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Book Review: ‘Ocean’s Godori’ by Elaine U. Cho

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A disgraced pilot in the Alliance, Ocean now flies for the only ship that will take her, the Ohneul. A class 4, the Ohneul doesn’t do much of anything dangerous. So when the crew tangles first with a very notorious group of raiders, then has a mysterious survivor of a high-profile ship attack show up, then has raiders show up again, it’s a little overwhelming for most of the crew. But Ocean isn’t on the Ohneul because she wants to be safe, she’s there because she handles dangerous a little too well for her commander’s comfort. Pushed outside the law by circumstances, it’s time for Ocean to really take flight in Ocean’s Godori by Elaine U. Cho.

[Note: While I am reviewing this novel independently and honestly, it should be noted that it has been provided to me by Zando Projects for the purpose of this review. Warning: My review may contain some spoilers!]

An uncertain future features in Ocean’s Godori

Ocean has complicated relationships all over. She herself doesn’t quite relate to people in a “normal” way. Korean by birth, she was bundled off to a different planet for diplomatic training at a boarding school when she was eight. Lacking the empathy to be a good diplomat, and the desire, she joined the Alliance after her brother was killed. Flying is the only time she really feels alive. And she’s good at it, really good. And she’s an even better shot. Her detached way of looking at the world really helps her out in combat situations too. Which is what leads to her Alliance disgrace. 

In a tense standoff, her commander made a call that Ocean could see was wrong. She disobeyed orders. Her actions resulted in everyone walking away alive (well, everyone on the Alliance’s side) and she became a hero to all the crew members that survived.

However, the higher-ups didn’t see her actions as so stellar. Even though people would definitely have died if she followed her captain’s orders, the fact that she didn’t listen to her captain was deemed more important than the lives she saved. Ocean was allowed to stay in the Alliance, but she was demoted to noncombat ships, like the Ohneul, and most captains wouldn’t have anything to do with her.

Ocean's Godori by Elaine U Cho

Danger still finds Ocean and the Ohneul

The captain of the Ohneul is a selfish jerk. That’s the only real reason that she hires Ocean, she gets a great pilot for a cheap price. But the rest of her crew is like a family. They all love Ocean, and Ocean cares for them in her own way. So when raiders show up at a supposedly low-priority mission and threaten the Ohneul, Ocean takes care of them. Her abilities put her on the radar of the most notorious raider out there, Phoenix.

Meanwhile, across space, Teo Anand is on a ship carrying diplomats from different planets looking to all make deals with his family’s company, Anand Tech. Anand Tech just about runs the galaxy, creating all the tech that the Alliance needs and having a huge say in policies as a result.

Suddenly, the ship is attacked by terrorists that clearly mean to kill everyone and leave nothing behind. Luckily for Teo, his father had insisted on a special escape pod being added to Teo’s room. Teo barely manages to escape in it, and he heads for the only place he feels safe, Ocean’s side.

But his arrival brings danger to the Ohneul. His presence makes the Ohneul a target for whoever took out Teo’s last ship. Who is doing this, and why? More importantly, will Ocean be enough to protect Teo? What about the rest of the crew? What is happening is bigger than any one ship, but is it a fight that they can win, and do they even want to try?

Just when it gets interesting, Ocean’s Godori is over

Ocean’s Godori starts off very slow. I’m not sure if it’s just a choice on the author’s part, but both of the main characters present as being ASD. High functioning to be sure, but unable to really connect to the people around them. I know that it wasn’t just bad writing because other characters are very warm and engaging when they appear, so Cho can write relatable characters, she just chose to have her main characters be very closed off. It was an odd choice in my opinion, and it made getting into the story very difficult. 

Once the action really starts, things pick up. The other characters are more engaging and the story gets more interesting as a result. But just when we finally start to get some emotion out of Ocean and really start to feel a relationship forming, the book ends abruptly. It was actually a little jarring to me. I read through quite a bit of the author’s note at the end thinking it was some strange pivot in the story before I admitted it was over, and I was left feeling unfulfilled.

I’m sure there’s another book coming, but I really hated the suddenness to Ocean’s Godori’s ending. I felt like I had put so much effort into getting to know Ocean and just as it was starting to pay off, the end. I felt like Cho could have done better with that.

Still, if you want to commit to a multibook reading and wait for the next installment, I suppose that the cliffhanger will ensure you will want to pick up the next book. Personally, a faster pace to the story and faster character development would have worked better for me.

Rating: 6/10

Ocean’s Godori by Elaine U. Cho is now available most places books are sold.  Are you planning to check it out? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord. 

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Luna Gauthier

I've always been a bookworm and fantasy is my favortie genre. I never imagined (okay, I imagined but I didn't think) that I could get those books sent to me for just my opinion. Now I am a very happy bookworm! @Lunagauthier19 on Twitter

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