Title: Wicked Fox
Series: Gumiho #1
Author: Kat Cho
Genre/Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mythology, Korean Folklore
Blurb from Goodreads
A fresh and addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.
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.
The book is about Miyoung who is a gumiho which is a nine-tailed fox who in order to survive must consume the energy of men. She keeps a low profile but one night while out hunting her path crosses with Jihoon who is human. Jihoon is being attacked by a goblin and Miyoung steps in to rescue him.
In the process Miyoung loses her fox-bead which is somehow the source of her power and immortality and therefore her life is at risk.
The story then evolves into a romance between these two characters as well as being a story about self acceptance and finding a place in the world that you truly belong.
So I thought I would really like this book…
Pegged as a fantasy inspired by Korean folklore with a gorgeous romance…
What could go wrong??
Well everything apparently!
I liked this to start with because I was fascinated to learn about this folklore and to see how it would be incorporated into the story… But quickly the book just turned dull! The pacing was poor, any attempts at tension were weak at best…
But above all I didn’t believe in the love story between the two main characters, Miyoung and Jihoon. It felt so forced to me. A lot of the author telling us things but never truly showing.
And really I felt like that with all the characters in this. I just finished this book ten minutes ago and I’m struggling to remember names or defining personality traits of any of the characters in this book.
It was just so lacklustre which was so sad. Because there was such amazing potential for vibrancy of story. My favourite parts of the book were the little glimpses into the origin story of the gumiho. But these were two few and far between.
As for the plot…
It just wasn’t gripping. I think without strong characters to root for I just couldn’t get invested in the alleged tension of how Miyoung would be able to regain her strength in the form of her fox-bead without hurting Jihoon. And because all of the side characters were equally insipid I found myself easily forgetting who was supposed to be a shaman or school friend etc.
Ultimately reading this book felt perfunctory. I only completed it to see if it would improve or reach a satisfying ending… It did neither.
Sadly a book of so much unfulfilled potential.