Thanks Penguinteen and Yallwest for the ARC.
I will start this review with I LOVE reading debut authors. It’s one of my favorite things to do as a book blogger. Wicked Fox by Kat Cho had been on my radar for a while, and scoring an ARC at Yallwest was beyond my dreams. So without further ado, let’s go fangirl for a bit.
I really, really enjoyed this read. I have to admit though I am not a romance heavy reader so that always trips me up just a bit, but Wicked Fox was just the right mix of fantastical in a modern setting.
First: MODERN-DAY SEOUL!!! I need more urban fantasy in the world and I feel like Wicked Fox hit the mark. Give me the gritty city and back alleys instead of sweeping mountains and snowscapes (I mean, I do love those but I just feel it’s been used a lot as of late). The setting of Wicked Fox was one of my favorites things; it was real but not in a completely contemporary way- we do have gumiho’s running about with dokkaebi and shamans.
While I know our main characters are Miyoung and Jihoon, I absolute love the side characters of Yena and Junu. Despite Yena’s cold exterior I really enjoyed reading her parts and how she tries to build her relationship with Miyoung based off what she knows from her experience. I know some have said they can’t see her motivations, but I would argue otherwise. She is passionate and misguided, but that makes her such a real character. Junu on the other hand is a side character I can totally get behind for a novella. Every time he appears on the page he steals the scene and makes me want to know more, plus a morally grey character is right in my playbook.
As for Miyoung and Jihoon, I did enjoy their relationship as it struggles and blooms. It felt real, which means it is messy and complicated as they work through separate emotions and their own pasting coming back to haunt them. As for a slow burn romance, I have to say it was something I really enjoyed seeing.
There is a false ending in this book, and I appreciate how it builds to that moment before dropping the floor out from under the reader. It does run a bit slow in pacing, but overall I found myself turning each page wondering what would transpire next. It shifts between Miyoung and Jihoon’s POV’s which I found was needed for the backstory of each character, for the why and how each of them came at the problems from different perspectives. I wouldn’t say this book is overtly on the side of fantasy, so just be prepared for that, it does focus on relationships and how we perceive the people who care for us. While the romance between Miyoung and Jihoon is front and center, the supporting family members are just as valid relationships in the plot, and for that I am deeply satisfied.
I do have issue with Wicked Fox being portrayed as a darker sort of fantasy, I actually found it more warm and fuzzy than I anticipated. It’s a curled up on the couch type of read that left me smiling. Like a darker rom-com with folklore. It was exactly the book I didn’t know I needed and the perfect mix of romance with a splash of dark fantasy.
Until the next read,