Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for this free digital copy in exchange for an honest review. This book is available now!
In Graci Kim’s The Last Fallen Star, Rylie Oh seems just like your average pre-teen–she has her best friend, Emmett, her sister Hattie (whom she adores), loves to binge k-dramas and has loving parents. Unlike most pre-teens, however, Rylie’s family are members of the Gom healing clan–one of the six Korean witch clans–but Rylie, who is adopted, does not get to be initiated into the Gom clan like her sister Hattie. Desperate to feel like she fits in, Rylie agrees to Hattie’s idea that they perform a spell to share magic…an idea that sets off a dangerous and complicated chain of events.
As per usual when I have anything from the Rick Riordan Presents imprint in my hands, I flew through this one! The six different clans and their special branches of magic were so interesting to read about (and I hope to learn even more in the next book) and Rylie was an endearing character. I think the fact that she feels like an outsider will resonate with many, along with her journey to find her place and start to figure out who she is and wants to be. Rylie shows so much growth throughout the story, but not in a way that feels rushed or unearned. Her growth is sweet and powerful and just right. The primary conflict of the story I think overshadowed the conversation around her biological family just a bit, but I’m hoping to see more story around that in the next one!
I loved the descriptions of Korean food (made me SO hungry) and k-pop, k-dramas, and H Mart. Rylie’s best friend, Emmett, is an absolute gem and is my favorite character aside from Rylie! There were moments when I was actually stressed about what the outcome of this book was going to be…when you read it, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!
For fans of middle-grade fantasy/adventure, Rick Riordan, Roshani Chokshi (and all of the author amazing authors under the imprint). I definitely will be getting a copy for my classroom, and I cannot wait to read more! After you read the book, there is a super-fun quiz you can take to learn which Korean witch clan you would be in! Click here for the quiz. I’m a Horangi…which is totally amazing and not all a surprise. 🙂