Saturday, September 30, 2017

ARC Review: The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

Title: The Goblins of Bellwater
Author: Molly Ringle
Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Pages: 288
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//I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review//

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 Goblins of Bellwater caught my attention with its gorgeous cover and exciting title! I'll admit, I probably wouldn't have been quite as excited about it if I hadn't recently read an absolutely incredible goblin story. Who knew books about goblins could be awesome? But let me start out my review with this: The Goblins of Bellwater is NOT Wintersong! I've seen a few reviewers who were disappointed that they weren't getting another book about a sexy goblin king and I'm not sure that's fair because this book never claims to be that.

Skye is the protagonist of this story and the person who has an unfortunate encounter with the goblins. Skye finds herself in a state of depression and bound to secrecy by an inability to communicate about what has happened to her. The only person who she is really able to communicate with is Grady, brother of the local mechanic and Skye's own private chef. I really enjoyed both these characters! I felt for Skye and found myself frustrated for her as she tried to communicate what had happened and for Grady as he tried so hard to understand. Their romance was totally believable and sexy! Which seems like a good time to mention that The Goblins of Bellwater is definitely a new adult story!

Of course, there are other characters who are nearly as important as Skye and Grady - their siblings, Livy and Kit. These two have their own romance throughout the story that was fantastic, but perhaps a little too perfect. I enjoyed their story, but I felt like it was perhaps a bit silly for both sets of siblings to be romantically involved.

I said before that this book is nothing like Wintersong, so allow me elaborate. Where Wintersong was a romance ABOUT a goblin (king), The Goblins of Bellwater is a new adult romance WITH goblins. If you go into this book expecting it to be a goblin romance, you'll be disappointed. If you go in knowing it's a romance that also involves a lot of goblins, you'll probably end up enjoying it! Molly Ringle's take on goblins is different than anything else I've read in YA or NA fiction, although they definitely fit the mold of mischievous fae. I loved the intricacies of the goblins' world and their curse on Skye and Grady!

The world building of this book was extremely well done. Although it's mostly set in the Pacific Northwest, the woods are a totally magical realm with all kinds of magical creatures. The world of the goblins comes and goes depending on the time of day and the person passing by and I could totally picture it in my head each time it appeared. (It's pretty creepy, by the way.)

I felt like The Goblins of Bellwater was a fantastic read overall! The ending was a little too tied up (bow and all) for my usual taste, but I still really enjoyed it. Although this book didn't end up being anything like I thought it would be, it ended up being a really fun read with great characters and a magical setting! I'd definitely recommend this to fans of new adult urban fantasy who are looking for something a little different!

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