Title: Wicked Fox (Gumiho #1)
Author: Kat Cho
Pub. Date: June 25th 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Format: Physical Copy
🖤ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤
A fast paced addictive story set in Seoul, a city where grandmothers tell children the tale of the Nine-tailed fox who prey on men. A warning of danger for young men. Miyoung is a 18 year old Gumiho aka Nine-tailed Fox who maintains her immortal life by consuming the souls of wicked men. In doing so, she feels justified and more human in nature because she is contributing to ridding the world of evil. Miyoung’s secret is compromised one night when she stumbles across her classmate Jihoon being attacked by a Goblin. Against her better judgment, Miyoung intervenes and in the process loses her Fox Bead. This is a Gumiho’s soul & what maintains a balance between their human/fox nature. Without it, a Gumiho can lose grip on their humanity.
We follow Miyoung as she adjusts to yet another high school where she doesn’t fit in and prefers to be a loner. Having had to bounce from school to school whenever she is the center of bad attention, Miyoung doesn’t have any friends. Jihoon is quite the opposite, loved by many he is a friend to all and wants to make Miyoung feel welcome. He knows her secret & wants her to know he will protect this information. Both take to each others company not really knowing just how much they have in common. They each have complicated relationships with their mothers & in their own ways have abandonment issues stemming from childhood. Miyoung & Jihoon develop a deeper connection through friendship that turns into a bit more. We then follow Miyoung as she attempts to find a solution to her fox bead which leads to more trouble along the way.
Miyoung – I found our MC to be very lonely, she and her mom don’t really have a close connection. Miyoung’s mom is an ancient Gumiho & often times clashes with Miyoung when it comes to how they maintain their immortality. Her mom has had a rough go in her very long life & because of the bad experiences she’s had, she’s very tough on Miyoung. We see Miyoung struggle to form connections due to the overall mistrust she’s been raised to have towards all humans. Despite her mothers strong opinions, Miyoung fully embraces her humanity & doesn’t enjoy killing.
Jihoon – Generally someone who attracts all types of people because of his positivity. Jihoon has a very tight bond with his Halmeoni (grandmother) & best friend Somin. When Miyoung saves his life, Jihoon decides to befriend her even though she’s not interested at first. Although Jihoon is very charming, he is also soft & instantly had me cheering him on because his intentions are pure.
Somin – The best friend to rival all BFF’s! 🙌🏽 Somin is as tough as they come and not afraid to assert her power when necessary. Somin and Jihoon grew up together and love each other like brother & sister. I LOVED Somin so much because of how fiercely over protective she is towards Jihoon. LOVED seeing the friendship develop with this trio of friends.
Junu – is a honorable mention side character…he’s a Bachelor Goblin who gave me Magnus Bane VibeZ! 🤗 I was actually sad not to have seen more of this character on the page. Junu is very much about self & getting paid, he will however warn you before making a profit from your poor decisions. GQ status, Junu is one character I’d like to see more of in the next books to come.
I love books that manage to suck me in, such was the case with Wicked Fox. I can see why comparisons are made with K-Dramas & this just made me love it all the more! My favorite parts of this story were the chapter breaks where we got some of the Gumiho mythology. We’re made aware of the bad rep Gumihos have acquired but these chapter intros explain why they’ve been villainized. I also really appreciated seeing the relationships between Miyoung & her mother play out as well as Jihoon and his mom. We feel the sense of abandonement these characters have experienced & it almost makes perfect sense why they’d gravitate towards each other. Loved the friendship dynamics & the bits of Korean culture we get sprinkled throughout the story. Kat Cho is a author I now have the privilege of having on my radar. This is the start of a series (unsure of # of books to come) & after that ending I will most certainly be dropping everything when the sequel is released 🖤
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