Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blog Tour: Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs (ARC Review & Giveaway)

I am so excited to be a part of the Greta and the Goblin King Blog Tour, hosted by Shane at Itching for Books. On my stop today, I will be featuring my review of this debut novel as well as a giveaway of the book. You can see the other tour stops for the novel HERE. 

Title: Greta and the Goblin King 

Author: Chloe Jacobs 

Rating: 3 Stars 

Release Date: November 13th, 2012

Greta and the Goblin King is one of those novels that starts out with a bang, but ends, quite unfortunately, with a whimper. Nevertheless, Chloe Jacobs debut is certainly a novel to look out for and it is a start to a refreshing new series that I can already see myself eagerly following through till the end.

In the harsh, winter land of Mylena, humans are said to be the cause of a centuries-old curse. Hence, they have long been hated and the land is ruled by goblins and sprites, beings who lose themselves and turn into the most hideous versions of themselves every eclipse. Greta, a human girl, has unwillingly been thrown into this land. Upon saving her brother from an evil witch, Greta finds herself in Mylena, forced to fend for herself and survive, keeping her human lineage a secret all while searching for a way back into her own world. When Isaac, the new Goblin King, and an evil demon, Agramon, find out that Greta is, in fact, a human, she is forced to go on the run. Now, with the eclipse looming closer and closer, Greta has only days to find a way out of Mylena. Little does she know, however, that a great evil brews ahead...

Greta and the Goblin King is one of the few examples of Young Adult Fantasy done right. I was astounded by the world-building in this novel and the story of how Greta comes to be in Mylena is very slightly reminiscent of Hanzel and Gretel, which only further drew me into this tale. With its goblins, sprites, rich lore, and beliefs, Mylena is a character of its own, taking on a depth I wasn't expecting and leaving me feeling bereft when I left its land. I definitely look forward to learning more about this land shrouded in the enigma of a portal and although we are given more than enough information to satisfy us in this installment, I am certain that there is even more to this nation that we don't know.

Mylena aside, Greta was a fantastic protagonist. I enjoyed her sarcastic, witty narration and although she is an absolutely kick-ass bounty hunter, she is, at the same time, intensely vulnerable and oh-so-human. I appreciated her struggle to hold on to her humanity as her memories of her human life slowly slipped away and her uncertainty about whether or not to escape back to her own land if she could find a portal was strangely realistic. Greta is a changed woman in Mylena; the land has forced her to resort to some of her most primitive instincts, making a fighter out of her and a girl who would fail to assimilate back to the human world. Nevertheless, Greta's constant determination to let nothing deter her from her task was admirable and truly, she is a heroine that many will love.

Yet, for all its good qualities, Greta and the Goblin King unfortunately lost me when it came to the romance. While I loved the novels breathtaking landscape, intriguing protagonist, heart-pounding pace, and plot full of unexpected twists, turns, and heart-warming characters, Isaac, the Goblin King, failed to woo me as a love interest. When Isaac and Greta first meet, Isaac tricks Greta into allowing him into her dreams and as such, Greta begins to distrust him. Isaac then winds up taking the throne, even when he swore he didn't want to be king, and from there on out, Greta refuses to be taken in by his charms. At around the half-way point to this book though, something changes. Greta and Isaac suddenly begin to make-out as the attraction between them is raised higher and higher. While I definitely felt the chemistry between the two, I was left lost and confused as to why Greta suddenly began to care for Isaac. Isaac redeems himself in Greta's eyes, certainly, but never enough for the type of romance that bloomed between them. Furthermore, there is a hint of a potential love triangle in the sequel which made me cringe, especially as I so evidently love the second romantic interest, not Isaac, who is sure to win the Love Triangle Battle by the end of this series. If there is anything rewarding about the romance in this, it is that it never overpowers the plot. It doesn't make itself very known until the second-half of the novel and even then, Greta's priorities are clear and the plot never veers away from its intriguing premise.

Thus, Greta and the Goblin King is a debut I was immensely impressed by. Although I had a rather major qualm with its romance, that was easily outdone by the superb world-building, fascinatingly original plot, and kick-butt heroine. I am certain that Greta and the Goblin King is bound to make many "favorites" lists by the end of the year for this is a novel  that many will appreciate and even a romance that many will come to love, unlike I have. Now I can only sit back, kick up my feet, and wait eagerly for the sequel to this phenomenal debut to release - I can't wait!

A huge thank you to Shane at Itching For Books for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review and participation in this blog tour. 

Giveaway! 

