Review: Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs ★★★


Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Mylena Chronicles #1
Publication Date: November 13th 2012
ISBN: 9781620610022
Page Count: 290
Rating: ★★★
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Synopsis: While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself, falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse. 

To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape.

But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back...


REVIEW

So much promise...

Greta and the Goblin King follows the adventures of Greta, a 17-year old human who 4 years ago fell through a magical portal to Mylena, a world of goblins, Faeries, Giants and Witches. It's also a place where being human is a one-way ticket to an early grave, as they are blamed by the locals for, well, everything. Luckily for Greta, she was found early on by Luke, a Sprite and Bounty Hunter who became a father figure to her and taught her how to not only hide what she is, but how to fight, how to survive the harsh climate (it's constantly winter there) and how to be a Bounty Hunter, like himself. 

When we meet Greta for the first time she's on a mission in her role as Bounty Hunter and I thought this was a really strong opening scene. She's a sword-wielding badass with a snarky attitude who seemed very likeable and I appreciated that she'd kept her human traits and vocabulary despite the dangers involved in doing so.  Where this book fell apart for me, though, was the romance. It was pretty terrible, I'm afraid. Absolutely paper-thin characterisation of Isaac the Goblin King. And even though his name graces the title, don't think for a minute that stopped there from being a love triangle thrown in for good measure. And sadly, I preferred the second potential love interest over Isaac, which I don't think was supposed to happen.

I think perhaps the fundamental mistake and the reason I didn't connect well with the romance was that at the time we join Greta's story, she and Isaac have already known each other for two weeks. Now if only we'd been privy to that first meeting— which sounded rather good and flirtatious and would have told us much about Isaac's true nature and personality. Plus, it was only two weeks ago; it's not liked we'd have had to backtrack years! You could even just stick it on as a prologue— But no, instead we only hear about it in brief retrospect and so when he all of a sudden, out of absolutely nowhere to my eyes, starts talking about these great immense feelings they share, I was like "What now? Did I miss a something?" I just wasn't feeling it at all.

On the other hand, when we meet the second potential love interest we get a proper introduction, some nice life and death actions scenes together, some tender, quiet moments and a believable beginning to a relationship. So I found myself totally rooting for the underdog, which judging by the title, is not the author's intent.

Having said all of that, there were some really good aspects to this book; it's not all doom and gloom by any means. I thought the actual concept was good—a human surviving undercover in a world that detests humans— and Greta was a pretty decent kick-ass protagonist (although considering she was meant to be very skillful, the amount of times she needed saving somewhat belied that fact). Also, there were some nice secondary characters that were fleshed out quite well. The action scenes were really easy to visualise, the weird creatures sounded funky and the idea of the eclipse affecting everyone and turning them rabid was interesting and unnerving. So definitely not a total loss. Just such a shame about the romance angle, really.

I would possibly try this author again in the future because there's clearly a good imagination in play here, but I think I might have been a bit too underwhelmed with the characters to continue with this particular series.

3 Stars ★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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