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.


When I first heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. Considering I’m writing a novel around Japanese mythology and kitsunes, I’ve of course looked into other countries’ similar mythologies as well. So seeing a novel about gumiho is really exciting to me.


The Setting

This book is set in Seoul, South Korea which is another point in it’s favor. I don’t know that much about Seoul, but the author didn’t make it seem very far away. In fact, because there’s only a few places the characters consistently visit, it really helps narrow down the world for people unfamiliar with Seoul.

Also Seoul sounds super cool.

I wish though that more of the setting would have been explored because I just don’t know that much about Seoul and South Korea’s landscape in general. I hope the characters travel more in the next book because I’d love to learn more.


The Characters

Miyoung

I really enjoyed our protagonist. I thought she was a well rounded character, although sometimes it felt she focused a lot on her flaws and not enough on her strengths. I believe that the journey to her self confidence might have been a point of the story, but throughout Miyoung was very negative on herself.

Jihoon

I honestly have mixed feelings about our protagonist, love interest. On one hand he seems like a really sweet character, but on the other hand, I was almost annoyed by his flippant attitude towards school. But nevertheless, he seems like a very realistic character.

I wish that the relationship towards his mother would have been explored more throughout the book, especially in contrast to Yena. I’m still somewhat confused why she left him to start a new family without so much as anything. It also blows my mind that they still deliver food to her and she didn’t care about introducing him at all to her new family.

I guess the point is to drive home the pain about this situation and although I don’t personally know of anything like this happening, I’m sure it is a situation that does happen.

Nevertheless, I’m still on the fence.

Yena

Although harsh, I did really like Yena as a character. When I first started reading the little in between sections about gumiho, I thought it was just folklore to introduce us to the mythical creatures. But then I realized they were about Yena and I thought they were a great way to explain her backstory.

I really loved the mantra that Yena has Miyoung repeat to her several times throughout the book. I thought it was a great way of showing that Yena did love her daughter a lot even if she was harsh and kept things from her.

Secondary Characters

Miyoung’s Father

I like that it wasn’t obvious who he was at first until later on the story. Although I wish we could have had some more backstory to him. I liked the role he played throughout and the twist in the end.

Nara

I loved Nara’s role in the story. I thought it was a great twist from when we first meet her. The ways she and her family were connected to Miyoung’s were well done and really helped bring some excitement to the story. I liked that the story had multiple villains so it wasn’t just a romance.

Jihoon’s friends/Somin

They were great, what can I say? Somin I thought really stood out a lot more among the other friends so I’m interested to see what role she plays in the next book.

Junu

Not much to say about him although he reminded me of Magnus from the ShadowHunter series a bit. And a couple other fantasy stories as well. Probably because mythology has a lot of cross over creatures.


Overall Thoughts

Overall this story was really great. I loved the setting and the mythology and I’m excited to see what the next story brings. I hope that the mythology plays a larger role, I’d love to see more mythical creatures from Korean folklore.

The plot was exciting and had a lot of twists and turns. I enjoyed the way the characters developed over it and the ending was satisfying.

Throughout the book, Cho consistently used Korean words and phrases which I think helped make it seem more realistic. In general, it was easy for me to pick up on the meaning of the words but at times, I wasn’t sure about the use cases and had to look some of them up. But generally it didn’t impede my ability to read the story.


Book Cover Review

I think the book cover is really pretty, I also enjoy that the characters have almost an anime look to them. The use of blue and purple invoke mysteriousness and secrecy which plays a large part in the book.

I love on both the front cover and the spine, the counter space in the O is used strategically. Great use of typography. I think the font choice is nice, it plays into the modern setting of Seoul and is very easy to read.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Check out the Goodreads page for Wicked Fox to find more info.

One thought on “Book Review- Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

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