Lia Park and the Missing Jewel

 
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Lia Park and the Missing Jewel
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
May 03, 2022
ISBN
978-1534487932
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Perfect for fans of the Storm Runner and Aru Shah series, this thrilling middle grade fantasy follows a young girl who must venture to the undersea kingdom of the Dragon King in Korea to save her parents from an evil diviner spirit.

Twelve-year old Lia Park just wants to fit in. Her parents work with a mysterious organization that makes them ridiculously overprotective. Lia’s every move has been scrutinized since she was born, and she’d love to have the option of doing something exciting for once. So when she gets invited to the biggest birthday party of the year—and her parents say she can’t go—Lia sneaks out.

But her first act of rebellion not only breaks her parents’ rules, but also an ancient protection spell, allowing an evil diviner spirit to kidnap and ransom her parents for a powerful jewel that her family has guarded for years. With just the clothes on her back and some very rusty magical skills, Lia finds herself chasing mysterious clues that take her to her grandmother’s home in Korea.

From there, she has to make their way to the undersea kingdom of the Dragon King, the only person who knows where the powerful jewel might be. Along with her friend, Joon, Lia must dig deep and find courage to stand up for those who are weak—and become the hero her parents need.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Find the magic inside of you
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What I liked:
Jenna Yoon has created a book with nonstop action, magical abilities, and undercover parents with a Korean flair that made for an exciting middle-grade story. Lia has grown up her whole life being protected by parents who have, as far as she knows, boring desk jobs. She is in training to hopefully join this organization, but she was missing the magic needed to pass the test to get in.
From the first page, you are thrown into the story with a mix of reality and the hidden world, and Lia is quickly thrown into the thick of things when she arrives one day from school to find her parents gone and her house ransacked by shadows.
I liked that you not spoon-fed everything about the organization that Lia parents work for; the author cleverly gives you riddles so that you discover along with Lia what her destiny will soon be.
Final Verdict:
Lia Park is a perfect middle-grade character; she feels authentic, honest, and determined, and her attention to detail from the everyday events in her family lives helps form a genuine connection to her as a character. In addition, I enjoy stories about cultures different from mine, so I get the chance to have a great adventure and learn a little along the way. So pick up Lia Park and the missing jewel for those who love spy adventures, magic, and some riddle-solving.
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Lia Park must uncover her destiny
Overall rating
 
3.3
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Lia Park lives in a world of magical secret agents that fight monsters, but she has gone her whole life
without any magic. She becomes discouraged at the idea of a future career as a desk agent with no
magic and decides it is time to make friends outside of the IMA by going to the party of the most
popular girl in school despite her parents forbidding her.
That poor decision leads to the breaking of a protection spell she didn’t realize was placed on her, her
parent’s kidnapping and shadowy villains out to get her. Her best friend, Joon, sticks with her after she
is forced to blow up her house and make her way to her Halmoni (grandmother) in Korea.
The story forces Lia to learn all the secrets her family has kept from her about her very strong magical
abilities and heritage. She grows as her hero quest progresses and discovers hidden strengths and
determination she didn’t previously possess. Joon is a great friend and sidekick during her journey. He
also ends up uncovering information about his past that was surprising.
Lia rises to the occasion when she finally must complete the final task on her own and rescues her loved ones. Now her life is full of potential as she is accepted into the magic school along with Joon.
What Left Me wanting More: The Korean phrases and mythology make for a rich story. The audiobook
version may be a nice way to experience the story because the words were difficult to pronounce when using it for a read-aloud.
Final Verdict: Fans of Graci Kim’s The Last Fallen Star should try this first book in a new series by Jenna
Yoon. It is a fun story that uses the trope of discovering your parents have kept major secrets from you and facing off against ancient enemies with newfound skills. If you enjoy those themes, then this is a good book to read. The ending sets up the rest of the series in a way that is reminiscent of Harry getting his letter to Hogwarts.
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