A gumiho, or nine-tailed fox from Korean folktales, fights for survival in contemporary Seoul, South Korea.
Gu Miyoung is not your typical teenager: She’s half gumiho and must feed on gi, the energy from living beings, every full moon. Conflicted over needing to kill to survive, she finds some moral reprieve by seeking out murderers as her prey with the help of Nara, a young shaman who sees the unsettled ghosts of the murdered. Unlike her legendary mom, Yena, who devours her prey’s livers, Miyoung humanely gives hers painless deaths, slowly draining their energy. Her family has moved whenever suspicions are raised or she accidentally shows her superhuman strength, and Miyoung has resigned herself to her nomadic life, staying emotionally detached and avoiding friendships. When she rescues high school classmate Jihoon from a goblin, her fox bead, or soul, falls outside her body. Things get complicated when Jihoon touches it, inadvertently connecting them through dreams. Faced with failing health from the removal of her fox bead, Miyoung lets Jihoon in, entrusting him with her secret mythical heritage—and the two are engulfed in adventure. The story is reminiscent of a K-drama with sweet romantic moments, lovable friends, and impossible obstacles, although there are some plot inconsistencies. Still, this is an addicting read with complex main characters and unexpected twists.
This fantasy debut will be eagerly devoured, and readers will clamor for a sequel. (Fantasy. 12-18)