Author: Mike Phillips
First Published: 2013
Page Count: 197
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Note: Book 1 of the Chronicles of the Goblin King series
While I won’t be jumping for joy over the book as a whole, the story does have some redeeming qualities that make it worth checking out.
*Interesting characters *Unique mythology
*Many grammatical errors *Cringe worthy dialogue *Sloppy story layout
“If he wasn’t careful, if all this didn’t come to an end soon, he might find himself living in the World Below with all the other freaks.” Below the human world lives a myriad of ancient and mythical creatures in what is known as the World Below. The vicious, tyrannical goblin ruler Baron Finkbeiner has his position threatened when the only weapon that can defeat him is mysteriously stolen. With the help of a beautiful faerie and a rag-tag team of goblins, human Mitch Hardy wields the powerful Blade of Caro and the fate of those seeking freedom from the evil Finkbeiner.
There is definitely the makings of a great series in the depths of this book. The whole mythology involving the World Below and the fact that this book is centered around goblins make it different from most fantasy books I’ve read. There are books about everything from vampires, to werewolves, to witches, but there are few books solely about goblins so it’s a nice change. However, you also get a glimpse of a lot of other magical creatures like minotaurs and imps which add to the appeal. My favorite characters in the story, which come into the tale way too late in the game in my opinion, are Mitch’s team of quirky goblin friends. They reminded me a lot of the seven dwarves because they’ve each got their own distinct personality. They add a lot more heart to the story and make you feel more invested in the goblin cause.
While I enjoyed this story, there were definitely things about it that brought down my rating. For one thing there were a lot of grammatical errors and misspellings of words that need to be corrected. There were just too many to miss for me to let that one go. I also didn’t like the way the story was laid out. The beginning was really confusing and it had two story lines going with no explanation of how they related to each other until later on. You open the book and are thrown into the crux of the adventure without a real introduction to the mythology of the world or its characters. Another oddity was that sometimes there would be something that happened to one character and in the next chapter the author would backtrack and show that same scene from the prospective of another character but there wouldn’t really be any point to this. The new perspective just showed how or why a scene would play out but it didn’t add much to the story and I could have gone without it. The final thing that really bugged me about the book was the dialogue. It seemed so cheesy and it was a bit much from certain characters like Mitch. It was like the author was trying a bit too hard to create camaraderie among the characters and it felt forced.
The book does have its negatives but these are all problems that can be remedied. The good thing is there is a solid story and the foundation for a great series underneath it all. While I definitely would not pay the advertised price on the back of the book of $19.99, I did like it enough to be interested in what happens next for the characters.
*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.