24 Oct / The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh [in School Library Journal]
Axie Oh adapts the traditional Korean “Tale of Shim Cheong” as the basis of her latest novel, her first foray into exploring folklore. Her unique version features 16-year-old Mina who, unwilling to watch her adored older brother lose his beloved Shim Cheong, replaces herself as the sacrificial bride of the Sea God. Waking in the Spirit Realm, Mina must reunite with her lost soul while figuring out how to save her earthly people.
In combining historical folklore, magical elements, and fantastic creatures, Oh invents her own affecting myths. Spanish Korean actor Rosa Escoda makes her YA debut with energetic aplomb. Persuasively dynamic characterizations aside, however, Escoda has a noticeable speech impediment that could alienate impatient listeners.
Verdict: The choosiest audiences might turn to the page to enjoy Oh’s girl-power adventure.
From the introduction: For the latest audio roundup, we turn to titles inspired by fairy tales and mythology, each published in 2022. Rewriting, adapting, subverting the familiar has long been a popular literary trope – who can argue with universal appeal? Cinderella, especially, continues to be an evergreen favorite, appearing in multiple stories, often in surprising permutations. Read (and listen) on!
Readers: Young Adult