Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter is a middle grade detective/ghost story with heavy Korean influence. It is an extremely well written novel for the age bracket, full of fun and endearing moments. It also features some fun comparisons between Korean and American culture.
Chewy Noh and his best friend Clint, set out to solve a mystery of who is attacking the kids at school and the journey takes the reader through a tapestry of Korean mythology and clever antics of the duo.
This is a great book if you enjoy paranormal/fantasy/detective stories with protagonists that are pre-teens. I was pleasantly surprised by the scope of the book and it has a really surprising amount of depth for the genre.
The world takes from Korean mythology and makes it feel like an immediate, believable universe. There are ghosts, gods, and seers. Not to mention some of the characters have powers which made it enjoyable for me. There are also other realms that are explored. Some of my favorite parts were the more supernatural components and I felt they were the best written.
The characters are relatable even the characters that aren’t mortal. Chewy and Clint make a delightful pair. Clint is Chewy’s stabilizing force in his crazy world. He’s the kind of true friend we all want to have. Even the secondary characters are memorable and engaging. And the development was smooth, I was most impressed with the development of the supporting characters.
There were some points where I got confused about what was going on, mostly when there was a subplot telling of back story but these parts quickly became my favorite. I only mention this because there were a few jarring moments. But since I kept reading, it all made sense in time. I recommend you do too.
The story is a refreshing take on a genre I loved as a kid. If you enjoy reading ghost detective stories, I recommend giving it a shot. It is a very different kind of book but it touched on the types of stories I read in my youth with a new a delightful spin.
Purchase the books of Tim Learn’s Chewy Noh Series Here: