Wicked Fox

Putnam. Jun. 2019. 448p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781984812346.
Gr 8 Up–Miyoung may look like any other Korean girl, but she’s the daughter of a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who feeds on the life force of men. This makes Miyoung half gumiho—and half human. Though raised by her mother, Miyoung is drawn to humans as well, wondering about her missing father and hating that she must kill in order to live. Nevertheless, she manages to follow her mother’s rules, always maintaining distance from others so that her secret is not discovered. But one night she strays from the rules, saving the life of Jihoon, a human boy who was attacked by a goblin, and all does not go according to plan. Miyoung suddenly finds herself juggling Jihoon’s human world of school and friends with her supernatural world of shamans, spirits, and magic. This is urban fantasy as readers have not seen it before: steeped in Korean folklore but with an added layer of contemporary Korean school and home life, appealing not only to K-drama fans but to lovers of fantasy in general. Dealing with themes of family, loyalty, and trust, the book has a unique setting and premise.
VERDICT Fresh and fast paced, weaving together action and romance, this is a promising debut that adds a new voice to any urban fantasy collection

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