EAST ASIA, 2199. After a great war, the East Pacific is in ruins. In brutal Neo Seoul, where status comes from success in combat, ex-gang member Lee Jaewon is a talented pilot rising in the academy's ranks. Abandoned as a child in the slums of Old Seoul by his rebel father, Jaewon desires only to escape his past.
When Jaewon is recruited into the most lucrative weapons development division in Neo Seoul, he is eager to claim his best shot at military glory. But the mission becomes more complicated when he meets Tera, a test subject in the government’s supersoldier project. Tera was trained for one purpose: to pilot one of the lethal God Machines, massive robots for a never-ending war.
With secret orders to report on Tera, Jaewon becomes Tera’s partner, earning her reluctant respect. But as respect turns to love, Jaewon begins to question his loyalty to an oppressive regime that creates weapons out of humans. As the project prepares to go public amidst rumors of a rebellion, Jaewon must decide where he standsas a soldier of the Republic, or a rebel of the people.
Pacific Rim meets Korean action dramas in this mind-blowing, New Visions Award-winning science fiction debut.
|Publisher:||Lee & Low Books, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Axie Oh is a first-generation Korean American, born in New York City and raised in New Jersey. She studied Korean history and creative writing as an undergrad at the University of California San Diego and holds an MFA in Writing for Young People from Lesley University. Her passions include K-pop, anime, stationery supplies, and milk tea, and she currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her puppy, Toro (named after Totoro).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"K-drama meets Pacific Rim” is an all too awesome and accurate description for REBEL SEOUL—Axie Oh’s super anticipated sci-fi, which perfectly combines the adrenaline of an epic thrill ride with healthy amounts of heart, hurt, and at times, humor! She sets the scene in the militaristic, brutal Neo Seoul, a tech-driven, divided world that’s ruled by war against outside powers and the powerful forces within its very city. The compelling backdrop will leave you haunted just as much as the characters caged by its society, especially the jaded ex-gang member Lee Jaewon and Tera, his partner and modified warfront superhuman. No exaggeration, this book hit all of my sweet spots: a killer concept, fantastic world, nuanced characters, emphasis on family and friendship, writing that gives you chills, and a slow burn romance that leaves you wanting more. At its heart, the story is about the wars we’ve fought and the ones we’re always fighting, the scars we gain and the ones we still feel long after the cut. Most importantly, it explores the depth of what makes us truly human, reminding us why that is such a treasure in itself and should not be taken for granted. Long story short, I DEVOURED this pageturner!
Rebel Seoul was one of my most anticipated books from 2017 to read. The book was compared a lot to Pacific Rim and K-Dramas, which sounds like a damn good combo. So does it live up to that promise? The book takes its time getting to the giant robots, which are called GMs (short for God Machines). The giant war machines first appear quite a few chapters into the book in a lengthy scene with the main character and several others participating in a virtual reality, training simulation. The simulation delivers some real-world stakes, because if any of them die in the simulation, they'll be shot and killed in the real world. I loved this part of the book. The training sequence offers some good action while providing useful insight into a lot of the world-building. The world-building in this book is excellent. We're given a world that has suffered through a very long series of wars. Not only does Neo Seoul face threats from without, but the regime is struggling to pacify a growing uprising while keeping the magnitude of this threat hidden from the public. For all the talk of war, though, the book doesn't include as many battles as I expected. That did disappointment me a bit. There's a good reason a lot of the combat is glossed over, though. I'll get to that in a moment. That leads me to the characters. The book includes a great cast. Jaewon provides an interesting point-of-view for the book. He's just starting to earn a place in the military when he and his friend Alex are assigned to oversee a pair of young ladies who have been enhanced through a series of long and unethical experiments. But Jaewon has plenty of his own secrets that threaten his life as he gets more invested in and attracted to Tera, the enhanced "weapon" he's assigned to. Often, a main character with a lot of purposefully hidden secrets from the reader creates a problem, but Jaewon is the type of individual who is so focused