When I saw this book, I went “Hmmm”, seeing a manga styled cover art with Korean text in the Singapore shelf of the bookstore. I then went “You must be kidding me” when I read the blurb.
Here’s the blurb anyway:
Over fifty years ago, more than 60,000 people were killed during the ‘Jeju Massacre’ on Jeju Island, South Korea, when the South Korean army attempted to brutally suppress an armed insurrection by the people of Jeju. The bodies of the victims – civilians, rebels, and soldiers alike – were sealed in a volcanic cave on Mount Halla to rest, or so it was hoped, in peace for all eternity. However, decades later, some of these bodies were mysteriously resurrected as vampires and they are now doomed to roam the streets of Jeju seeking living human prey and continuing the battles that they once fought in life. Thus, the bitter feud between the two mortal factions – The Regiments (former soldiers) and The Guerrillas (former rebels) – has now become immortal. Today, fifty years later, we meet Han Mirae, a young Korean girl who is caught in a love triangle between Jackie Chang, a swashbuckling vampire hunter from Singapore, and Shin Taewoo a powerful vampire of the Guerillas. And, we meet Kim Hyunsuk, the opal-eyed vampire of the Regiments, who abducts Mirae in order to set a trap to kill the other two.
Can Taewoo or Jackie save the girl in time? And who is Mirae’s real love?
I retranslated the blurb in my mind and grinned.
Seriously, how could I NOT buy the book when you have a vampire slayer named Jackie Chang with hot Korean vampires and an alledged love triangle? The current blurb is wordy with educational historical value but what basically got me into buying this is “Singaporean vampire slayer”, “hot Korean vampires” and “love triangle”.
YOU CAN’T RESIST NOT WANTING TO READ IT.
Sure, it is in the Singapore shelf, which is sadly where most local books… die if they’re not marketted strongly by the authors or shops. Or sometimes, they’re not even reviewed and no one realises the existance of these books… So nonetheless, I must read it and review.
Anywho, after buying Curse of Jeju Island, I went off to read it. Okay, I lie, I read it a few days later because I got busy but I DID finish it and if the author is reading this review, I would like to smack you hard, IN A GOOD WAY!
Because you are evil and ended the first book of this trilogy at a part where you KNOW readers are going “WHAT?! WHAT!?!?? That’s the end for this one?!”.
Right, right. Let me do a “semi-professional” review of this book now.
Curse of Jeju Island is pretty much what it is said in the blurb of the book, however the story takes a rather educational tone about Korean culture and language. Sometimes, you might wonder if you’re reading a book about Korean food and greetings or if you’re really reading about the vampires on the island.
It is useful however since not everyone would know what the Korean dishes or terms are but I suppose there must be a better way somehow of integrating this into the story without making it sound like you were having a tour guide in the middle of the book.
The story is pretty simple and while the writing isn’t too bad, the author could get the story spruced up a bit with a little more editing. For those reading the book, well…
Some of the characters might seem familliar to you, perhaps it is on purpose by the author on having a teenage boy named Jackie Chang as the human hero but as you read on, readers of Japanese manga or watchers of anime might wonder if Ronnie is a fan of popular Ninja series.
For one thing, Hayeon, a girl vampire in the story is a timid shy thing with a description of having opal eyes with no pupils at all. Further more, she wears a thick white jacket with a ton of clasps in the front. If that doesn’t ring a bell to some of you, then perhaps it’s purely my imagination going on overdrive.
On an unrelated note, I’m actually REALLY liking Hayeon and hope she’ll have more appearances in the second book even if she isn’t the “main” character of the story. I just can’t help liking her!
Right, on with the story. To me it felt like it had a slow beginning and the action only started around the end of Chapter Six. Overall, it had pretty action sequences and imagery.
I can’t say more without spoiling so just get the book! I got it for $12.89 at Popular. The quality of the book is pretty good and it’s published by Candid Creation. If anything else, the writer’s blog is at http://ronnieng.blogspot.com to see upcoming books.
I’m definitely waiting for the continuation of Jeju Island and… PONTIANAK SLAYERS OF VAMPINES!
Sometimes you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s title.