The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea — Axie Oh

The Girl Who Fell Beaneath the Sea — Axie Oh

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea reads like Spirited Away in book form but inspired by Korean mythology. The worldbuilding is so fantastical, so mystical, but through the author’s writing, it never felt confusing or strange. For a complete newbie to Korean mythology, it was enough to spark my interest in the original folklore.

I really liked how much of the focus is placed on familial love. Mina sacrifices herself to the Sea God to save her sister-in-law, and in so doing becomes the mortal girl who ventures into the spirit world and learns that things are not quite what they seem. The book tackles families and found families, and I’m always there for that.

As this is a folklore retelling, I do give characters a bit of leeway. Like the sidekick characters had very sidekick personalities, the love interest is of course astoundingly good looking, and the main character saves the world. There is an obligatory romance that, to some, may be on the underdeveloped side (which, strangely, works for me), but what really got me excited was the worldbuilding: I really enjoyed being whisked off to the spirit world, and accompanying Mina as she tries to find a way out, lol

(My favorite characters are actually Mask, Dai, and Miki, as we never quite knew where they fit in until later on in the book. They were a joy to read.)

I do think the back and forth in timelines makes the initial plunge a little difficult, as Mina recalls stories from her grandmother in the middle of an important plot point, but this is only really noticeable in the first few chapters. Aside from that, it was smooth sailing, and a lot of fun.

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