Ocean's Godori

Elaine U. Cho

Book - 2024

"Ocean Yoon has never felt very Korean, even if she is descended from a long line of haenyeo, Jeju Island's beloved female divers. She doesn't like soju, constantly misses cultural references, and despite her love of the game, people still say that she doesn't play Hwatu like a Korean. Ocean's also persona non grata at the Alliance, Korea's solar system-dominating space agency, since a mission went awry and she earned a reputation for being a little too quick with her gun. When her best friend, Teo, second son of the Anand Tech empire, is framed for murdering his family, Ocean and her misfit crewmates are pushed to the forefront of a high-stakes ideological conflict. But dodging bullets and winning space chases... may be the easiest part of what comes next."--

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Thrillers (Fiction)
Science fiction
Space operas (Fiction)
Romance fiction
Queer fiction
New York : Hillman Grad Books, a Zando imprint 2024.
Main Author
Elaine U. Cho (author)
First edition
Physical Description
341 pages ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Ocean Yoon is a disgraced Alliance pilot serving on the only ship that will have her; Teophilus Anand is the playboy younger son of a family with vast industrial wealth; and Haven Sasani, serving in the Alliance because of his father's stories, is navigating the difficulties of being a Mortemian. The crew of the Ohneul is drawn into the aftermath of a terrorist attack because of Teo and Ocean's history--when he escaped the destruction of the Shadowfax, he programmed his escape pod to take him to Ocean, where he knew he would be safe. The story's framework is drawn with familiar solar system-colonization tropes--terraforming is unevenly distributed, the privileged rely on the exploitation of those trapped in poorly maintained mining colonies, and there is a great deal of political frustration seething below the surface--and an Alliance based in Korea. The real strength of the book, however, is in the relationships between family and friends, the living and the dead, and the ways these threads of connection motivate and inform characters. This is an entertaining debut with satisfying cultural-background details for the characters and the world and plenty of room for development.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In Cho's cozy yet complex far-future debut, a space military known as the Alliance, based out of Korea, has emerged as the leading galactic power. On the evening of the Alliance's annual gala, the scrappy crew of the Ohneul is scattered. After a difficult breakup, Ocean, Ohneul's XO and a talented pilot, gives her captain the slip to spend the night shopping with an old friend, Teophilus "Teo" Anand, whose extraordinarily wealthy family produces the technology used by the Alliance. Meanwhile, Haven, who has unwittingly replaced a beloved crew member as the Ohneul's new medic, is mysteriously shunned by Alliance members for being a "Death Hand." When Haven and Ocean head out on a routine mission, Teo leaves with his own crew to escort an important diplomatic group--but when one of his father's political plays goes badly wrong, the characters reunite under explosive circumstances. A vast and complicated political landscape undergirds the resulting adventure, which is full of slow-burn romance, tense negotiation, and close shaves. Every scene builds suspense and illuminates fascinating themes of exploitation, privilege, and identity, all held together by a sweet found family narrative. Ambitious and heartwarming, this is a treat. Agent: Amy Elizabeth Bishop, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Apr.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

DEBUT Disgraced sharpshooter Ocean serves on the Ohneul, the only ship in Korea's space Alliance that will take her. She's joined by new recruit Haven, who is equally shunned due to his profession, working with the dead. Not long into their mission, the Ohneul rescues Teo, one of Ocean's few friends, who has been framed for killing the rest of his wealthy family. Together, they, the Ohneul's crew, and a group of raiders with their own agenda must find who is really responsible and their own places in the world. With its quirky band of spacefarers, this will appeal to fans of high-concept, high-appeal space opera. The novel hints at romance by setting up an enemies-to-lovers dynamic between Teo and a charismatic raider, plus a love triangle that includes Ocean and Haven. It ends abruptly after the crew's confrontation with Teo's family's killers reveals a deeper ideological conflict, setting up more adventures to come. VERDICT Cho's debut is a quick read with a spark of romance and a cliffhanger that will frustrate some readers but leave others excited for what happens next.--Erin Niederberger

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A crew of mismatched personalities comes up against a mysterious plot and questions about the right and wrong side of the law in this debut space opera. Ocean Yoon is still part of the Alliance, the space agency of a united Korea--but barely. After a tense encounter that ended in a firefight, Ocean's privileges have been restricted. She proved herself to be a good shot, but also perhaps too independent-minded. Now she serves on the Ohneul under a captain who sometimes respects her and sometimes seems to use her for her piloting abilities and self-confidence. The other members of the Ohneul's crew have gelled well despite their differences and are happy to follow Ocean as the captain's second, though the addition of a new crew member, Haven, from an insular community dealing in death practice, threatens to shake up the crew's dynamics. When Ocean suddenly finds herself in the position to rescue her best friend, Teo, younger son of the Anand Tech empire, who is being targeted for unknown reasons, all of the Ohneul's crew members, including Ocean, will have to decide where their loyalties lie. In the spirit of Firefly but with more attention to cultural nuances, this novel features ensemble cast shenanigans while still focusing on Ocean and how she interacts with others and her Korean heritage. Snappy action and quieter character moments are balanced well, making this an enjoyable space opera with enough going on beneath the surface to elevate it to more than just a swashbuckling adventure. Fun, full of both heart and plot. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.