About the Book:
Title: The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea
Author: Axie Oh
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: February 22, 2022
Genre: YA Fantasy
Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.
Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.
Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.
But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking…
*I received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher*
If I had to only choose one word to summarize The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh, it would be brilliant. It was magical and captivating, with amazing world building and beautiful imagery. This was one of my most anticipated releases for 2022, and it did not disappoint.
Mina’s village has been suffering. For generations, deadly storms have been happening and floods have swept away villages. There has been fighting among the people over their few remaining resources. The village believes that the Sea God who once protected them, has now cursed them, and to appease him they send him a beautiful bride each year. Their hope is that one day he will find his “true bride” and then their suffering will finally come to an end.
Mina loves her brother Joon and has always been close with him. So when his beloved Shim Cheong is chosen as the next bride, Joon goes after her as she heads out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a sentence of death. To save both her brother and Cheong, Mina jumps into the sea and sacrifices herself.
Mina is swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city with mythical beasts and lesser gods. She soon finds the Sea God, and learns that he is in an enchanted sleep. With the help of the curious young Shin, and other demons, gods, and spirits Mina works at waking the Sea God and bringing an end to the storms that have plagued her people for good.
She quickly discovers that she doesn’t have a lot of time as humans don’t live very long in a land of spirits, and there are those who don’t want the Sea God to wake.
This story totally read like a fairytale to me and I enjoyed the Korean folklore very much! The setting is just gorgeous and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole cast of characters. There is also slow burn romance, which is one of my favorite tropes. I think if you like any of the things I mentioned, you’ll definitely enjoy it. This book is releasing February 22, 2022 so be sure to add it to your TBR.
About the Author:
Axie Oh is a first-generation Korean American, born in New York City and raised in New Jersey. She studied Korean history and creative writing as an undergrad at the University of California San Diego and holds an MFA in Writing for Young People from Lesley University.