"The Goblins of Bellwater" by Molly Ringle
***This book was provided by NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing in exchange for my honest review***
I was enthralled by The goblins of Bellwater. It truly was the epitome of a New Adult novel and I enjoyed every moment of it. I especially liked the representations of both fae and goblins - I really miss these creatures in fantasy novels so it was lovely to see it again in a new book release! The author further explored the themes of the “be careful what you wish for” and “curiosity killed the cat.”
I think this might have been my very first official New Adult genre novel and I absolutely loved it! The author did very well in portraying a new adult age level for myself as a reader, so you get both the “new adult” feel as well as all the usual fantasy elements that I enjoy from most other young adult fantasy novels.
I appreciate when a well-written story contains many natural elements to it. I think that’s why the fae genre appeals to me so much. Many other novels with different creatures tend to not focus on nature and I think that’s a shame because it can really set the mood for the setting in a story. The book also had wonderful word choice, which was both lyrical and metaphorical.
All the characters were believable and had distinct backgrounds that the author went into depth for not only humans but the goblins as well. This novel has given me a better grasp on understanding the way of life for a goblin and why they behave the way that they do due to all the amazing tidbits of information on them. For example, after a human has changed into a goblin the first item they steal becomes their name. Exhibit A and B would be “Redring” and “Swipe” - named after an iPhone for its feature to “swipe” to unlock the screen. They have a great fondness for valuable items and junk, alike. I think this is due to the fact that over time they easily forget their own human backgrounds so in place of them they choose to hold onto random items to take its place. Not only were they scheming creatures, they also would kill for spite. The author went with the darker fantasy angle which I’m so glad she did. I’ve waited for another fantasy and fae novel like this for a long time.
I’m usually not a big fan of multiple character points of view stories, but the author made it work for the plot in a sensible way. As it states in the synopsis of the book, three of the four main characters are affected by magic done by the goblins. I liked knowing what each character was thinking due to their afflictions from the goblins causing them to only say or do so much as time went on. There wasn’t much I can say that I didn’t like, hence me giving this novel a high rating. Although I will say there was somewhat of a lull before the climax of the book, but it made sense for the storyline. During Skye’s bout of her spell from the goblins, she goes through a depressive-like state and this part of the novel represented the “calm before the storm” of what was to come in the climax.
Also, I admired the fact that the author included information regarding a few mental disorders (depression, addiction, and Korsakoff’s syndrome) and I hope it helps raise awareness. I majored in Psychology while in college so I was intrigued to learn about a mental disorder I had never heard of before which was Korsakoff’s syndrome. People with the disorder have memory loss, often caused by overconsumption of alcohol, although that is not always the case.
Overall, this was a well-rounded novel of fantasy, fae, and romance elements. I think other people who have a huge love for fantasy and fae novels will find a spot in their heart for this book! I’ll need to get a physical copy so I can add it to my own personal collection! I give “The Goblins of Bellwater” 5 out of 5 stars!