K's Reviews > Rebel Seoul

Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh
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Okay, I'm back and I've stopped sobbing.

This is 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
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Quotes K Liked

Axie Oh
“Love is a country. It’s vast and endless and full of an unbreakable hope. Maybe this love is a love that’s worth dying for, I don’t know. All I know is that it’s worth living for, again and again.”
Axie Oh, Rebel Seoul

Axie Oh
“The closer I get, the further away she seems. Until I'm right next to her, and she's as far away as the stars.”
Axie Oh, Rebel Seoul

Axie Oh
“My father used to say there's a fine line between death and sleep, and that both are ways to escape an unendurable pain.
But he never spoke of the choice you'd have to make to wake.”
Axie Oh, Rebel Seoul

Axie Oh
“It has to do with me because it has to do with you," Young says, his voice dropping. "Jaewon-ah, we've been friends longer than we've been--."
"Enemies?" I suggest weakly.
"Than we've been lost.”
Axie Oh, Rebel Seoul

Reading Progress

May 18, 2016 – Shelved
May 18, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
May 18, 2016 – Shelved as: diverse-books
May 18, 2016 – Shelved as: mg-ya-favorites
May 18, 2016 – Shelved as: own-voices
May 18, 2016 – Shelved as: science-fiction
May 18, 2016 – Shelved as: ya-sf
May 18, 2016 – Shelved as: epic-books
October 13, 2016 – Shelved as: 2017-highly-anticipated-books
December 29, 2016 – Shelved as: casualties-of-war
April 9, 2017 – Shelved as: ya-mg-diverse
July 1, 2017 – Started Reading
July 4, 2017 – Finished Reading
November 16, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
January 5, 2019 – Shelved as: excite

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