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Ocean’s Godori by Elaine U Cho

Ocean's Godori by Elaine U Cho

We have K-Pop, we have K-Drama and now Elaine U Cho gives us Ocean’s Godori –  K-Space Opera – science fiction inspired by and powered by Korean culture, food and traditions. In Cho’s future the two Koreas have united to become the Alliance which has become a leading power in the solar system. Cho then creates a found family of misfits to play in this sandbox.

Ocean Yoon has been significantly demoted to a Class 4 freighter as a result of not following orders. She also maintains a close relationship with Teo Anand, second son of one of the richest men in the galaxy and she has the respect and loyalty of everyone on her crew except her captain. Readers get a little time to get to know the crew (through newcomer Haven) before they are on the run from just about everyone as they get in the middle of a plot to frame Teo and bring down the Anand family.

Ocean herself is a great character to anchor this book (and possible sequels?) around. Ocean is descended from the haenyeo women freedivers, a tradition from the Korean island of Jeju, a birthright that comes in handy at one point. She is very good at what she does, whether that is shooting a gun or piloting a spaceship, but is headstrong and takes risks. But Ocean is fiercely loyal to her friends and crew and they to her in turn and it is this connection that drives the story and its resolution.

Ocean’s Godori has the feeling of a space-set K-drama, with a focus on character and action over particularly detailed world building. In fact much of the opening section, set in a future Seoul, feels like present day Seoul with some spacecraft added for good measure. But it is refreshing to read space adventure stories that draw on something other than Western culture and tradition. And the K-drama/K-pop vibe is a fun one. In this register, Cho delivers great action sequences anchored around an engaging crew of characters and even manages to throw in a little bit of romance. With plenty of elements of this universe unexplored and an open ending, Ocean’s story is definitely left wide open for a welcome sequel.

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Ocean's Godori by Elaine U Cho

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Wrap Up

Ocean's Godori by Elaine U Cho



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