Completely Addicting Fantasy with a Heroine that is AMAZING
“After all, not all storytellers are grandmothers, but all grandmothers are storytellers.”
I am unfamiliar with the Korean folktale that Axie Oh retells in this YA historical fantasy/romance, but I can assure you that The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is equally enchanting and full of love, magic, and the wisdom that comes with listening to and honoring your beloved family and ancestors.
“It seems unwise to give fire to a clumsy person in a forest.”
Mina is a character who loves her older brothers but most especially her brother Joon. Joon has known for years that his bride will be gentle and beautiful Shim Cheong, but fate is tricky. Every year a bride is chosen to be sent down to the Spirit Realm at the bottom of the sea to the Sea God so that he may finally break his curse and stop the storms that ravage the seas, and terrorize the people who live nearby and work the land. Above all else, Mina cannot stand to see the people she loves in pain. So when it becomes time to send the newest Sea God’s Bride into the sea, Mina takes it upon herself to go in Shim Cheong’s place in the hopes that it will save her brother from heartache.
Once in the Spirit Realm, Mina is guided by the Red String of Fate straight to the sleeping Sea God. It’s there that she’s told she only has 30 days to help break the curse that plagues the Sea God or her soul will be separated from her. The friends—the spirits, beings, and other manner of characters that Mina meets and befriends on her journey are truly what make The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea so magical. Shin and Mina’s connection is utterly alluring and the obstacles that each of them face, along with the unspoken gestures and actions between the two will have romance readers swooning.
“Don’t chase fate, Mina. Let fate chase you.”
My favorite aspect of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is not only Mina’s determination, but also her intelligence as well as her ability to see the good in every being that she comes across. She respects everyone in the Spirit Realm, but also manages to keep herself safe and stay true to herself while doing it. I think the depth of Mina’s character is a testament to Axie Oh and her ability to create such a beautiful and magical world of the Spirit Realm while injecting so much humanity in a place where humans can’t even survive.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is going to be a story that sticks with me for a while and I can already tell you that it’s a top read of 2022 for me. Axie Oh’s storytelling, prose, and character development are so gorgeous. The words came alive around me while I was reading and I loved being immersed in such a vivid world. I can absolutely assure you that this book isn’t just for YA readers, and I can guarantee that a reader at any (teen or above) age will adore this story!
Jes is a self-proclaimed bookworm, who recently moved from the PNW back to the Midwest. When her nose isn’t in a book, she’s spending time with her husband, two kids, and her three fur babies, or exploring the globe. She also firmly believes that you should start the day with coffee, and end the day in bed with a good book.