July 9, 2021

ARC REVIEW: The Last Fallen Star (The Gifted Clans Book 1) by Graci Kim

The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim
Rating: 5 Stars
Release Date: May 4, 2021
Format: eARC
Publisher: Disney Hyperion (Rick Riordan Presents Imprint)

Graci Kim’s debut novel The Last Fallen Star was an eye-opening fresh take on Korean mythology, leaving me hungry for more Korean myths (and for food with all the yummy food references). From mentions of boba to my first exposure to tornado fries, I got so hungry. I thought myself an amateur mythology expert, but I had to re-evaluate that title after reading The Last Fallen Star. Thank you for the inclusion of a glossary at the end of the book to help with learning all the new names and terms.

Riley, our protagonist, is the odd one out in a family of gifted witches. She wants nothing more than to fit in and become a healer like her adopted parents. Unfortunately, no amount of memorization or study will ever make up for the lack of innate magical talent. After her attempt to get magic goes wrong and she violates the laws of her community, she and her best friend Emmett must go on an impossible quest to find the last fallen star.

I enjoyed the humor that Kim wove into her story. I was cackling at the idea of swiping left or right on a ghost-finding app. Emmett was by far my favorite character in the story (sidekicks for the win!). His love of baking and strange quirks (a self-proclaimed allergy to emotions) had me hooked. I was touched by the bond between Hattie and Riley, as it reminded me of the bond between my sister and me.

One concern I had was that this would seem too close to the other Korean mythology title in the Rick Riordan Presents imprint, Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee. After reading, I found they were very different and focused on separate aspects of the myths. Dragon Pearl is a space opera, while The Last Fallen Star takes place in modern LA.

I can’t wait to see comes out next from Graci Kim and the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. Thank you to Net Galley and Disney Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this title early!


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