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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.

Book Review: The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

“Everyone knew you shouldn’t go biting into fruit offered to you by magical creatures in the woods, even if you’d thought until just five minutes ago that such stories were, you know, only stories.”

I really really liked this one!! It started a little slow, and I was afraid it’d be yet another disappointment (I seem to have hit a string of review books that just didn’t do anything for me lately, and it’s been a little depressing) but then it suddenly picked up and I was hooked from that moment through the end…

The eponymous goblins are horrid creatures, and the havoc they delight in wreaking is equally horrid. Kit Sylvain is tied to them by a generations-old curse that he bears no culpability – but all of the responsibility – for, and the book is largely the tale of his struggle to deal with that unfairness. Unfairness which is exacerbated, of course, by his feelings for the sister of the goblins’ latest victim – which are further exacerbated by said victim’s burgeoning “relationship” (curse-induced) with Kit’s cousin… It sounds crazy and soap-operish, but actually isn’t – it makes gloriously tangled sense in the course of the story, which is laid out with a lush opulence that is redolent of the book’s gorgeous cover art.

I was afraid the story would get maudlin and lose me for a little while… In the beginning, things are pretty bleak for Kit AND Skye (the victim), and I was wondering where on earth the remaining vast majority of the story could go if no one ever escaped the goblins and there was no hope for a happy ending. Of course, this is fiction – there’s always a possibility of escape AND of hope (particularly for happy endings) – and once that brief glimpse of opportunity presented itself, the story moved along at a superbly crisp pace that kept me anxiously turning pages.

The characters are endearing, even at their lowest points. The setting of Bellwater and its environs is perfect – damp, woodsy, gloomy, and laden with magical potential. And the story, while familiar, still offered enough unique twists and turns to keep me fully engaged and thoroughly entertained. I can’t ask for more than that! Ringle is definitely on my Authors To Watch list!

“Nature is awesome, but be careful, that shit’ll kill you.”
(technically from the Afterword, and a friend of the author, but it so easily could have been said by Kit that I felt it merited mention…)

My review copy was provided by NetGalley. Goblins of Bellwater releases on October 1, 2017.

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