Gu Miyoung is a wicked fox, a Gumiho, a beast. Her nature is to use her beauty to lure men in and then devour them. However, Miyoung is also half human and this part is always trying hard to keep her from killing. When Miyoung saves Jihoon from a goblin attack in Seoul, she loses her Fox bead – her soul. It is said, whoever possesses the Fox bead, controls the Gumiho.
The plot is honestly thin. Although the premis sounds great, I had no idea where this book was going for more than 100 pages. So Miyoung is a Gumiho and Jihoon is human.. Was that really going to be it? I’m happy to say no. Luckily there’s more to the story, it just begins so darn late. When you have to power through a huge chunk of pages to get to the real thing, it leaves a meh-feeling. The story does pick up later on but it’s still not an edge-of-your-seat must-read-on kind of pace.
When it comes to Cho’s writing, I hope she’s a writer who gets better and better over time. She taps into an amazing universe with so much potential – with a few tweaks here and there, she could nail it. I had to get used to the writing style and it took me longer than usual to get through just a few chapters. This might be a personal issue and others find the writing easy peasy – did you?
What I loved about this book, even if the plot was kind of thin, was the K-drama/anime feel. With the action-packed scenes and high stakes relationships I could practically see it being played out in front of me. I love this kind of immersive world building. There are plenty of references to Korean pop culture, from TV shows to famous areas and I devoured it all. This is definitely a case of if you’re interested in Korean culture, you’ll love it. If you’re not, then maybe you won’t find these fan wins interesting. The entertainment value depends very much on the individual reader’s preferences here.
Besides the modern day settings of Seoul we also get snippets of the Gumiho origin. Where they came from, how superstition grew with the people, how they survived etc. It’s honestly one of the most interesting elements of the book and without spoiling, I would LOVE a spin-off featuring Miyoung’s mother.
Speaking of the characters, there were ups and downs like most of the book. Some characters are intriguing, like Miyoung’s Shaman friend, while others fall flat. Jihoon doesn’t have much of a personality and Miyoung’s classmates seem perfectly irrelevant. Miyoung rocks a tough outer shell with a scared girl in need of love living on the inside. While the war between her Gumiho and human halves is quite interesting, she doesn’t have the best personality either. She goes hot and cold, which is understandable, but there’s too much angst in her atmosphere.
Would I recommend Wicked Fox? I would. It’s quite far from the great books I’ve read recently but it’s also new and different. It lacks a few elements but I’m confident that Kat Cho will improve over time. We need new voices and new worlds in YA and we get it in Wicked Fox. Now, we just have to wait for the second instalment to see what happens – oh the waiting game..
You can check out more info about the book along with more ratings here on Goodreads.
Page count: 429
Goodreads rating: 3.7/5