I have nothing wrong with the concept of paranormal romance, and this book isn’t inherently bad? There were just some pieces that made me feel a bit…squitchy.
Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.
Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.
Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.
It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own.
The theatre group I sometimes write for often does plays that involve magic, fairytales and so forth. One thing that I always make sure I do is never to have characters do anything remotely romantic when under a spell. Putting a love spell on a character and having them moon constantly over the other? Fine. Actually having both those characters under a spell and sleeping with each other…less fine. It’s why I’ve never been 100% sold on the ending of Midsummer Night’s Dream it just doesn’t sit right with me.
So in this book as soon as two characters under a goblin curse began doing the do (I’m an adult) I instantly got pretty uncomfortable. Now I know they’re both under the curse and I can see all the places where Molly Ringle is trying to make this ‘ok’ but really no one is consenting in that business and I didn’t really want to read it.
But I don’t want to bang on about it because I think it’s one of those things that could cause unnecessary controversy. I also don’t want to put down the good elements of this book. The idea of the goblins and the liaison with the human world was well thought out. I’d love to see some artwork of the goblins from this book as the descriptions of them are evocative and captured my imagination. There’s also a great underlying plot when you pull back a bit of the romance.
So yes, this book is not a total bust. In fact, if you took out those parts that just didn’t sit right with me it would be a decent book. If you expanded more on the goblins and less on the humans this would (in my opinion) be a great book. But it isn’t my book and I think lovers of paranormal romances might be a bit happier with this than I am. Just. People under magic spells can’t consent. And that’s complicated.
My rating: 3/5 stars (I would put two but that felt overly harsh to everything else that I did like about the book)
If you do want to see what I’m talking about, The Goblins of Bellwater releases on the first of October so you can order it now through your preferred means of book-grabbing.
By the way, I received a free digital advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.
What do you think? Am I making sense? Do you also want more Goblins? Let me know in the comments below!