Hot Goblins and Smol Angry Girls: My Vicious Spirits Review

Last year, I read Wicked Fox, a debut novel by Kat Cho about a mythical nine-tailed fox (called a gumiho) who has to somehow survive in a modern-day Korean high school. It ended up being my favorite read of the summer. So when I was approved for an ebook ARC of the sequel, Vicious Spirits, I was super excited to dive in!

Well, Vicious Spirits just came out today, so allow me to screech about it now.

Book Title: Vicious Spirits
Author: Kat Cho
Publisher/Year: Putnam, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Number of Pages (According to Goodreads): 429
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Book description (from Goodreads):
New romance and dangers abound in this companion to the crowd-pleasing Wicked Fox.

As Vicious Spirits begins, Miyoung and Jihoon are picking up the pieces of their broken lives following the deaths of Miyoung's mother, Yena, and Jihoon's grandmother. With the support of their friend Somin, and their frenemy, Junu, they might just have a shot at normalcy. But Miyoung is getting sicker and sicker by the day and her friends don't know how to save her. With few options remaining, Junu has an idea but it might require the ultimate sacrifice and, let's be honest, Junu isn't known for his "generosity." Meanwhile, the events at the end of Wicked Fox have upended the forces that govern life and death and there are supernatural entities lurking in the background that will stop at nothing to right their world.

Based on that description, I was a little unsure of how much of a direct sequel this book would be to Wicked Fox, since "companion novel" could mean any number of things. In the end, I found that Vicious Spirits IS a direct sequel, but with a few ... adjustments.

Meet Your New Narrators, Kids!

Wicked Fox is narrated by Miyoung (the eponymous wicked fox) and Jihoon (Miyoung's love interest). However, while Miyoung did get several viewpoint chapters in this book, we also get some of the story from the perspective of two amazing side characters from the first book: Junu and Somin!

I loved getting to know these characters better. Junu is a dokkeabi, a goblin from Korean mythology (but, like, a hot one), who is a delightful insufferable flirt with a lot of insecurities. Somin, on the other hand, is a smol angry bean who won’t let anything get in her way. Basically, they’re both awesome.

And ... they have an enemies to lovers romance! *cue delighted screeching*

So that's all I have to say about that.

So What About the Story?

Well, Miyoung and company are still in heaps of trouble from the events of the first book. And they manage to piss off a few more immortal creatures in this story, so uh ... it's about to go down!

I felt like this book started a little slow, but I soon got sucked back into the world of mythology, sassy characters, and yummy Korean food. It was really interesting to learn about some new facets of Korean mythology and explore the author's spin on things.

In the end, I felt it tied off the duology really nicely and left me feeling happy and satisfied.

Seriously, I'm Hungry Now

The descriptions of food in this book are so good. I need some Korean takeout right about now.

Trigger Warnings for Vicious Spirits

This book might not be for you if you're sensitive to depictions of death or dying, abusive parents, and/or violence involving blood.

Final Thoughts

I would definitely recommend this duology to anyone who's looking for a contemporary fantasy with heapings of cute romance ... and food!

Thanks to Penguin Teen for the ARC of this book! Vicious Spirits is now available in stores everywhere, so if this sounds like something you'd like, go ahead and swipe your copy now :D

Note: Outside of the U.S., Wicked Fox is titled Gumiho, and Vicious Spirits is titled Dokkeabi.

Barnes and Noble | | Amazon | Goodreads

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