Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

“Min is shocked to hear her brother, Jun, has deserted the Space Force in search of the legendary Dragon Pearl. Eager to prove his innocence, she sets out to find him, and to do so, she’ll need to use her family’s ancestral magic—they’re shape-shifting fox spirits who have preternatural charm—a skill that has not endeared them to others. Along the way, Min outthinks pesky space security, earns money at a gambling den, survives a laser fight with mercenaries, impersonates a dead cadet, and breaks a planet-wide quarantine of the Fourth Colony to rid it of its vengeful ghostly inhabitants. Luckily, she has some new friends on her side, Haneul, a female dragon, and Sujun, a nonbinary goblin. Lee’s written a unique space opera infused with elements of traditional Korean mythology. Not only are Lee’s characters refreshingly diverse both in race and gender identity, but the mythology mixed with sf means there is something for many readers to enjoy. Billed as a stand-alone, this is ideal for readers who want fantasy epics without the commitment to multivolume stories.” — Booklist