cover image The Last Fallen Star (Gifted Clans #1)

The Last Fallen Star (Gifted Clans #1)

Graci Kim. Disney/Riordan, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-368-05963-3

Korean American adoptee Riley Oh, 12 and selfless, is the only saram—“normal, non-gifted person without a lick of magic”—in her family, who are healers and part of the Gom clan. When Riley’s denied the opportunity to take part in a magical initiation ceremony, she, along with her headstrong 12-year-old sister Hattie, also Korean American, protest, conjuring a spell that will split Hattie’s magic with Riley. Their decision sets off a series of events that reveal Riley’s biological parentage and threaten the whole community. And when Hattie’s life hangs in the balance, Riley must find the last fallen star to bring her back. Riley and her biracial best friend, Emmett, a sardonic saram of Korean descent, encounter a slew of Korean mythological characters, including an inmyeonjo, a dokkaebi, and gwisin. As Riley and Emmett travel around L.A.’s Koreatown, readers familiar with Korean culture will appreciate references to staples such as H-Mart and noraebangs. Though overly detailed explanations of magic bog down this otherwise fast-paced adventure, unique clan identities are cleverly imagined, and Riley’s emotional arc and journey to self-acceptance shine through. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Carrie Pestritto, Laura Dail Literary. (May) [/em]