Friday 7 March 2014

Review: Gilded - Christina Farley (+ International Giveaway)

A Korean god. An ancient curse. Can she escape becoming GILDED?

A girl with a black belt and a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows discovers an ancient Korean god has been kidnapping the first-born daughters of her family for generations. And she’s next.

Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting in to a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she's next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There's also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae's heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae's been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she's always been looking for.

Gilded Series:
Silvern (September 2014)

Visit Christina Farley's website for more information.

Jae Hwa may be from a Korean family but she was raised in America and the last thing she really wants is to move from her home in L.A to Seoul leaving all her friends behind. She had absolutely no idea she is a distant descendant of the princess who refused to marry demi-god Haemosu and that ever since that day he has stolen the oldest female from each generation and forced her to be his bride. Returning to Korea puts Jae firmly on Haemosu's radar but can she find a way to save herself from his clutches?

Gilded is the first book in a new fantasy series that is jam packed with Korean mythology which I found really interesting. I have to admit I know practically nothing about Korean legends so learning about the demi-god Haemosu and his princess bride was great fun and something I really enjoyed. I also loved the setting and the descriptions of Seoul, you can tell the author has done her research on this. If anything I'd have liked a little more detail and could happily have read much more about Korean traditions and the Korean people.

Jae Hwa is a character full of contradictions, she is a Tae Kwan Do black belt and an expert at Korean archery but she could be incredibly clumsy and unaware of her body which seemed a little strange. She is also highly intelligent and in all of the top classes at a well respected international school but could make the most ridiculously stupid decisions that made me want to shake her. I know she is young but I really expected better of her and she is constantly going against the advice she is given and doing the complete opposite. It made it hard for me to have any respect for her character which was a shame because she had a lot of potential. I think she came across as much younger than 16 most of the time so she has a lot of growing up to do.

The other issue I had was with the amount of normal teenage high school angst, I wanted a badass girl who was going to be out fighting demons or monsters but I ended up with a lot of homework problems and swooning over the hot boy. I struggled to see the connection between Jae and Marc, their interest in each other felt forced and was very much a case of instant attraction for no apparent reason. I think there was a little too much focus on the high school and relationship side of the story when the time would have been better spent having Jae find out more about her family history with Haemosu and learning ways to fight him. The second half of the book had a lot more action packed and that's where things really picked up for me, the story flowed better and was much more interesting to read. This is the first book in a new series so hopefully we'll learn more about Jae's heritage and see her mature as a character as the story continues.

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Giveaway Details:

As part of the blog tour Christina Farley is holding a fabulous giveaway of 10 traditional Korean goodie bags (available to international winners) and not one but TWO Kindle Paperwhites (US only). You can enter using the Rafflecopter form below, winners will be announced by Christina and she will contact you directly to arrange sending out the prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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