Wicked Fox (Gumiho #1) By Kat Cho Book Review
If you didn’t have the character of Ahri in your heads when you read the word “nine tailed fox” then I don’t know you.
I have only discovered the term “Nine tailed fox” or “Gumiho” or “Kitsune” when I saw K/DA’s music video for POP/STARS. Since then I wondered why I haven’t heard of this fantasy. I was trying to find books about it but failed to do so. Until ONE DAY in book club I heard about Gumiho a book about a nine tailed fox who saves a boy from dying. It’s Kdrama and Korean mythology in one book and I was here for it.
Look, I don’t typically watch K-drama but I do know some of the re-occuring themes such as slow motion hand holds and chime-y shimmery music as they gaze into each others eyes. This did have a K-drama vibe (I’m watching The Beauty Inside right now and can definitely see the romance similarities) as well as this vibe that weirdly reminded me of Mulan It also reminded me of werewolves (not the Twilight werewolves but just in general, ones that transform in the full moon) so I guess I got the whole array of vibes.
In terms of storyline I found it was very interesting or at least to keep up my fascination… in the first part of the book. There is a scene halfway through that seemed as if it was the climax and it was only about 250 pages in maybe? I thought that would’ve been a good place to end however we got the second part of the book that was just slow and boring and I had no interest in it at all not even really in the climaxclimax. The ending didn’t do anything really for me or shocked me. The characters didn’t excite me at the end as they did in the start. Their personalities and voices sort of died down which was a huge disappointment since I was starting to love them and claim them as people I could relate to before the mid book climax happened and things went downhill.
Now, let me discuss characters. I half loved them half didn’t. I’ll divide this from 1st half to 2nd half (Halves from before and after the mid book climax)
FIRST HALF- CHARACTERS
I loved these characters! Specifically Miyoung and Jihoon. Miyoung at the start of the book was cold hearted and focused on herself only. It was only kind-hearted and wise Jihoon that made her open her heart up and slowly but surely even I could see that. Although I loved Miyoung’s character it was Jihoon that stole the show for me. He made some incredible quotes that honestly deserve to be printed in bold inky letters on a t-shirt. For example this one I found on page 140:
“Looking at life with humour doesn’t mean I don’t take it seriously. You need to be able to laugh at things, even the sad scary stuff sometimes.”
He also just got it you know? His quotes pulled at the heart strings in a way I could not explain. Of course there’s Rhysand and Rowan and Harry Potter and Dumbledore but Jihoon just somehow did something to me. No wonder Miyoung fell in love with him!
“A lot can happen in two months. You can meet a girl who seems angry and secretive and learn that it’s all just a front for a kind heart that’s been hurt too many times. I know what it’s like to need to hide your bruises behind a facade.”
And what about Yena?
She was cool and all and she was a very grim character who reminded me of Mother Gothel. At the first part of the book you don’t really get much from her except for her overprotective nature which affects the outcome of the mid book climax (I’m trying not to spoil anything here!)
SECOND HALF- CHARACTERS
Now here’s where things gone wrong. Yes, Miyoung opened up and became more protective of Jihoon and her friends actually trying to put in an effort into being nice. I didn’t have many problems with her but unfortunately it was Jihoon who I had problems with.
I understood why he moved away a bit from Miyoung but his “I need some time to think” just made the book slower. Honestly most of the book past page 200ish was completely unnecessary and didn’t need to be added into the book. Jihoon’s character died down a bit for me which was sad because I was about to claim him as a active contender on the rapidly changing “Sylvs’ Book Boyfriend List” but now I don’t know what to think. I think Dorian still remains victorious at number one this time 😉
Yena’s character ended up feeling like a corrupted Mother Gothel. Here we saw a bit of backstory I pray to God Cho develops in the future (because there is such a great concept here that I think could make the backbone of a great duology!) and because of everything with Miyoung’s father and with Nara’s grandmother too. I was fascinated in the backstory and I honestly can’t wait to see how Cho develops the rest of the story.
All in all, a bit slow. I disliked the second part of the book but Cho does such a wonderful job of her characters I had to bump my rating score a bit.
ACTUAL RATING: 4.1 STARS