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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs

Title: Greta and the Goblin King
Author: Chloe Jacobs
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Publishing House: Entangled Teen
ISBN: 9781620610022
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked

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...

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


The moment I received a text message from our favorite book clerk saying that a copy of Greta and the Goblin King had been set aside for me, I just about high-tailed it to the store. I was really intrigued by the premise that it was one of two books that I brought with me on my trip, thinking that I could read it during the flight. I hurriedly took my seat, snapped my seat belt on, and promptly read it with gusto, only to have my interest wane over time. I thought to myself that this couldn't be right. I was really expecting to devour this one, not approach it in the manner you would a spooked animal! (I even cheated on the book a bit and started to read the other paperback I had in tow, only to find out I was not feeling it as well.) So with that little heads-up out of the way, I will then promptly begin my review for Chloe Jacobs' Greta and the Goblin King.

Greta is a seventeen-year-old human stuck in the kingdom of Mylena. Taken under the wing of a sprite-slash-ex-bounty hunter, Greta has become a skilled bounty hunter who will stop at nothing to find the witch and the portal in order to get back to the human world. Greta's true identity has always been a guarded secret, but even her subterfuge gives way when the goblin king Isaac invades her dreams at night, and it's getting hard to tell whether he actually cares for her or has other plans in mind. When rumor of her true parentage spreads like wildfire, every bounty hunter suddenly has their sights set on her. But even when Greta's on the run, trouble doesn't seem to have a hard time finding her. Stumbling across other humans in Mylena, Greta finds out about a side to the supernatural world that's as grim as her future if what she's running towards ends up killing her.

I initially liked Greta and Isaac, thinking that there was something convincing about them, despite finding out for myself that they weren't exactly spending time with each other. Greta reckons that Isaac, as the new goblin king, is an entirely different person, er, goblin, than the one she had meaningful conversations with. But that isn't even the only thing that nagged at me. Greta's frequent insistence that Isaac was playing her was really annoying, and I just find it difficult to continue to like Isaac since I saw for myself how domineering he could be. I mean, the guy already gets into your dreams and gets access to stuff other people are closed off to. But to actually be possessive enough to act all high and mighty and controlling? Uh, no thanks.  Isaac only appeared for a few times in the book as well, so I really found the whole romance quite a bit hard to swallow, especially when the book first and foremost struck me as a paranormal love story. The fact that another love interest, and a human one at that, was thrown into the mix did not sit well with me. The feelings he had for Greta just seemed to have been developed too quick for me to actually appreciate. I'm even chalking up the feelings he had for her to the fact that he hasn't seen a human girl in years!

Greta also said that yes, she was one of the best hunters on land, but her actions really did strike me otherwise. When I first met her, I thought she was pretty good at her job, even if she did kind of need help from the goblin king. Everyone makes mistakes after all, even experienced bounty hunters. But when I figured out that she wasn't exactly graceful at her job and needed a lot of bailing out from other people, I had to check the blurb time and time again to remember that fact. Even Greta makes Celaena Sardothien of Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass look downright dangerous, and you know that I'm not a big fan of her clumsiness either.

All the action was a blur - hardly memorable, and equally difficult to focus on. With this plot taking up most of the pages in the book, I then became quite confused as to what the story really wants to present. All I really got was a human girl who wants to go home, a main romantic interest who is almost never around except harassing her in her head when she's supposed to be resting, and an awkward human love interest who helps her on her mission instead of the other way around.

The ending itself was very abrupt and brief, and I still didn't feel like I read a paranormal love story. Greta and the Goblin King had potential too, such a shame.


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