25 comments:

  1. Despite the seeming randomness of Greta's change of heart regarding Isaac, I love the sound of this book. I've been following the tour for it for a few days now and it's getting me more and more excited to get my hands on this one! The world building is something I'm really looking forward to, I love when a setting becomes a character in and of itself:) Thanks for your beautifully thorough review Keertana!

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  2. I read a review yesterday that mentioned the same issues with the romance. It's a shame about that aspect, but I'm glad Mylena was well built and the main character entertaining and likeable. The witty sarcastic types are always my favourite. :) Wonderful review, Keertana!

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  3. The description of this book didn't wow me to begin with so I don't think this a read for me. Seeing your 3 stars and knowing you enjoyed it but it didn't wow you either only confirm my thoughts. Wonderful review Keertana. :)

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  4. I like how Isaac and Wyatt help to bring out different sides of Greta in the story. It'll be interesting to see how Greta would make her choices in the second book. I enjoyed reading your review. Thank you, Keertana!

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  5. I just started this last night so happy to hear that the world building is excellent, that is such an important thing for me. I also love snarky kick butt heroines, The romance part is not a deal breaker as long as it steers away from love triangles! Looking forward to it.

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  6. Not sure I would love this one because of the romance. I think that Labyrinth spoiled me so I need the goblin king to speak romance. What we didn't get in the movie. :) Still, it sounds interesting enough for me to read it. Fab review!

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  7. I'm glad that this one fits into the YA fantasy done right category! Because that stack is all too small given the number of candidates. I do love a heroine that's got some strength, but also limitations, and I love her having to struggle to hold onto her humanity. I will say the love interest kind of loses me though. Sometimes things just shouldn't turn into romance, and it always sucks shipping for the loser. Wonderful review, Keertana!

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  8. I tend to give lower ratings to books with male leads that fail to woo me. I hope I'd like Isaac much more than you did, Keertana, because I'm really looking forward to this book ever since the cover reveal. But other than that, Greta sounds like a character I'd enjoy and am glad to hear that the world-building is astounding. :)

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  9. Although you did not enjoy the romance, I am glad that you did find other enjoyable aspects of this book. I admit I'm curious how the romance is explained. I mean, when I think of goblins, I think of ugly monster creatures haha. But I guess these mostly look human? This is a really interesting premise and I am even more intrigued by you calling it reminiscent of "Hansel and Gretel." Based on your review, this sounds like something I'll borrow rather than buy.

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  10. I have been curious about this and your review has me really anxious to read it now! Even though the romance didn't quite work it sounds like everything else is fantastic. I will definitely be keeping my fingers crossed that I win this one!

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  11. Oh sorry the romance let you down in this one Keertana, I've been hearing mixed reviews about the love interest but I'm quite intrigued to know that it develops into a love triangle, who is this other guy that has you totally favouring him over Isaac? I must meet him right away! This book sounds like it packs a punch and I'm glad you enjoyed it despite some issues you had! I must get a copy soon! :)

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  12. Thanks for this amazing giveaway! This book sounds great and I would love to win it!

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  13. Gah! I hate that this book had all these lovely things going for it, and then in fell flat on the romance of all things!
    It's weird that they went so quickly from mistrust to full attraction and making out. That probably wouldn't sit well with me either.
    Nevertheless, the rest DOES sound impressive, and when you say the worldbuilding is superb, I feel almost obligated to read it.
    Wonderful review, K!

    And woohoo! Magic Slays! Curran.. mmmm...

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  14. N'awww. I can't win myself a copy.

    Oh well, this book is going on my wishlist because you've yet again managed to sell me a story. When I first saw this, I wasn't so overly impressed, but after your thoughts on it, I'll definitely be adding it to my wishlist as a book to read.

    It sounds really awesome except for the romance, but hopefully that will manage to straighten itself out in the second novel.

    Absolutely lovely review, dearest! :)

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  15. Sounds like this book has a lot going for it, despite a few flaws. Also, I cannot look at the title without thinking of Labyrinth!

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  16. Bah, nonsensical romance! *hisses* And then a possible love triangle. NOO!! IT BURNS US. *hisses some more*

    That aside, I do like the idea of a Hansel and Gretel reimagining. I can only imagine how imaginative the fantasy is. I just hope that the feeble romance won't bring me down as far.

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  17. This sounds like it's going to be really good! I'm looking forward to it. :)

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  18. I've been really curious about this book for a while, and would love the opportunity to experience it myself- I tend to have weird tastes.

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  19. This sounds exactly like my type of book! I want to read it so bad.

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