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The Last Fallen Star

by Graci Kim

Series: The Gifted Clans (1)

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835271,565 (3.89)None
Riley can't wait to see her sister Hattie get initiated into a powerful lineage of Korean healing witches their family has belonged to for generations. Although Riley is desperate to follow in Hattie's footsteps, she's a saram - without magic. Then Hattie gets an idea: what if the two of them could cast a spell that would allow them to share Hattie's magic? But when the sisters attempt to violate the laws of the Godrealm, it puts Hattie's life in danger, and to save her Riley has to fulfil an impossible task: find the last fallen star. The quest she embarks upon uncovers secrets, and changes her view of the world.… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
This novel is a 2022 Lone Star novel.

Riley Oh and her sister Hattie are super close, but only Hattie will be initiated into her powers as a healing witch. Neither think it's fair that Riley, as a Saram (human), can't be granted the healing powers as she is also such a good healer. Hattie knows no fear and concocts a plan to convince the goddess to grant Riley these powers. Unfortunately, the plan goes awry and now Riley must save her sister. Em, her best friend whose mother was killed by the one witch clan that was ousted from all the clans, promises to go on this journey with her. They'll find the last fallen star for the goddess who will then heal her sister. What Riley fails to mention is that she just learned she's Horangi, one of the ousted clan.

This novel is part of the Rick Riordan Presents, presenting Korean goddesses. Much like his novels, there are interesting gods, twists, and a journey as they try to complete a quest. It's enjoyable. The characters were likeable and the plot will continue in another novel. the end will surprise you--it's not all perfectly tied together in a bow. ( )
  acargile | Jan 19, 2022 |
A great entry in the Rick Riordan Presents imprint, with an amazing world of myth and magic to explore. In addition to the heroic middle grade adventure we've come to expect from this imprint, I love how this one explored issues of familial love, sisterhood, and identity around adoption. ( )
  bibliovermis | Jun 8, 2021 |
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

Rick Riordan has done wonders for the lit world, not simply through his own books, but his support of other authors. I've read several middle grade books in his new Presents line, and there hasn't been a bad one in the bunch. Graci Kim's fun yet meaningful romp The Last Fallen Star is an incredible new novel inspired by Korean mythology and set in Los Angeles.

Riley is a relatable, great heroine from the start. She was adopted into a family of Gom, witch healers, but has no magic herself, much to her vexation. In an incredibly pleasant twist to familiar tropes, Riley has a fantastic relationship with her family, including her almost-the-same-age sister, Hattie. In fact, Hattie loves her so much that she's willing to do forbidden magic to split her magical power with Riley. Of course, everything goes wrong. The Gods and the supernatural get involved. Hattie is in terrible peril. Riley ends up on an urgent quest to save Hattie before her sister is lost forever.

The pace of the book is fast and punctuated by moments of humor and levity, but what I loved most was the story's genuine heart. The people here feel real and complicated. There are major messages of belonging and family, but they are not heavy-handed or suffocating. Plus, hey, the book is loads of fun, and a great way to learn about Korean mythology and culture. I not only want to read the next book in this series, but I want to read more of Kim's writing, too. ( )
  ladycato | Mar 12, 2021 |
This MG read was a quick, entertaining, jaunt through Cali. It had a very relaxed vibe with laid back, modern dialogue. The premise was awesome with unique mythological creatures and an interesting explanation for their Magic. This Korean tale of Magic, Family (both given and chosen), Friends and Power merged nicely with the modern day backdrop.

The writing was good if not a tiny bit succinct. Although it did tend to be predictable at times, it still was fun exploring this fantastical world. Then there was the foooood! There was a whole lot of eating going on and this foodie appreciated all of the enticing shout outs to yummy cuisine.

The pace was steady but not frantic as the plot... needing to save the quickly diminishing life of a sister... called for (but never really delivered). I felt little to no suspense even though there should have been (strike# 1). There also was no struggle with conflict resolution. Things just simply worked. No pain for the gain = a slightly cranky reader here (strike# 2). BUT I let both transgressions slide (for the most part) because the rest was undeniably entertaining.

Overall:

The world building was the star here AND even though I'm more of a character driven novel enthusiast, I still enjoyed this read. I might not be the exact demographic for this book though... it definitely has a younger (than myself) vibe... but I enjoyed it all the same.

If you're on the fence or just plain curious, you should definitely give this book a shot ESPECIALLY if you like a read with a strong female MC coming of age with close relationships, Magic and loads of mythical creatures and fantastical scenarios happening right smack dab in the middle of modern day California. It is a fun, clean, magical adventure suited for all ages.

~ Enjoy

*** I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review *** ( )
  BethYacoub | Feb 1, 2021 |
Thanks to Disney Publishing Worldwide and NetGalley for this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The Last Fallen Star is about Riley Oh, an adopted 12-year-old living with her Eomma,(mother) Appa,(father) and her sister, Hattie. They are part of the Gom clan, which is one of the five Korean witch clans still part of the council. Riley is sad because she cannot do magic due to her adopted heritage. But, when she and Hattie come up with a plan for Hattie to share her magic with Riley, she finally gets to do magic. But, when the spell goes wrong, and Hattie’s life is on the line, Riley has to join a hilarious cast of characters to find the godrelm’s last fallen star.

Oh my gosh this book was so amazing! Riley Oh is so relatable and funny that it takes you back to being 12. There are so many great things about this book. I love the mystery element Graci Kim added. It makes the characters heroes and detectives, and I think it’s cool that there is this big ominous event that they are piercing together part by part. This book really bends the cookie cutter of the Rick Riordan Presents books. There was no mystical guide in this because the main characters already knew about most of the magical things(emphasis on most…). I really like the characters, they are so true to real people that it feels like you are living the book. They are also so different from each other. I don’t like books where every character is so similar to all of the others that it feels like one person going through a quest alone. They each have defined personalities and there is huge character growth for each of them. I like how everyone mentioned in the beginning has a chance to shine. It makes it feel like no one is sidelined and no one is used too much. One big thing for Riley is her “leaky bladder eyeballs”. This feels so correct because if you are a 12-year-old kid who has to save not only your family, but the world, you would cry a lot too. The glossary is so helpful, but also, it’s great that you don’t need it too much. Everything is explained in great detail and the universe is so much easier to understand because of that.

I hope we get to see Hattie a lot in the next book. I was a little sad that we didn’t meet Hattie enough in the first one, but honestly that’s a good thing. Hattie is such a great character that I want to get to know her a lot. One thing that is worse about this book is all the twists. They aren’t all bad, but there are so many of them that they kind of undermine everything we learn in the first 3 quarters of the book. It feels like you can’t trust anything you learn. Something that surprised me about The Last Fallen Star is that according to her website this Graci Kim’s first book! This was really surprising considering that it was so good!

Graci Kim hits the ground running with this hilarious and meaningful book that will charm readers everywhere. ( )
  Books_With_Antonio | Jan 3, 2021 |
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Riley can't wait to see her sister Hattie get initiated into a powerful lineage of Korean healing witches their family has belonged to for generations. Although Riley is desperate to follow in Hattie's footsteps, she's a saram - without magic. Then Hattie gets an idea: what if the two of them could cast a spell that would allow them to share Hattie's magic? But when the sisters attempt to violate the laws of the Godrealm, it puts Hattie's life in danger, and to save her Riley has to fulfil an impossible task: find the last fallen star. The quest she embarks upon uncovers secrets, and changes her view of the world.

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