on the moment, that it doesn't come across unnatural for him to leave out details about his past until they become immediately relevant. Jaewon and the revelations of his past provide the best drama within this book. The only complaint I have about Jaewon is that he keeps missing key battle scenes. The big action sequence at the beginning of the book provides the best fight scenes involving the GMs, although, technically, they aren't real. They're part of a training simulation. Just as we're about to see most of the key conflicts, Jaewon is often conveniently knocked unconscious. He reminds me a bit of Bilbo Baggins at the end of The Hobbit, when he misses the entire big battle. I really would have loved to see Jaewon in one last big fight scene while operating a GM, but that never happens. The plot includes many layers of conspiracy, and perhaps the most impressive thing Axie Oh accomplishes is making it easy to keep track of all those twists. She manages not to leave the reader confused as she pulls the threads apart. Overall, I think the book delivers more on the K-Drama aspect than the Pacific Rim comparison. There's always a chance that the next book might deliver more of the action, but it's pretty clear that the real story for Rebel Seoul focuses on the personal conflicts of these characters and less on the political/military struggles of the world they inhabit. Fortunately, the cast is filled with some well-developed characters who keep the book entertaining and fast-paced for the entire
This story of a city filled with people at war with enemies and their own natures lures you in and casually sinks a knife in your heart to carve out a space for reflection, sorrow, growth, and hope. The relationships at the heart of this book feel so true to life and their fights for freedom consume you with their fervor. I laughed and cried reading this, and when I finished it I felt understood and inspired. A fast-paced adventure filled with raw energy!
One of my favorite books of 2017! I'm an avid Young Adult and Science Fiction reader and I'd say a handful of books have checked off all my boxes for a great story. Rebel Seoul just joined those books. It's a book that has the world building, technology, and bad-ass action scenes that everyone seeks in a Science fiction, but it also has layered and meaningful relationships, character development, and fan service to boot! Let me get more into what I mean by all this: World Building: Futuristic Militarized and unified East Asian Region. It's largely based on Korean culture and set in the futuristic version of South Korea's capital city, Seoul. But it layers such a good understanding of the history of the East Asian region as a whole. How the cultures have influenced each other over the centuries and how that influence has created multi-dimensional relations and concepts of nationhood. At the end of the day, one of the greatest driving themes of Rebel Seoul is how far one is willing to go to fight for their nation (or their ideal of a nation). Relationships and Characters: Perhaps not everyone coming here has watched anime or Korean dramas. And that's totally fine. But as an avid fan of both, I can say that they always delve very deeply into all types of relationships and human interactions. The best and most successful animes and K-dramas tend to take the simplest things, like a hand brushing another and drawing it out so we see how it affects everyone involved. In Rebel Seoul these small moments are explored just as poignantly. They build and build until a character that shows up for a mere page has left an impact on both the Main Character and the reader (I'll point you to the amazing cab driver scene in the opening). This is what stays with you when you finish reading Rebel Seoul. Those human moments where our main character, Jaewon, struggles with who he is. And how his choice can affect all of those around him in a ripple effect. Fan service: I mentioned Anime and K-Dramas above and this is also where the fan service comes in. As an avid fan, there were scenes that were pulled from these inspirations. The dating scene, the food stall scene, the bridge scene, the concert scene. They were all pulling me back to when I was younger watching Gundam Wing or Cowboy Bebop. It was like easter egg after easter egg of amazing moments that made me both nostalgic for the past and excited to read on! Plus, I can totally see how the kick-butt girl fighters were inspired by anime like Sailor Moon's magical girls. All in all, a book that has something for everyone. I honestly don't have space to write everything I loved, but here's a list of stuff I didn't touch on yet: - Awesome robots - simulated training/fight scene - political intrigue - street gangs and revolution fighters - Amazing and quirky best friends - Smoldering boy characters with attitude and snark - romance - bromance