Readers' Favorite

June 20, 2024

The God and the Gumiho by Sophie Kim ~ a Review

by MK French

Kim Hani hides her past as the Scarlet Fox by working as a barista. Seokga the Fallen is the trickster god exiled from the heavenly kingdom of Okhwang and working on his redemption. When a powerful demon escapes from the underworld and threatens to end all of humanity, Okhwang’s emperor offers Seokga a bargain: kill the demon and the Scarlet Fox, and he can go home again. Hani teams up with Seokga as his assistant, hoping to keep her identity safe. The two bicker and are drawn to each other, but the investigation has its own potentially lethal consequences.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of fantasy novel The God and the Gumiho by Sophie Kim
June 2024; Del Rey; 978-0593599662
audio, ebook, print (416 pages); fantasy

Sophie Kim also wrote the Talons trilogy and The God and the Gumiho is another book incorporating Korean myth and folklore. Gumiho are fox spirits, and there are many gods in the traditional pantheon. Taking place in 1990's Korea, the world of legendary creatures and mortals overlap in this urban fantasy setting. Seokga must capture the twenty thousand spirits that he had used to invade Okhwang and temporarily depose his brother the Emperor of Heaven as penance. This makes him the grouchy one compared to Hani's irreverent barista persona. She's far older than she claims and coaches her fellow gumiho barista on how their kind used to live, feasting on the livers and souls of men. In the midst of this, mortals and immortals alike are being killed. Detective Seokga is overworked and irritable, leading his boss to accept anyone willing to do the job as his assistant. Overhearing that the police suspect the Scarlet Fox has resurfaced, she takes on the job to deter Seokga.

In addition to the usual urban fantasy tropes, we have fun with the grumpy/sunshine, only one bed, and enemies-to-lovers elements in this story as well as a murder mystery. Hani is playful by nature and doesn't generally harm average citizens, though men harassing and threatening her on the street are a different story. I found her enjoyable to read, and a great contrast to Seokga, who is dour and irritable at the start of the tale. It's hard to see the trickster side of him, as he's been beaten down by his sentence. Once the demon arrives, the story kicks into a higher gear and then we see him at work. He's still surly and has no bedside manner for questioning at all, so Hani is actually helpful at bringing out clues and blending into the mortal side of the city.

The live story and adventure story twine together, and the finale is very well done. There's the tension of Hani's secret, the risk of dying and our realm becoming a new home for monsters, and losing the chance to regain his power. Not all fairy tales have a happy ending, but the red thread of fate binds souls together and provides the promise of more. This is book one of the Fate's Thread series, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here.

Buy The God and the Gumiho at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us. Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up for our newsletter today! Or Follow Girl Who Reads with Bloglovin. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.


Post a Comment