Cover Image: The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

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Absolutely BEAUTIFUL storytelling. The descriptive language is so engrossing, I fully engaged and fell in love with the spirit world of the Sea God.
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I have no words for how stunning this book was - I first decided to request because it said it would be good for fans of Spirited Away, and boy am I glad I did.

The writing and scenery in this is beautiful, and the story line is just perfect - it made me so emotional reading this and just hoping for everything to turn out okay.

One of my favourite books from 2022 so far, and I have already bought my finished copy.
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4.5*

Thanks to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for my ARC. 

"Sometimes, only through a story can a truth be heard."

Korean mythology meets Spirited Away in this breathtakingly beautiful story of Mina, a girl who sacrifices herself to the Sea God for her brother's happiness. 

We pretty much dive in headfirst into this story (no I will not apologise for this pun) and are swiftly whisked off to the Spirit Realm to meet the Sea God. If you've seen Spirited Away (and if you haven't wtf have you been doing since 2003?) then you'll feel very much at home with Oh's descriptions of the Spirit Realm. There are so many unique creatures, spirits, gods and let's not forget the delicious sounding foods. 

When she arrives in the Spirit Realm, Mina is led to the Sea God by a red string of fate around her wrist, but he seems to be asleep when she arrives. However, the string is swiftly cut by Lord Shin, meaning he can capture her soul so that she, and subsequently the Sea King, can't be killed. We then follow Mina as she tries to ger her soul back; meeting lot's of interesting characters & learning all about the Spirit world and it's secrets.

Oh's descriptions of this world are just stunning. It felt so real and magical, as if I was right there with Mina. 

I LOVED the romantic plot of this book. Mina and Shin are fantastic characters and I completely fell in love with them. The ending was just.. URGH. RIGHT in the feels. 

I also loved the familial aspects in this book - Mina's actions are hugely influenced by her love for her family and I really appreciated how the talent for storytelling seemed to be passed down from Grandmother to Grandaughter.

Not gonna lie, the last third of the book was probably my favourite - all the reveals and heartache and angst. That's my bag. 

The only reason I've knocked it down half a star was because I really would've loved to see more of Shin and Mina as their relationship developed. In the book they seem to go from friends to lovers in a very short space of time and consequently felt a bit rushed.

I would definitely recommend this book, and would read it again. I'd also love to see more of these characters and other characters in the Spirit World so if Oh is up for a sequel or spin off I'll be there! 

CW: child death, death of a parent, grief, war
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𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐺𝑖𝑟𝑙 𝑊ℎ𝑜 𝐹𝑒𝑙𝑙 𝐵𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑎𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑆𝑒𝑎

The rules are simple:
No warriors. No women, besides the Sea God's
bride. No weapons.
Joon broke the first rule by coming tonight. 
I broke the second…and the third.

Don't chase fate. Let fate chase you.

For generations, deadly storms have ravaged Mina's homeland. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curse them with death and despair. To appease him, each year a maiden is thrown into the sea, in the hopes that one day the 'true bride' will be chosen and end the suffering.

Many believe Shim Cheong - Mina's brother's beloved - to be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is sacrificed, Mina's brother follows her, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong's stead.

I dived (sorry not sorry for the pun!) straight into this after Axie Oh’s XOXO as I loved that so much and it didn’t disappoint either!
I loved Mina, such a strong, feisty girl and a great role model for young girls. 
She meets a sleepy sea god, protective guards, helpful spirits and more quirky characters. 
But time is running out for Mina as humans can’t survive long in the land of spirits. 

This lovely book is a powerful, feminist retelling of Shim Cheong, Korea’s famous legend. Axie gives Mina control of her fate and she becomes the perfect girl protagonist 
A must for fantasy fans and perfect for anyone who loved Six Crimson Cranes ( review for that beauty coming soon!) 
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
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So beautifully written. Mina throws herself into the sea to replace Shim Cheong (the chosen bride and also the girl her older brother loves) as the Sea God’s bride. She finds herself in the Spirit Realm with lesser gods and mythical beasts only to find the Sea God sleeping whilst her people suffer as he does nothing to stop the deadly storms back home. There’s magic, threads of fate and dragons! I loved Mina. I loved the spirits who helped her and the odd trio she comes up against when she arrives in the Sea God’s palace and later befriends. It’s a well-balanced narrative with wonderful characters and a dream-like quality that swept me away. The only reason it wasn’t five stars is that personally *spoilers* I didn’t love the ending in which she leaves her family, home and mortal life behind for love but maybe that was just me!

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is just pure beauty! I don't know how else to describe it! My heart was filled with so much emotion. Axie Oh has worked her magic and given me a book that i did not know I needed in my life!

I fell in love with Mina, she sacrificed herself to the sea god so that her brother could be happy, I mean what else do you need to know about her she is the perfect role model!
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This book is totally amazing. It will be an all time favorite of mine. It was great from the first page to the last.
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was so thrilled to not only receive The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea as an eARC from NetGalley but I also received the special edition FairyLoot. I will say I was suckered in by the cover and had no idea what this story was about in the slightest which did feel a little jarring when I started to read. It took me a little while to get my thoughts in order about what worked and what unfortunately didn’t.


