My rating: 4 of 5 stars
GENRE: Young Adult / MG
THEME: Korean Mythology and Romance
RECEIVED: Review for Tour
REVIEW:I was super excited to read Gilded as I’m a huge fan of Korean mythology and with my husband being Korean I have learned to love the culture and couldn’t wait to see what author Farley created.
Gilded follows sixteen year old Jae Hwa who has to move from LA. to Seoul after the loss of her mother. Once there she discovers that the women in her family are related to a princess. But that isn’t all; there is a demigod after her, who wants to take her prisoner in his realm.
Jae is a tough and extremely smart American Korean girl, who is also archery champion and has a black belt in Tae Kwan Do. What!? Now that is one kick butt female lead that seriously any girl would want to look up too. She also can transform into animals and seems to be able to take on the world. Even though I loved how strong and independent she was, I felt she was characterized too strong; I wanted her to have a bit more flaws. She does make some mistakes and really needed to learn to listen but I wanted more where she would learn and use her smarts to get her through tough situations. The best part was her family; I love when authors focus on more than just romance but the family and the history that goes along with the overall plot. Her father did bother me at times, but I liked their moments when they bonded.
Marc is the male protagonist and of course Jae’s love interest. He was always there for her and does save her, but I wanted more. The romance is cute and I do mean cute, it was very middle grade to me and I didn’t feel that bam! There is some awesome chemistry but it was more of a growing bond and childish blowing kisses.
Overall the best tidbit was the fantastic mythology and since I know some Korean I was able to follow the language (when used) without any issues of getting lost. The pace had some highs and lows where I would be hooked and then lost interest. But the ending was great and not a cliffhanger, which is how I like my series; this was more of a new beginning for the next chapter. I will be continuing this series as I can see a lot of potential with the magic and Jae’s character has a lot to grow on after everything she has gone through.
RECOMMENDATION:This is a young adult novel with some great insight into the Korean culture. Fans of The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce and Jennifer Esteps mythos series will enjoy Gilded by debut author Christina Farley.
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