Book Review Nine Tails: Episode 1: Of Fairies and Demons

Nine Tails - Ep 1a.jpg

Used with permission from the author. (I adore this cover!)

Nine Tails: Episode 1: Of Fairies and Demons

by : J. Young-Ju Harris

Summary: Jason Park has ambitions to create comic books about heroes. Little does he know that he might soon become one himself. It starts when he stumbles into the middle of a kidnapping plot and discovers that the strange book he inherited from his grandfather has magical properties. He ends up coming to the aid of Sora, an exiled fairy princess from the Korean Spirit World. Together they must save Sora’s sister from the villains who kidnapped her.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to either of them, a shape shifting nine-tailed fox spirit is hot on Jason’s trail. She needs to recover the magical book for her employer in a bid to save her soul and become human. Deadly and wily, she will stop at nothing to get what she needs. (via Amazon)

I had the fortune to beta read one of this author’s earlier drafts of this episode, and He was so kind to ask me to write a review based on my thoughts. As I am reviewing, in some sense, an ARC copy, some of the things I say might be different from the final draft available on Amazon. If they are vastly different, I will follow up this review with an updated one. I can tell you across the board that this is an episode that you do not want to miss.

Pros:

Korean Mythology: Those of you  that have been following my blog for quite some time probably know by now that I love anything to do with mythology and magic.  Korean mythology was new to me at the start of reading this book, and it certainly left a lasting impression. It added a unique element to the story that made it feel familiar while still staying true to the author’s vision. As excited as I am whenever I find a book riffing on the more classic Greek and Roman  myths I learned about in school, it’s even more fascinating when authors bring in systems of magic I know very little about. I get a glimpse into a completely different culture, and It’s fun to guess which part of the story were most heavily influenced by different myths.

Multiple Stories in One: Something that I really admired about this author’s work is his ability to weave hair that multiple stories into one complete, cohesive narrative. There are plenty of unique characters and storylines, so each reader has the opportunity to find their own thread of events to relate to and engage with. And, despite the array of characters, Which is something I’m typically not a fan of in fantasy novels, nothing became so confusing or hard to keep track of throughout my reading of this novel that I wanted to put it down. Instead, the suspense kept me turning pages.

Cons:

Structure: This is more of a personal preference than a con about the story itself, but I feel it’s important to those looking to buy the book. This story is told in episodic structure. The episode wraps up nicely, providing a solution to one conflict while launching the reader into the next, but it does end on a large cliffhanger with the narrative hanging in the balance.

Overall: 4.5/5 Stars. Recommended for fans of mythology and episodic stories.

Recommendation: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Book 1

By Rick Riordan

Summary:  Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki–and the price he wants is very high. (via Amazon)

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