*I received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Title: Wicked Fox
Author: Kato Cho
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
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.
Review: This is the first book I’ve read set in Korea, so I was excited to learn about the culture and mythology! As soon as I saw this book was about gumihos I was all over it, especially after reading Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. Although, this one is set against a backdrop of teen drama and romance.
Miyoung is a half gumiho and must feed on men to survive. She is the perfect daughter, but she’s not as ruthless as her mother wants her to be. Miyoung only feeds when she has to, and even then she tracks down bad guys to do it. Her refusal to take innocent life is what keeps her from becoming a monster. She’s a normal teenage girl besides her otherworldly habits and nature, but she’s never really been close to anyone.
You know, until Jihoon crashes into her life and saving him somehow ends with him knowing her secret and trying to become her friend anyway. It’s funny seeing all her attempts to scare him off, but Jihoon can’t help being such a good guy. There are some pretty good banter moments between them as well. She’s constantly threatening him, but he kind of just shrugs it off like it’s nothing. What a goof.
I also really enjoyed the dynamic between Jihoon and his friends. They were pretty great secondary characters and I loved their tight-knit friendship. There are also some crazy twists I totally didn’t see coming in this book and by the end I was trying to wrap my head around it all.
I found it interesting getting the history of the gumiho throughout the book as well. In between chapters there were little bits of story and history, and it tied into the whole story, which was awesome.
This book has so many awesome things going for it. There’s supernatural beings (yes, more than just the gumiho!), magic, sacrifice, betrayal, and romance. Oh, and just a classic race against time to avoid certain death. I would say if you loved Empress of All Seasons and Shadow of the Fox, definitely check this one out! I’m totally going to be picking up the rest of the series.