Whether it is faerie detectives, high city warlocks, or even the stray alley werewolf, the community has found solace in the words that combine our childhood fantasies with the urban landscapes we know today. Many have ached for books just as diverse as our modern cities. With the publication of The Wicked Fox by Kat Cho, that thirst may very well be quenched.
Set in modern-day Seoul, South Korea, The Wicked Fox follows Gu Mi Young. Mi Young, a gumiho, has the ability to shapeshift into a nine-tailed fox and must feed on the life force of men to stay alive. When she protects a boy named Jihoon from a dokkaebi (goblin), she accidentally loses her fox bead, the physical representation of her soul. As she struggles to mend her soul, she gets entangled in a romance with Jihoon, endangering both of them from the unsavory forces of Korean folklore.
From the beginning, this debut novel felt fresh and unique. It didn’t hold back when it came to showcasing life in Seoul, and conjured it through the interactions between the characters. The romance between Mi Young and Jihoon felt genuine and had depth and layers that stem from not only the supernatural circumstances but their own personal struggles. There were foreshadowed twists that would easily ensnare a reader into a comfortable, “That’s predictable” attitude, but in reality, it drives the story deeper until you’re reading every word and thinking, “What just happened?” Overall, The Wicked Deep is fresh take into YA Urban Fantasy and a wonderful debut for Kat Cho.