I'll preface this by saying it's been a while since I've read much YA, and this book feels very YA, so...I'm not sure how to evaluate it well!
My last few books have included Broken Earth, Too Like the Lightning, and Machineries of Empire. Those are, uh, extremely different books and hardly a fair comparison, but that's my context.
So this book felt very linear, like I was just kinda on rails, with some twists and turns, but never really concerned that it wasn't gonna work out. Despite the galactic and personal fates in play, it never really felt particularly high-stakes to me.
I also recently read Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, and this felt more in that vein, altho perhaps lighter still. Here it kinda felt like we just floated around making friends and resolving the obstacles as they came without much effort. It's very much a MacGuffin hunt for the titular Dragon Pearl, albeit with good motivations for the hunt.
It was a quick read, I read it over a couple days. I did appreciate how the Korean mythology was integrated with the spacefaring society - there are definitely echoes of Machineries of Empire here in how well the mystical is woven in, and it does feel like a society where the mythology is very real and just taken as a fact of life.
Published Oct. 20, 2016 by HODDER & STOUGHTON.