anyway. When he finds her fox bead, he does not realize he holds her life in his hands.

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 and reignite a generations-old feud . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon's.


As soon as I read that blurb, I knew I'd love this book. Gumiho (Wicked Fox) is a gorgeously written YA fantasy that weaves the gumiho Korean myth into an addictive story set in modern-day Seoul. 

I'm a huge fan of fiction grounded in mythology and I was hooked from the moment I read about the gumiho myth. It makes for a deliciously dark hook for a YA novel and I thought there was a really interesting contrast between Miyoung's life as a gumiho and her sweet relationship with Jihoon.

I really liked the way Gumiho immerses the reader in Seoul with gorgeous, sensory descriptions and I enjoyed reading about modern Korean culture. It felt very authentic and well-researched (and it's own voices too). 

I also very much enjoyed the romance. The progression of Miyoung and Jihoon's relationship felt very natural (and I love a good hate to love story arc). It's also refreshing that the book explores the relationships of both main characters with their families, from the good moments to the heartbreaking ones. 

Gumiho (Wicked Fox) is a thrilling start to the series, with a gripping plot, evocative writing and plenty of romance.





Thank you to Penguin Random House for the review copy!

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