Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Goblins of Bellwater

The Goblins of BellwaterThe Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Everyone knew you shouldn’t go biting into fruit offered to you by magical creatures in the woods, even if you’d thought until just five minutes ago that such stories were, you know, only stories.”

Ooo, a shiny book about goblins, was basically my first reaction when I saw this book. We follow Kit and his family generational curse, of serving the goblins that live in the tree of Bellwater, Washington with golden treasures. Noone knows that these exist, but sisters Livy and Skye are about to find out and face the real dangers that lurk in the woods.

Skye-A twenty-one year old barista that goes to the woods one night, and comes back with an inability to speak about what happened to her. This renders as a depressed mostly silenced person, which is an extremely troubling for her protective older sister, Livy. Whilst Livy tries to uncover what actually happened on that dark summer night, she gets entangled in a romance with Kit. Then messy things happen, and lots of things have to get fixed for their circle to ever get back to "normal."

We start out quite literally in the middle of the woods, going an the adventure of a lifetime with this dark and atmospheric book. If you like whimsy and haunting stories, this one would interest you. The presence of setting is such a prevalent factor of the author's writing, and I haven't felt so transported in a book for a long time. At the beginning I felt like the author had a magical quality of making me feel the eerie atmosphere that so thickly permeated within all the scenes. Sometimes I felt like I was in a cafe small town, or in a boat on a river, or in the cabin where they lived.

My biggest problem with this book was that at the middle parts of this book, there was too much of an emphasis on romance. I know that in the first sentence of the synopsis it clearly says "contemporary romance", but I was thirsting for more fae stories. I would have rather enjoyed more of the history of Kit's ancestors, learning more about how the fae live, and exploring the magical realm here. Instead, it kind of falls flat for a while because the two romances are the dominant driving forces, and I just wasn't here for it.

Another thing that really irked me, was that Skye, and this so called "curse created depression". It was easily curable, if logical the curse was broken, and the representation was irritating me because I feel like it was done sensitively enough. Throughout the whole book, even after her sisters and Grady found out, Skye's curse was still referred to as "depression" when it shouldn't have been necessarily. I just wish that the author could have included more thoughtful nuance or not have included mental illness here at all.

Whilst I was reading this, it was an extremely enjoyable and engrossing. I just don't think it's going to win any awards, and all readers should be warned of what it really is: mainly a love story. That would have saved myself many expectations that were unmet. I am looking forward to reading anything else that Ringle writes in the future, as some of this was absolutely brilliant storytelling.

**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**

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