Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

“In DRAGON PEARL, Yoon Ha Lee (the Machineries of Empire series) melds elements of Korean myth, science fiction and adventure stories into a strong, cohesive narrative that fans of multiple genres will enjoy…Lee’s inclusion of Korean mythological aspects isn’t limited to supernatural beings; it also impeccably incorporates “geomantic arts–the flow of gi and the cosmic balance of the universe” into how the Space Forces’ battle cruisers are engineered. All these components work in harmony to shape Min’s quest, immersing readers in her journey.

Lee’s epic romp through space also includes discussions about prejudice (“Other supernaturals, like dragons and goblins and shamans… wield their magic openly” and are even praised for it, while foxes must pretend to be extinct), nonbinary identity (“This [guard’s] particular badge… had a small symbol next to the name that let me know they should be addressed neutrally, as neither female nor male”) and inequality between rich and poor (“Whoever this councilor was, I doubted she was thinking about people like me and my family, who could use the Pearl’s powers to make our lives less desperate.”) Lee handles these topics sensitively without burdening her audience.

DRAGON PEARL shoots for the moon and lands flawlessly, delivering a rollicking and meaningful space adventure.” — Shelf Awareness