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Home > Categories > Books > Kids - Middle > The Pearl Hunter review

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Score: 8.8/10  [1 review]
3 out of 5
ProdID: 9072 - The Pearl Hunter
Written by Miya T. Beck

The Pearl Hunter
February 2023

The Pearl Hunter product reviews

Set in a world inspired by pre-Shogun era Japan, this is a stunning debut fantasy in the vein of Grace Lin about how a young pearl diver goes to the ends of the earth to rescue her twin sister.

Kai and Kishi share the same futon, the same face, and the same talent for pearl diving. But Kishi is the obedient daughter, while Kai tries to push the rules, and sometimes they fight. Still, when Kishi is stolen and killed by the legendary Ghost Whale, nothing will stop Kai from searching for her, deep in the ocean, hoping for a way to bring her back to life. But such a rescue is beyond the power of an ordinary mortal.

Kai strikes a deal with the gods: she'll steal a magic pearl in exchange for her sister's soul. As she journeys across the treacherous landscape, Kai must navigate encounters with scheming bandits, a power-hungry warlord, and a legion of conniving fox spirits. And when a new friendship becomes something almost as powerful as her love for her sister, Kai must make impossible choices and risk everything just to get home again. Woven through with Japanese culture and legends, this many-layered story will grip readers of all ages.

divers   dragon   family   foxes   japan   japanese   magic   sisters   twins   warlord
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Click here to read the profile of mizim

Review by: mizim (Miriam)
Dated: 9th of April, 2023

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 8.8/10
Age Appropriate:
Score 8 out of 10
Score 9 out of 10
Score 9 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 9 out of 10

The Pearl Hunter (forgive the pun) dives quickly into the story, with very little build up before Kishi is taken by the Ghost Whale, and I liked that. Kai, who doesn't always get along with her sister goes off in search of her sister, only to find that her soul has already left her body.

Kai very quickly finds out that myths are true (after all the ghost whale wasn't meant to exist) and ends up being given a task. If she can gain a pearl from the most powerful of foxes and bring it back within the allotted time, her sisters soul shall be returned. Kai, who has only ever left the village to deliver pearls, ends up meeting vicious crows, bandits, a warlord determined to gain the pearl for himself, and foxes who have the ability to possess humans. The book is well paced, though it does begin to feel like it is slowing down once she meets the warlord, it isn't long before the action sweeps back in.

I really like the character of Kai and liked that she wasn't immediately fearless, strong or brave. She grows well throughout the story and is no longer the same girl who simply dived for pearls. A side character, Ren, was well done, he's had a hard life and one did end up hoping that he could escape everything that made him miserable. The ending... The ending leaves you wondering about the characters and where they may end up - everything changes but at the same time, nothing changes. There's no word on if there will be a sequel and I just don't think it would work, but I enjoyed this book.

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