CHARACTERS IN THE GIRL WHO FELL BENEATH THE SEA
Mina is the main character in The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea and we follow her through her journey into the Spirit World and how that impacts the people she left behind. I think Mina as a character could have been one of my all-time favourites but I actually found some of her emotional responses to be jarring and stereotypical. The overbearing thought I have about The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is that everything feels overly predictable and trope like. I am not a massive fan of the ordinary girl who becomes magical and I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say this is but that is the main premise of Mina’s character. I was so disappointed by Mina as a whole, I thought there was a lot of potential that just wasn’t explored and a lot of the things that happen to her are just mundane which was a shame.

There are two love interests in The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, the Sea God and Shin, and I would have loved more character development so that when the relationships started to form I cared a little more. I think a lot was taken for granted in terms of knowing what the other person was thinking. I loved Shin as a character especially with the dynamic with his sidekicks, I think the way his story was told was actually better than Mina’s. Just bear that in mind if you’re in this one for the romance.


THE GOOD AND THE BAD!
I’m going to start with the good, this book is extremely atmospheric. I adored the setting and how everything meshed together, when people say it’s like Spirited Away they aren’t far off. It was impressive how much detail Axie Oh managed to fit into such a short book. The mythology for me was definitely my favourite part of the book, I think the different Houses were brilliantly written about, but I would have loved for there to have been more time spent on each of them. To be honest I could have done with this book being like 1000 words long to expand on all the things I wanted expanding.

The things I struggled with was the lack of development, there was definitely moments where the story jumped all over the place and things seemed to happen out of nowhere. Especially when it came to the relationships all the way through the book. I wish there had been more focus on how everything came together and how it all worked out. It ended to quickly and was resolved too quickly for me. It was a little bittersweet when it ended and the issues I had were easily rectified if the book had just been a longer.

RECOMMENDATION
I would recommend The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, although it didn’t work for me I can appreciate there is an audience who would love it! It has a really strong base in the mythology and there is some brilliant moments all the way through. If you are a big fan of Spirited Away you should definitely check this one out!
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3.5 stars rounded up. 

This story is another retelling or reimagining of an older story- they're very popular lately.this particular one is a reworking of the Korean take of Shim Cheong.

As such, there are strong fairytale vibes and the world feels very dreamy. The writing washes over you and there is little world building in a traditional sense or explanations of how things work that make sense. We are told how things are and that's just how it is. It all felt very floaty and non-concrete.

Once I got used to this I didn't mind it so much, however where this falls down a little is the characters and the romance.. They are both quite thin. Mina is a 'strong female character' but mainly because we're told she is - apart from her initial sacrifice she just sort of stumbles around the world she's in for quite a few pages. She spends hardly any time alone with the love interest and while they do have some sweet interactions it's all quite surface level. 

I wasn't familiar with the original story but I did enjoy learning about the Gods and Goddesses that are worshipped by the humans and what their spirit world might be like. Ultimately, this was an enjoyable story but perhaps one that won't stay with me for a long time. 

My thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Amazing book, really beautiful cover art, which I'm not ashamed to say is what drew me to the book! 

I'm not sure if it used the inspiration from familiar favourites such as the Little Mermaid or if it went on it's own myths surrounding river and sea spirits but I felt connected to it in that way. The key references in this book are family and relationships bonds, which goes without saying for a lot of books but also relates to mythologies and the spiritual realm, which I really love. It also had a good amount of feels towards Spirited Away. 

The relationships and character development in this book are very good, well thought out and for even a picky person like me there wasn't one character that I genuinely didn't like or got the iff about. 

This is something that is so magical in terms of the book content that it's actually refreshing to read and I cannot wait to get myself a copy to put on my bookshelf! 

Enchanting read! 

Thanks to netgalley for this FREE ARC in return for my review.
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A luscious Chinese mythological fantasy brimming with magic, soul(s) and found family, The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is just as enchanting as the Sea God's underwater world.
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I love Uprooted and recently discovered the wonder that is Spirited Away, so when I first saw this book it felt as though it had basically been written for me! And I am really glad my NetGalley request for this was approved because The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea was exactly the kind of book I needed, with a story that is just as great as its breathtaking cover.

I absolutely loved being immersed in the world of this book and following Mina in the Spirit Realm. Some of the initial descriptions of the Realm definitely reminded me of Spirited Away, so much so that I could almost picture it in exactly the same way. The story soon continued on its own independent path, and it was so engaging and fast-paced that I may possibly have forsaken other duties just to continue reading as I was so engrossed in the action.

