Curse of Jeju Island

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”.


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 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.

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Well, this is seriously Sarah and that's all you need to know for now.

4 thoughts on “Curse of Jeju Island”

  1. Hey, thanks for the wonderful review~!! 😉

    Well, you’ve guessed right that to a certain degree the characters are “tributes” to the ones in Naruto…

    But largely this book is a deliberated experiment on various writing styles and themes.. the “My name is Jackie Chang and I’m a Vampire Hunter” line is borrowed from Janet Evanovich’s series in which her trademark opening line is “My name is Stephanie Plum and I’m a Fugitive Apprehension Agent aka Bounty Hunter”…

    the chapter-to-chapter switch between 1st-person & 3rd-person narration is derived from James Patterson’s writing style… By using a Korean storyline, I meant to ride on the height of the current “Korean Wave” (food, dramas, cosmetics, tourism,etc). The historical/educational backdrop is also an attempt to experiment with a current genre known as FACTION (fusion of fact & fiction, ala DA VINCI CODE).

    I chose to call the protagonist as Jackie Chang, not due to a lack of creativity in coming up with names, but because Jacky Chan (HK action star) exemplifies the character of asian wit, agility, cheekiness, which fits the hero of this story to a T..that of a swashbuckling vampire hunter… it’s supposed to be a “character crutch”, so as to save me a page or two to provide the reader with character sketches (the same reason why characters suspiciously resemble tnes in Naruto) using the reader’s own imagination… Thus I can keep the story within 128 pages (standard spec for a self-published book)

    This book is actually a self-published one at 1,000 copies, so I’m actually selling them at a substantial loss, especially since I’m unable to enjoy the benefits of economies-of-scale that established writers command.

    Nonetheless, getting a positive review from you is one of the rewards that money probably can’t buy, so I’d like to say thanks again 😉

    On page 106, I actually wanted Taewoo to say, “Singapore? Is that a suburb?” (tribute to M1’s ‘indian curry-house’ advert), but was pulled out on advice by the editors.. coz there’s a fine line between being funny and being corny, & it’s important not to be confused… Anyway, I’ve still got 300 books sitting in my storeroom, and I hope that the ones in the bookstores will move as fast as possible, so i can clear my own stock 🙂


  2. For the benefit of those of you reading this blog entry, here’s a sneak peek on HOW THESE KOREAN VAMPIRES CAME TO BE:

    Korea was under the colonial rule of the Japanese Empire between 1910 and 1945.

    During the Japanese occupation, thousands of Koreans were used as test subjects (guinea pigs) in secret military medical experimentation units, such as Unit 731, Unit 516, and many more. Towards the end of the colonial period, the Japanese military scientists were working on a new project, which was a “vampirisation process” on humans through genetic alteration.

    If the project proved successful, the “supposedly-dead” could remain alive through parasitic life sustenance – a biological mechanism that mimics the blood-sucking leeches and maggots. The Japanese Army paid some poor hapless Korean parents to allow the medical officers to perform the experiments on their children. However, the Korean parents involved in the transaction believed that the experiments were merely another series of medical trials, and were not aware that it was actually a vampirisation process.

    Theoretically-speaking, the success of this project would allow the Japanese Imperial Army to utilise the “undead” as “immortal soldiers” to fight through the end of World War II. The project, however, didn’t seem to yield any immediate nor apparent result, as the Korean children in question didn’t seem to show any physical sign of becoming “vampirised”. The medical officers could not find any sort of cell mutation nor behavioural change in these children.

    The project was finally abandoned, when the Japanese Army were forced to surrender to the Allied Forces in 1945 after the American dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. All documents and project facilities pertaining to the said experiments were destroyed, so as to eliminate evidences of the Japanese Imperial Army’s atrocious deeds.

    The children grew up normally – some of them joined the US-led South Korean Army (known as the Regiments), while some of them embraced communist ideals and became the insurgents (known as the Guerrilas). The two remained at war until the “Jeju Massacre” , which claimed the lives of more than 60,000 people. Their bodies were then sealed in the volcanic cave of Mount Halla. Amongst these 60,000 people were some of the test subjects who were earlier involved in the vampirisation process. The vampirisation process only became effective when these dead bodies were laid in the cave.

    The geological conditions (temperature, mineral make-up, etc) of the volcano cave helped to promote the vampirisation process, and their genetic structure mutated to resemble the feeding patterns of bloodsucking creatures such as leeches. Thus these group of the dead were resurrected to become vampires, and they are now doomed to roam the streets of Jeju seeking living human prey.

    Could Seiji Inada, being a Japanese vampire hunter, somehow be linked to the vampirisation project conducted by the Japanese Army several decades ago?Hhhmm… It very well could, especially if his father, Kazuhito Inada was one of the military officers involved during World War II…

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