Book Review – Wicked Fox

“Just because something doesn’t seem right to most, doesn’t mean it’s not right for you.” 

Title: Wicked Fox (Gumiho #1)

Author: Kat Cho

Publisher : G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Publication date: June 25th, 2019

429 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

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

When you’re constantly treated as a pariah and labeled bad, you might begin living up to that expectation.

kat cho, wicked fox

Welcome to present day Seoul, where Miyoung and Jihoon are two teenagers fated to meet under less than fantastic circumstances. Miyoung is a gumiho, a nine tail fox who must kill someone at least once a month in order to stay alive. Jihoon is a normal human who accidentally comes across Miyoung while she’s being attacked by a demon – everyone knows to stay away from gumihos BUT Jihoon can’t help but be drawn to her.

I have been working on reading more Asian inspired fantasies because it’s subgenre I don’t have a lot of experience with. Wicked Fox seemed interesting because of the gumiho plot – I loved Shadow of the Fox and the main character is also a magical fox. However, Wicked Fox fell a bit flat for me.

I think I enjoyed the beginning and end of Wicked Fox, but wasn’t interested in the middle. It was a slog to get through, and the only reason I got through it quickly is because I was on a plane with not much else to do. It just felt like not much was happening and it was all filler. The main “event” was kind of annoying because nothing good came out of it – it was all negative outcomes.

Also, Miyoung and Jihoon aren’t really great characters. They felt flat as characters, without much substance. Jihoon had more interesting characteristics and back story, but Miyoung was definitely not given enough to be captivating. Every time I wanted her to stand up to her mom, she didn’t – even though she seemed to have a strong personality. There was just a disconnect there.

I liked the overall lore with the magical creatures living in the present day and trying to stay unnoticed by humans. The ending scenes were quick and substantive, with a decent cliffhanger to keep me interested for the sequel. There was a plot twist I did NOT see coming at all, which drastically improved how I felt about Wicked Fox by the end. I love being thrown for a loop while reading – and having no idea a twist is coming.

Overall, it was a meh read for me. I do plan on reading the sequel, but I may not purchase it. It screams library haul to me.

Happy reading, folks!