Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Rick Riordan Presents Yoon Ha Lee’s space opera about thirteen-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her.
To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.
When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.
Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.
This sci-fi adventure with the underpinnings of Korean mythology will transport you to a world far beyond your imagination.
There were a lot of things I really liked about Dragon Pearl, but I was a little bit disappointed, too. I think it was the pacing more than anything. Certain parts flowed well, but parts were slow and other parts wrapped up too quickly. Overall, I enjoyed it though.
Min is a 13 year old gumiho, a fox. She can change shapes and use her magic to get into people’s heads. She can make them believe that they never saw her or that someone didn’t pass by them. She is rarely in her fox form, and usually looks like a young girl. Her brother Jun is in the space force and Min was hoping to join him there in two years. But a man shows up at their house and says that Jun was a deserter. Min knows that can’t be correct, so she sneaks away to find out what happened. It’s believed that foxes are no longer around and people are afraid of them. So Min has to use her powers, but not get caught.
She is able to finally get onto Jun’s ship after a lot of other issues. She takes on the body of a ghost she meets on the ship and pretends to be a cadet. She finds out more about Jun’s mission and why he was missing. Min must also get the Dragon Pearl before it ends up in the wrong hands.
There is a decent amount of action at times and also some betrayal that made the story interesting. I also loved how there were gumiho, ghosts, tigers, dragon, goblins, space pirates, and more. I ended up giving Dragon Pearl 4 stars. It was closer to 3 1/2, but there was enough I liked to push it up a bit.
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for my copy for review.
Have you read Dragon Pearl yet? Is it on your TBR?