The characters were delightful, and I was especially taken with the protagonist, Mina. She is everything I want in a main character: smart, generous, kind and brave. Plus, she is an excellent storyteller, and that never hurts! The rest of the cast was varied and just as compelling, even though there were a few characters I would have liked to see developed a little further. I wasn't wholly sold on the romance at the beginning, but it completely won me over in the second half of the book! And I absolutely adored the focus on family relationships and friendship: they were so wholesome and heartwarming and gave me all the feels. There may have also been some tears... mostly happy tears, though!

I loved the setting and I found the descriptions to be beautifully delivered, lush and very evocative, but at the same time the worldbuilding is the aspect I had the most issues with. In a sense, it felt as though the book's fast pace worked against it in this respect, as it often seemed rushed and I couldn't help feeling as though large parts of context were missing. I won't go into any more detail to avoid potential spoilers, but I'll just say that I'm still wondering about the motives behind certain characters' actions and decisions.

Still, I had a great time with this book and I loved getting lost in it. Magic, action, love, grief, honour, family, gods and goddesses and even a dragon: this book has it all! Plus, I loved discovering more about the original Korean legend that inspired this retelling. Definitely recommended to anyone looking for a magical easy read.
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RATING: 4.5

Thank you so much Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the opportunity to read this magical book.
I don't even know how to describe how much I loved reading this book. I loved the characters so much, I think Axie Oh has such an amazing way to describe her characters' feelings that always made my heart break for them.
I really loved the storytelling in this book, it was probably one of my favourite aspects.
Maybe it's just me but sometimes the plot felt a little bit flat but I think it's probably because I'm starting to not like YA as much as I used to. Otherwise this book would be a full 5 star read for me.
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A tale brimming with love. The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea will whisk you away on an entrancing journey through the most magical realm. Axie Oh’s characters own my whole heart.
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‘The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea’ is a mesmerising book, I loved it.

Mina, the girl who in order to save her brother and his brother’s love, sacrifices herself to the Sea God, is such a strong and compelling character. She takes a charge of her destiny since the very beginning, and does everything she can to protect those she loves and cares about.

‘The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea’ has been an absolute joy to read, and I have finished it in one seating. It has such a lyrical and mystical atmosphere, and I enjoyed it so much. 

I love retellings, and though very often I read the retellings of stories, legends and myths that are more well-known by me, the ones I’ve been raised with, it’s always great to discover more from different cultures. When I started reading ‘The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea’ in fact, I didn’t know it was a feministic retelling of a classic Korean legend, but it made look into the origin of this book, and learn more, which was a great experience.
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Thank you netgalley and the publishers for giving me a early copy of the book.

I adore this book. I also got a fairyloot edition of the book and it's stunning. 

Mina is such a good character. She shows strength and some what weakness at the same time which makes her a relatable character. but each character individually are all good in their own way. 

The story writing was also very good and a very easy read meaning you could read all of it pretty quickly. But also it was just a simple and nice story line where you don't need to go back and reread certain areas again to remember who was doing what or who they were.
Some of the plot twists were a bit predictable once you read certain chapters but they were still nicely revealed when it came to the reveal.

Overall it's a nice book and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxed and simple read. The cover is also stunning.
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One of my first Anticipated Reads of this year that’s gotten read, and look at that stunning cover! I got an ARC for this one, but also received a glorious copy in a FairyLoot Box. This is a retelling of a Korean myth, and I moved to this when my other myth-inspired book was falling short. This gave me some major Spirited Away vibes at various points in the story. This was on its way to being a new favourite, but in the second half of the book it focused on aspects of the story that I wasn’t too bothered about, and some characters made some major leaps and declarations, despite our limited time spent in our new world. In the end, still a highly enjoyable read, and such a pretty story.
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I was very late reading this book and I’m kicking myself! I loved every moment of this book. Heart warming and such an easy read. Second novel I have read by this author and I am looking forwards to new releases in the future!
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'The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea' by Axie Oh is a beautifully written novels steeped in tradition and mythical tales. We first meet Mina as she prepares to sacrifice herself to the Sea God. For many years, her village and the surrounding communities have been terrorised by violent storms, the annual sacrifice of a young woman to the Sea God in an attempt to appease him. This year, her brother's betrothed has been selected and Mina throws herself into the sea instead, descending into the spirit realm. Once there, she finds the Sea God asleep and the order of gods looking after humanity distorted - she has a month to find a solution to the issue before she becomes a spirit permanently.

I enjoyed following Mina's journey through the spirit world as everything she previously believed about the Sea God is challenged. The narrative highlights the power of faith and the strong connections between families, regardless of whether they are still in the world of the living. Mina is supported in her quest by a number of interesting side characters, not all of them fully fleshed out but all bringing their own unique tale to the group. My favourite being, of course, Shin, his verbal sparring with Mina demonstrating her strength and determination to save the world.

Overall, this was an interesting novel and I think fantasy fans are going to enjoy Mina's story. 4 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher who provided an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed the first 100 pages but then it went downhill. Overall this was very readable but nothing to write home about.
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