Friday, September 21, 2012

Goblin Secrets (MG/YA)

Goblin Secrets. William Alexander. 2012. Simon & Schuster. 240 pages.

Rownie woke when Graba knocked on the ceiling from the other side. Plaster dust drifted down from the knocking. Graba knocked again. Baskets hung on chains from the rafters, and they shook when she knocked.

Goblin Secrets was an almost-almost book for me. I do think that some readers will appreciate it, and I can see why some might even come to love it. For me, however, I was a little too confused about what was going on and what everything meant or really meant to enjoy it. The first half of the book, however, was lovely.

Rownie, our hero, has been "adopted" into Graba's "family." Graba is a local witch (of sorts) who always has a bunch of "grandchildren" around her to do her bidding. Rownie and his older brother, Rowan, were both "adopted" into this strange non-family. But now his brother is gone, and Rownie isn't really sure who he is and where he belongs. After being an audience volunteer at a goblin play, Graba throws him out of the house claiming he's a changeling. Rownie then seeks out the goblin troupe and joins them determined to learn their craft. Something that is illegal for him to do. (Only goblins can act in plays; only goblins can wear masks; only goblins can pretend to be something they're not.)

The premise is VERY interesting. But. It didn't quite work for me. There's one or two scenes in the middle that disoriented me almost, and I never quite recovered. I had a hard time connecting the dots between the weather--the flooding--and the masks.

Read Goblin Secrets
  • If you love fantasy and/or steampunk
  • If you love drama, theatre, traveling shows

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Charlotte 5:50 AM  

My house is even more of a diaster than usual right now (dining room renovations) and my copy of this one disappeared into the ether before I could finish it! sad.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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