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Gilded (The Gilded Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Christina Farley
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (635 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 into 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.

Editorial Reviews Review

Gilded Common Core Educator’s Guide      Gilded Common Core Educator’s Guide

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—Four years after her mother's death, 16-year-old Korean American Jae Hwa Lee and her father leave Los Angeles behind to move to Seoul, South Korea. Jae's biggest concerns are fitting in at her new international school and keeping up with her classes, along with maintaining her status as a hard-core black belt. When her formidable grandfather warns her that the demigod Haemosu has stolen the soul of the firstborn female in her family for generations, and she is next, Jae isn't sure what to believe. The teen soon discovers that her grandfather's warnings prove all too real, and she must use her tae kwon do and archery skills, as well as unexpected help from her enigmatic and attractive classmate Marc, to escape the fate of the women who came before her. While the premise sounds promising, the story does not completely fulfill expectations. The breakneck pace leaves the plot feeling scattered and lacking emotional depth. While Jae has potential as a strong female protagonist, other characters are not fully developed, and become overused caricatures: the intelligent, attractive love interest with a mysterious secret; the dismissive workaholic parent. The Korean setting and myths make for an interesting backdrop, but stop short of providing readers with a rich, fully realized cultural experience. Recommended for large collections where fantasy is in high demand.—Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, Columbus Public Library, WI

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
296 of 318 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As usual I didn't pay anything for this book but instead received it for free. This time via the courtesy of the Kindle Firsts program. Despite that kindness I give my candid thoughts below. Oh, and I do not include a plot summary so no spoilers of any kind; you can read the book description for that.

Firstly, this is a YA novel so the criteria I apply differ from those of a standard adult novel. The first thing I look at is whether I'd want my own children to read this book from a moral standpoint. Joyfully, I report that this book contains nothing really sexual in nature, unless you count some occasional kissing. Further there are no drug references or anything else untoward. It should be noted that this is pretty standard youth escapism fiction though so the usual defiance of parental authority is in evidence. In short though, I have no concerns. This is good clean stuff.

The second question I look at is whether this book teach the reader anything. Again, in this case I would reply strongly to the affirmative. The narrative is deeply entwined with Korean mythology and culture. It even goes so far as to include a lengthy glossary in the back so you know this is outside the standard dragons, elves and dwarves motif. Further, for the first time I've seen in a book of this sort, the protagonist faces and problem and actually has the help of her extended family. This isn't the usual situation in which a problem arises and the kids have to go it alone. The whole family is involved and working together. That in itself is a great lesson.

Lastly, I ask whether the reader will be entertained. To that I say, simply, that even as an adult I was entertained.
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For my free Kindle book of the month I chose Gilded by Christina Farley and I'm glad I did. I read it in one extended sitting simply because the story was so engrossing and engaging.

First, let me address a few of my pet peeves and how they're handled in this book.

1) Gilded wrapped up every important story thread while leaving a few teasing hints and a path leading to the next book, which I hope is coming soon. Yes, unusual for this day and time - but gratefully appreciated - this book is a complete standalone story, even though it is the first in a series.

So many authors these days leave major parts of their story hanging and some give no resolution to *any* story threads, hoping to coerce you into buying their next book. It's gotten so rampant that I often delete the offending book, resolving to go no further because it's so exasperating. A few threads left unraveled are fine, but I've hit books that leave nothing resolved at all, which I believe is an abuse of the audience and more manipulation and moneygrubbing than creative writing. Thankfully, Gilded does not fall into this trap.

2) This book was well-edited. It means a lot to me not to have misplaced modifiers, comma splices, wrong word choices, and the like intruding upon me and throwing me out of the story. The sharp, professional editing is greatly appreciated!

3) The story was clean and tight. While this is a YA and there are instances of our heroine noticing a particular person is "hot," the romance does not overshadow or intrude upon the storyline and a few kisses are as steamy as it gets. There are no profanities, no gratuitous make-out scenes, and no sexual/offensive innuendos.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start February 2, 2014
By gary
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bought it without expecting very much. It was a novel on a subject culture I had heard little about by a author I had never heard of...... Once I started I could not put it down. Great characters and plot.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Marie's Read February 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While I enjoyed the story, it was a little frustrating to slog through the teenage angst, but this book is written for teenagers.

It helps to have some first hand experience with the Korean culture to know how seriously students take their schooling. It's incredible! American students wouldn't last a week in the Asian education system. Having been there and lived next door to a high school, I was floored by the hours - 8+, 6 days a week. The kids were always laughing after school, they really enjoyed it.

That said, I am not sure American teens will appreciate how much the heroine and her friends study and how seriously high school is taken by everyone.

The author does a wonderful job of describing Korea, she uses some Korean words, but translates them (there is a complete translation at the end of the book, which is helpful while reading it).

It's a fun fantasy with Korean mythology - lots of dragons, etc. Plenty of descriptive martial arts moves, beautiful cultural dresses, flying chariots, good vs evil, and the heroine must save all her female ancestors from imprisonment in "hell".

I can see this story making it to the big screen and I would love to see it in the hands of the right director.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great YA fantasy February 4, 2014
By Peri
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good YA fantasy based on Korean mythology about a Korean-American teen from California, carried to Seoul Korea by her father's job only to become embroiled in an unusual family curse. A kick-ass heroine, passionate about archery and Tae Kwon Do, with close friends, Jae is believable and likeable. Oh yeah, there is a cute boy with secrets of his own too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars So when I started reading Gilded and saw words and things I was...
I actually went through a stage where I was obsessed with Korean soap operas. So much so that when I got home from work I would immediately turn on the Korean channel (which you... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Jen @ Library of a Book Witch
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book!
Wonderful read that I haven't been able to stop thinking about!! Highly recommend to anyone who thinks it sounds interesting.
Published 3 days ago by Kayla
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book. I enjoyed reading it.
Published 5 days ago by J
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read full of fast-paced action and a strong leading ...
A great read full of fast-paced action and a strong leading lady! Christina builds an exotic and mysterious world set in Korea. Lots of fun!
Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the Korean Mythology
Got this book for my teenage son who is doing the review: "Loved this book! Really enjoyed the Korean mythology...pretty cool stuff!!"
Published 8 days ago by Mama Monte
5.0 out of 5 stars Daughter loved it...
My daughter and I both loved Gilded! For me, it was a great intro to Korean culture and mythology-- and my daughter loved the non-stop action and the mythology as well.
Published 8 days ago by Skket
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Break
A fun break from reality. The author created an interesting fantasy world. Definitely tailored towards teens.
Published 23 days ago by Todd Jager
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best YA fantasy books I've read recently
I love a good fantasy novel. Especially contemporary fantasy. Through some magic and supernatural beings and a decent back story in, and you'll have me hooked. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ashley Ferguson
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent YA fantasy
I was tired of YA dystopian books and discovered this gem in my Kindle book list. Gilded is a wonderfully captivating fantasy about a teenage girl who returns to Korea after the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Teacher Jeanne
3.0 out of 5 stars a young person's introduction to Korean myths
For 13 or 14 year olds, this would be a fun intro to Korean myths and might inspire them to research further.
Published 1 month ago by David W. Jurgens
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More About the Author

CHRISTINA FARLEY was born and raised in upstate New York. As a child, she loved to explore, which later inspired her to jump on a plane and travel the world. She taught at international schools in Asia for ten years, eight of which were in the mysterious and beautiful city of Seoul, Korea that became the setting of GILDED and SILVERN.

Currently she lives in Clermont, FL with her husband and two sons--that is until the travel itch whisks her off to a new unknown.

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