Nine Tails Episode 1: Of Faeries and Demons

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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)

Sounds great doesn’t it.

Well, it really is.

For anyone into any of Rick Riordan’s novels or even Harry Potter will appreciate the beautiful blending of the Korean mythology  creating the fantasy and stunning urban settings layered throughout the book. After reading the first few chapters I was hooked. The conflict laced throughout the novel made me keep reading from start to finish, not only invested in the story as a whole, but I fell for the characters and the richly believable dynamics that was played out between them.

I’ve had the pleasure of working as a BETA for the author since last summer. Seeing the story develop, the characters evolution has not been only interesting as a reader but inspiring as a fellow writer. Now, let’s dive into the story.

The story blends multiple stories into one, this generally would annoy me a lot jumping back and forth between characters and story lines can get incredibly confusing if not done flawlessly… This book DID NOT disappoint in that aspect. While this is J.Young-Ju Harris’s debut novel, it didn’t feel that way.

The writing style was stylistic, the voices well defined, but separate to each individual character. This not only allowed the reader to differentiate very easily between characters and storylines, but it allowed to easily relate with each character for separate reasons and to root for their individual goals.

The book itself has an interesting format taking place over several Episodes, like a TV series featuring seasons. It’s something I never really gave much thought into, but as a reader I really enjoyed this format. The novel ties up majority of loose ends to make it satisfying, but creates some necessary conflict to “force” you to pursue reading Episode 2.

Overall reading this first Episode in the series, I was surprised with the artful skill the author possessed. Between relating the storylines so seamlessly, the characters each having such distinct voices, but made sure they didn’t feel forced just for the characters to “stand out” was refreshing.

I know J.Young-Ju Harris has gained a long time reader, a fan & a friend. I look forward to seeing the massive success I KNOW he will achieve as a writer.

Overall Verdict: 5/5

BUY IT. At only .99 Cents on Amazon, it’s a steal at that price.

Nine Tails Episode 2: Masks

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Sora’s attempt to stop her sister’s kidnapping has failed. With no other leads, she decides to pursue a mysterious masked man who may have information on her sister’s whereabouts . But when she learns Jason is in danger, she must set aside her search and race against time to save him.

Back in the mortal world, Jason is unaware that his life may be in peril. He’s doing his best to enjoy the summer away from college by partying with his friends. That’s when he reconnects with Min, a former high school classmate. But is there more to her than meets the eye? And is she a danger to Jason or a potential ally?  (Via Amazon

The second book in the series dives right back into the drama created in the first of the series. Immediately the reader is transported back to the gritty, urban landscapes of New York city.

The goals of the characters are used propelling the story forward in a conceivably believable manner, they have a clear driving force behind them. Organic plots are key, its hard as a reader to get invested when any of the storyline feels forced.

Each one of the characters are compelling in their own story arcs, the voices each individually distinct making them endearing to the reader and “real” individuals that we root for. The motivations have a natural progression , as  reader we understand and root for them to go down that “path”.

The emotions the characters elicit are believable, and organic to the situation, while you love to hate some characters (I’m looking at you Jason and Sora), you form a bond with them each individually.

I loved this second novel just as much as the first.  It was a page turner and now I’m dying to continue reading onto Book #3. Don’t expect to start this book and put it down in the same night without finishing it, J.Young Ju-Harris knows how to hook his readers.

Overall Verdict: 5/5

BUY IT.

Nine Tails Episode 3: The Serpent and the Centipede

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On the night before the mission to rescue her sister, Sora reminisces about Ki-yung. She was once a princess and he an honored soldier. In this third episode of Nine Tails, we learn about how the two came to be so close and what led them to be driven from their home into exile. (Via Amazon

TBR & Reviewed – May 15th

Nine Tails Episode 4: Into the Shadowlands

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Sora has discovered that her sister has been taken into the Shadowlands, a realm without any form of natural light. Feeling that the chase is coming to an end, she enlists the help of all her contacts for a final mission to rescue Nari.

Jason joins the team to help, and his new friend Min comes along as well. What the group doesn’t realize is the true nature of who, or what, Min is. Will her true nature hurt the team? And will they be able to track down Sora’s sister in a land of only darkness? (Via Amazon

TBR & Reviewed – June 12th