Author: Chloe Jacobs
Series: The Mylena Chronicles, book 1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Source: galley from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
So, I went into Greta and the Goblin King thinking it would be similar to Labyrinth. And I guess it was, though not nearly as much as I expected. Little boys abducted from our world and taken to the world in which goblins exist. Check. Mysterious goblin king with intense attraction to the heroine. Check. Quest to save the boys and send them home to their own world. Yup.
While there are similarities to the movie's premise, this story stands apart. For one, Greta isn't a waspish, coddled teenager who wishes her brother away. She tries to save him. When she finds herself stuck in Mylena and unable to return to our world, she picks up a sword and starts fighting. Greta is fierce and determined, but she is also vulnerable and lonely and not completely without her faults. Differences aside, I still expected Greta to shout out, "You have no power over me!" And then proceed to save the day by breaking the Goblin King's spell or whatever.
GatGK is fantasy-lite with a heavy dose of romance. I usually like my fantasy the other way around...or at least in even proportions. But for this book, the combination works. I full-on expected Isaac, the reigning goblin king, to exude intensity and lay on the longing gazes...and I wasn't completely disappointed. I wanted Isaac to be that bad guy that you hate to love, the one that you know the girl should stay away from but she just can't help it and she's not really fighting it all that hard. But he ended up being so much more to Greta. I still feel like I'm supposed to be pulling for Wyatt, since he is human and all that, but just like Greta, I felt the pull to Isaac. I just knew there was more to him that what was on the surface.
I only wish I could say the same for the overall world of Mylena. While the story suffers a bit due to the lack of world-building, the two main character arcs are pretty solid, making up for the fact that we never really delve into Mylena. But that's not to say I didn't want to. Such a wealth of fantastical elements to draw upon in a story like this, and the author barely touched on them. I'm glad to know that this is a planned series because I'd really like to explore this world in-depth, not just its inhabitants.
Greta and the Goblin King is a fun debut, one that I think would even appeal to those who usually shy away from fantasy novels. Not a lot of names and places to remember. Not too many magical elements to try to comprehend. Just a fun, quick read with some mythical beings and a hot romance (or two) thrown in for good measure.
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