Reviewed by Jake B.
Note: The author draws inspiration from Korean fairy tales and folklore.
The book is about a girl from a different planet who goes on a journey to save her brother. I liked the book because the characters are interesting. For instance, the main character Min is part human, part fox, so she can have these powers that are different from human ones—she can persuade others very easily, hear things from far away, and magically make things. Also, I liked that the events in the book take place in the year 1447, but humans on other planets have technology that is way more advanced than the mankind has to this day. They have technology that can let them go to different galaxies and planets. I also liked how humans in the book could see ghosts, so if someone you know died, then they become ghost, and they can watch you and do things with you, but the only risk is that ghosts give bad luck to people they stay with.
— From Young Readers Advisory Board
About the Author
*"Lee offers a perfect balance of space opera and Korean mythology with enough complexity to appeal to teens."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The Korean-mythology-in-space setup is great fun, with supernatural beings and ghosts aplenty, spaceships that run on technological and spiritual energy combined, an entire planet populated by ghosts, and bountiful space hijinks and derring-do."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
*"Lee skillfully weaves Korean folklore into this space opera narrative, creating dynamic and relatable characters. VERDICT: With ghosts, pirates, and a rollicking space adventure, there's a little something for everyone here."—School Library Journal (starred review)
"Lee has a knack for world-building. His richly detailed, cohesive, original vision is a lively mash-up of outer-space sci-fi and Korean culture and folklore."—Horn Book Magazine
"I was so impressed by DRAGON PEARL. The story is multi-layered, the world construction is impeccable--with an awesome intersection of tech and culture--and it is totally compelling to read. Min's nuanced feelings about her magic, her family, and her fox heritage are marvelously complicated. I loved her, and I know you will, too!"—E.K. Johnston, author of the #1 New York Times best-selling Ahsoka
*"Lee has created an adrenaline-filled space opera with mythological creatures living alongside humans. It is refreshing to see both Koran elements and a nonbinary character seamlessly integrated into the storyline. A high-octane, science-fiction thriller painted with a Korean brush and a brilliant example of how different cultures can have unique but accessible cosmology and universal appeal."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Who would have thought Korean mythology would make for such an intense and magical space opera! I loved every moment of it and want the next book NOW so I can explore all the Thousand Worlds with Min! This book is brilliant and gorgeous, and why didn't I have it when I was a kid??"—Ellen Oh, author of Spirit Hunters and the Prophecy series