My rating: 4 of 5 stars
He's willingly crossed over to the Otherworld with a hedgewitch named Makenna and her legion of goblins. What Tobin doesn’t know is that the Otherworld is a perilous dimension that leeches magic from those who have it—and life from those who don’t. In order to save his brother, Jeriah must find a way to open a mystical gate between the worlds.
Searching for the key to rescue Tobin from the clutches of the Otherworld, Jeriah is thrust into a tangled web of political intrigue as he uncovers a dangerous secret that could change the fate of an entire kingdom. Now he must get help from the very beings he’s been taught to hate—the mischievous goblins. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking for Tobin. . . .
Hilari Bell’s enthralling fantasy adventure tests the bonds of magic, love, and loyalty in an unforgettable follow-up to The Goblin Wood that will leave readers breathless as they race to find out what high-stakes consequences await its hero.
Several years ago I used to be in a magical place called Middle School. It sucked. Aside from the book fair that came twice a year. I'd load up my pockets with money, skip lunch to peruse the shelves, and come home loaded with books. One of these books, oh so many years ago, was the first book in this series The Goblin Wood.
I read the book quickly and rather enjoyed it, it having satisfied my pre-teen self, and concluded it wasn't all that bad of a story. It wasn't a favorite, but it wasn't some of the crap I was reading back then.
Year and years later I found there was a second book. Years later, and it's not like I've been missing it for this long either. Hilari Bell was a little late in the game as far as getting a sequel out. How many readers from her original book did she snag back? How many forgot about it completely? I don't know why it took her so long to write the next book, but somehow, finally, I found out about it and ordered it from the library.
Now on to the book...
Most of the book felt like a lead up to... something. Something that never happened. The first 150 pages were just sort of slow and I couldn't tell if something was supposed to be happening or what I was waiting for. I confess not remembering everything from the book before but I didn't really need to, this was almost a separate story, but not in a bad way. Nevertheless it was a struggle to get started, but once I started to come upon some plot twists, well, I wasn't feeling that bad after all.
Jeriah Rovan's brother is in the 'Otherworld.' This must be something of an alternative reality, but everyone but his brother, and the hedgewitch and goblins he went with, seems to know and understand that this Otherworld drains the life from all those who enter it. Jeriah is in a fight against time to get the spell notes and the power from a sort of... ruthless creep who is as crafty as he is annoying.
To do this, Jeriah reluctantly enlists the help of goblins...
Let's talk about those little creeps for a second. So this series it totally about the goblins. (Hint, look at the title...) But I can't stand them. They're sort of rude, and do nothing for free in fear of being indebted to another. So poor Jeriah, with a person's life at stake, mind you, has to g out of his way to pay the little vermin to help him. They don't do favors apparently? They're gruff, annoying, demanding, and they just drive me insane. Even when things seem square, payments have been deliver, and everything is supposed to be fair and peachy, well they're just jerks still.
And what do they look like...? I have no idea. Let me tell you, the goblins from Harry Potter were little creeps too, and didn't exactly have a face to learn to love...
Or let's not forget the ones from Lord of the Rings, them's not adorable freaks either...
So needless to say I would have preferred the book if she'd worked around the need to include the little things in it all the time. They were like a headache, always there, sometimes dull, sometimes a sharp pain that made me want to force the book away and sleep.
However, the book was rather enjoyably. Most of the characters were unique and not the cliché type that we all read in most books. The plot, once it picked up, was very intriguing, and the main character, Jeriah, experience obstacles and human error within himself, so you weren't reading a book about Mr. Unstoppable.
The was sort of a climax to the book, although not what I was expecting. I suppose it was a bit of a refreshment, but that depends on what you enjoy reading. It was more of a battle of wits, a master plan, and a conclusion that shed no blood. The ending was left open for the next book in the series, which I'm really looking forward to reading.
Conclusion? Pick this book up for a light weekend read, and to experience some good ol' high-fantasy. You might not be able to expect the world from this book, but I know a lot of other shit I could have read instead, and I'm glad this wasn't part of it.
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