Gilded: great setting, flat characters. I wanted to like this one so much more than I did.
Book Review: Gilded by Christina L. Farley
Title & Author: Gilded (The Gilded Series, Book One) by Christina Farley
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Mythology
Release Date: March 1, 2014
Series: Gilded #1
Publisher: Skyscape (Amazon Children’s Publishing)
How I Got the Book: Copy from the blog tour
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.”
Fairytale Retellings, Korean Style
I love a good retelling! I didn’t realize Gilded was in fact a retelling until I did a bit of Googling. I’m not very familiar with any Korean myths, so it was definitely helpful.
Jae and her dad have recently moved to Seoul, and she’s adjusting to the new city (she was from L.A.) and her new school. I absolutely ADORED the setting of Seoul in the book.The mix of city life and glorious outdoors was refreshing and fun.
After Jae discovers her family history is a little more exciting and magical than she ever could have imagined, that’s when the pace and characters really start to get interesting. The situation described is almost like a Persephone and Hades type situation. I really liked that richness of detail Farley brought to that tale.
I liked that Jae is a fierce heroine. She knows how to fight and use a bow with skill. Although it’s clear right away that Jae is strong and independent, I didn’t seem much else from her.
When I think about describing her personality, I can’t. All I think about is her ability to defend herself and the trouble her family’s in. She lacked a certain depth to me, and I wasn’t able to connect with her character.
Also the love interest was sort of blah to me as well. So with the both of them being so vanilla, their romance was even more vanilla. I mean, when you’re rooting for the bad guy to become the real object of Jae’s affections, you know something’s off. (But seriously, I feel like that could have been great!).
Gilded was a fast read with tons of slightly predictable action. The story offers a different setting for a story we’ve already heard. Although it was enjoyable, it didn’t add anything to what’s been done.
This story would be better suited for those at the young end of the YA age spectrum, or even middle grade readers.
With the stunning backdrop of Seoul, Korea, this book reimagines some new and engaging Korean myths in a modern city with take-charge heroine. I only wished the characters had shone as much as the setting. Gilded is more appropriate for younger readers who haven’t read as much fiction as more experienced readers who have perhaps read this type of tale many times before.