Dec 5
2018

School Library Journal starred review for Dragon Pearl

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

“Min is a supernatural creature, a fox spirit, with the ability to use fox-magic, called the Charm, to change her appearance and persuade others to do things. All her life, her mother has told her to avoid using the Charm, as foxes are mistrusted and looked down upon by the rest of society. When an investigator comes to their home inquiring after her brother Jun, who he claims has deserted from his place in the Space Forces, Min takes matters into her own hands and goes in search of him. Her travels take her from a gambling house run by a disowned relative to the ship where her brother was last stationed, the Pale Lightning. The more Min learns about her brother’s disappearance, the more she suspects foul play and all signs seem to be leading to the discovery of the Dragon Pearl, an ancient relic with great powers and value. The story’s climax features multiple surprises and betrayals, in a quick but unhurried pace. Lee skillfully weaves Korean folklore into this space opera narrative, creating dynamic and relatable characters. The ending is satisfying, tying up loose ends, but leaving room for a sequel. VERDICT With ghosts, pirates, and a rollicking space adventure, there’s a little something for everyone here. A recommended purchase for all middle grade collections.” — School Library Journal, Starred Review

Nov 6
2018

Booklist on Dragon Pearl

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

Sep 20
2018

Kirkus starred review for Dragon Pearl

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

“This latest in the Rick Riordan Presents imprint launches Korean mythological creatures into outer space.

Thirteen-year-old Min cannot believe her older brother, Jun, has deserted his Space Force post, as he’s been accused of doing. Naturally, Min runs away from home to clear her brother’s name. It’s a Rick Riordan trademark to thrust mythological figures into new settings. Fans will breathlessly watch while fox-spirit Min charms her way onto a hijacked starship, ending up on her brother’s military star cruiser on the way to the lawless Ghost Sector. Lee has created an adrenaline-filled space opera with mythological creatures living alongside humans. Min and her family are gumiho, or shape-shifting foxes, but they present as human to hide their magical natures. She takes on the identity of Jang, a male cadet killed in battle, and enlists the aid of two other supernatural Space Force cadets: Haneul, a female dragon, and Sujin, a nonbinary goblin. Min is first and foremost a teenager on a mission and a magical being second. The ambivalence of her identity (fox or human, male or female, hero or traitor,) echoes ethical questions that many kid readers face. It is refreshing to see both Korean elements and a nonbinary character seamlessly integrated into the storyline. Narrator Min explains Korean mythology smoothly as the action progresses for readers with no previous knowledge.

A high-octane, science-fiction thriller painted with a Korean brush and a brilliant example of how different cultures can have unique but accessible cosmology and universal appeal.” — Kirkus, Starred Review

Jun 18
2018

Locus on Revenant Gun

Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee

“Revenant Gun is a fast, gripping story. Its shifting viewpoints – all seeing some part of the picture, none with a complete view or good insight into other people’s motivations – and potential for betrayals make it feel complex and demanding. At base, though, it’s a thriller crossed with a story about learning to live with consequences you didn’t choose. It’s a story in part about mortality: it holds a contrast between someone who wants to die and someone who wants to never die, and the costs, to oneself or to others, of taking those desires to extremes. Jedao, like Cheris, is an extremely compelling character – as is, somewhat to my surprise, the robot servitor Hemiole, whose naiveté and determination make an interesting comparison with the other, more jaded characters.

I really enjoyed Revenant Gun, and I sincerely hope that Lee has the opportunity to write many more novels. This is excellent space opera, and I wish there were more like it.” — Locus

Apr 30
2018

Lee, Bear, Wells, and Kowal are all 2018 Locus Award finalists!

The 2018 Locus Awards finalists have been announced, and they include Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee (for best Science Fiction Novel), The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear (for best Fantasy Novel), All Systems Red by Martha Wells (for best Novella), “The Worshipful Society of Glovers” by Mary Robinette Kowal (for best Novelette), and “Extracurricular Activities” by Yoon Ha Lee (also for best Novelette)!

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