Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway! Gilded by Christina L. Farley

Welcome to my stop on the Gilded Blog Tour hosted by Elana from Blog Tours By Elana.
To follow along with the rest of the tour click here!

Author: Christina L. Farley
Series: Gilded #1
Publisher: Skyscape
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Publication Date: March 1, 2014 

Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting in to a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she's next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There's also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae's heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae's been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she's always been looking for.
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Long ago a beautiful princess named Yuhwa caught the eye of the handsome but terrible Demi-God Haemosu. The Princess despite being warned to stay away fell in love with Haemosu. However, her Father the river God Habaek refused to consent to the marriage so Haemosu took the princess by force. As the couple soared to the heavens together the Princess cut a hole in his Chariot and fell back to Earth. Haemosu searched endlessly for his Princess but she stayed hidden. Anger consumed him and he cursed Yuhwa's ancestors in vengeance. Now 1000 years later it is up to sixteen year old Jae Hwa to right the wrongs of the past and free her family from the terrible curse laid upon them. That is if she can avoid Haemosu before he takes her as his bride or worse kills everyone she loves in the process.

If I had to describe Gilded  I'd say it's a blend of the Anime Inuyasha, the Korean Drama Jumong with a touch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or perhaps even Dragonball thrown in. I know that seems like a lot of sources to pull from but if you've seen any of those shows mentioned above believe me it'll make sense once you read it.

Being a huge fan of Korean culture it was great to see a Western Author dive into the world of Korean mythology. Although I'm sure they exist, I personally can't really recall any other book that has done so.

Another thing I really loved about the story were the characters. I liked Jae Hwa even if she did bug me with her foolishness from time to time. I also thought Marc was a great sidekick/companion and it certainly didn't hurt that he was both handsome and incredibly smart. I even liked Haemosu. Sure he wasn't exactly honorable kidnapping all the first born females in Jae Hwa's family and he did also put someone in a Coma but yet.... something tells me that we haven't heard the last from him. Lastly, I really liked Haechi although he was severely underused considering he was supposed to Guard Jae Hwa. Character oversight or deliberate move by the Author? I'm still undecided.

Now even though I really enjoyed Gilded I did have a few problems with the story that kept me from rating it higher.

First off, I didn't understand Michelle. Sure the girls were friends but she acted like they were bonded deeper than that. I'm still not sure if she really can be trusted or not and that bothers me considering how much focus she was given despite being a secondary character.

Another thing I didn't like was Jae Hwa's stubbornness. She never listened and by the end of the book it left me frustrated. Don't get me wrong she was a strong character and I certainly liked her but she felt so immature at times and it probably bothered me even more than it should.

Lastly, the romance felt sweet but forced. When you really think about it, How is Marc any different than Haemosu? I mean sure he isn't trying to essentially enslave you for eternity but he's just as pushy and cunning. He literally pushes his way into every situation involving Jae Hwa and I have a theory (which sorry would be too spoilery to post) that might not bode well for the couple in the future. I'll definitely be curious to see which direction the character and the relationship heads in future books. 

Final Thoughts
While I thoroughly enjoyed Gilded I couldn't help but constantly compare its storyline and characters to those I've read or watched before. Was I happy I read it? Yes. Would I recommend it? Most definitely. However, if you watch a bunch of Korean Dramas and Anime like I do you might be left with a sense of reading or watching this story (or something similar to it) before. Now despite the above mentioned Gilded does have excellent pacing, fantastic world building and solid writing. I definitely look forward to reading the next book in the series especially after the rather interesting ending involving Jae Hwa and Palk. I don't think we've seen the end of the spirit world in any case. With that being said, I'll be rating Gilded by Christina L. Farley  ★★★★.

 *Copy reviewed provided by Author.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way  for providing them.

About the Author
After teaching and traveling internationally for ten years, Christina started writing about her adventures, tossing in a little fiction for fun. This inspired her to write GILDED, a YA based on Korean mythology about a Korean-American girl who takes her destiny into her own hands.

Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, driving too fast, and eating dark chocolate.

Christina writes fantasy for teens. Her debut YA, GILDED, will be published by Skyscape/Amazon Children’s, spring 2014. She is represented by Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary, LLC. 

Follow Christina:  YouTube / Facebook / Tumblr / Goodreads / Website / Twitter

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  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read GILDED and being a part of the tour!

  2. This sounds so interesting despite the few flaws you mentioned.

    Definitely seems like a set up for problems to come. I have watched a few K-Dramas but not enough that would make this too predictable for me.

  3. This sounds neat and unique! It sounds like it has strong characters and even if some had quirks that were annoying you seemed to have enjoyed it overall! :)

    1. Yup, definitely unique and worth the time it took to read.


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