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Wicked Fox: 09/09/19

Wicked Fox

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho is a YA urban fantasy set in Seoul, South Korea. Gu Miyoung and her mother have moved here for the hunt. They are gumihos, or nine-tailed-foxes, and survive by eating the gi of men.

On her first night time hunt, Miyoung stumbles upon Ahn Jihoon who is being attacked by a goblin. She intervenes and saves him, but forfeits her bead — the physical embodiment of her soul and immortality.

It's a good start for a fantasy. But it suffers from some pacing issues. To make sure we know that Miyoung and Jihoon will end up as a couple, we're given alternating points of view, but through short, choppy chapters. There's not enough time to get into either person's head before jumping into the other's.

To make sure we know this is YA, the novel spends an inordinate amount of pages inside Miyoung's school. It reads a bit like the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer which was a half season in length, mid-season replacement. We see how hard Miyoung is finding it to fit into her new school, learning that the boy she saved is a classmate, and how to manage her powers now that her bead is no longer part of her.

Frankly this debut would be better if it were a hundred pages shorter. There's a lot of repetition, especially early on. After the meeting between Jihoon and Miyoung and their first day in school together, the next bunch of chapters can be skipped without losing understanding of the plot.

Despite the issues with this initial offering, I think the series has potential. It's still an interesting concept — a half human/half gumiho woman in a large city trying to find her place in the world. Is she good? Is she evil? Does she have free will? What is she going to do with herself now that she's mortal?

The second Gumiho is due sometime next year.

Three stars

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