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 men. 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 and reignite a generations-old feud . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon's.
Wicked Fox (Gumiho, #1)Featured
During one hunt, she hears a boy her age, Jihoon, being attached by a dokkaebi- a goblin- and she saves him but loses her yeowi guseul or fox bead- effectively, her soul- in the process. As she seeks to put her bead back into her body, she must defy her mother to save her soul.
At the same time, she begins to know Jihoon better as he continuously seeks her out when she tries to disappear. Soon, she finds herself falling in love, a feeling which her mother has always warned her was too dangerous. Jihoon is also battling with his own demons, having been abandoned by his mother when he was young, leaving him with deep scars. We follow Jihoon and Miyoung in alternating sections and unravel the mystery of Miyoung and the gumiho.
The mythology here was fascinating, and I loved the inclusion of some of the stories throughout the book. The main characters (Miyoung, Jihoon) were really well-crafted and so easy for the reader to fall in love with and cheer for. Miyoung’s mother was an interesting character; in some ways, she was a villain, but in many ways, she was misunderstood, and I loved seeing her character crafted throughout the story. Nara is a character who I would have liked to know better. She seemed somewhat erratic, and it would have been great to know her better and understand her motives more.
Overall, this was a fascinating and unique new urban/contemporary fantasy. I am really excited that this is the first in a series, and I cannot wait to continue this engaging story in the future.