ARC Review: “Greta and the Goblin King” by Chloe Jacobs

Greta and the Goblin KingGreta and the Goblin King (The Mylena Chronicles #1) by Chloe Jacobs

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While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself, falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse.

To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape.

But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back…

3 1/2 stars

Thanks to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for this eARC! This title is now available.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I was missing my fairytale lands. Yeah, I enjoy all this new and exciting stuff, but man sometimes you just can’t beat ogres, goblins, sprites and the oldie-but-goodies.

Given what I was told about Greta being a bounty hunter, I didn’t expect this book to open the way it did. I mean, yeah, it starts with her going out to rescue a goblin boy from a monster, but then instantly Isaac shows up and he’s like, “Hi” and Greta’s like “Ohmygod remember how we met like a fortnight ago and I was obsessed with you but now I hate you because you lied and oh by the way now for some reason you’re the king of the goblins you little liar.”

Ooookay then.

Of course I have to pick at the romance in this book. Of course I do. Because I can’t get through it without not. Because not only do Isaac and Greta have yet another annoying love/hate relationship that seems to be based on…uh…hormones? Let’s go with hormones since I can’t think of much else. I mean, after they meet for a fortnight he invades her dreams because he HAS to be bound to her. Knowing she’s a human. By the way, humans are blamed for all the ills ever on Mylena. So Isaac alternates from blaming all the world’s ills on her to being like I MUST HAVE YOU. Literally. His repetitions of “She’s mine” or “You’re mine” creeped me out.

And then of course there is the requisite love triangle. Which doesn’t seem to have any point at all, honestly. But I don’t like love triangles. At all. You probably know this, so I’m going to stop here.

The characters as a whole didn’t have much particular depth besides Greta. Many of their actions made no sense, or seemed forced. Isaac, especially, bothered me, both by the way he treated Greta and then the schizo way he acted at the end of the book. But I can’t explain that for fear of spoilers. Many of the background characters just popped on and off-screen, though I appreciate the attempt to give every member of the lost boys a little bit of personality.

The thing that kept me going was the plot pacing. As in, plot went GOGOGO! There’s no shortage of action in this book, and Jacobs isn’t afraid to put some blood into the pages. (No, not graphically, I promise.) I’m pretty sure even Greta herself is injured from like page 1 on. Fast pacing is always, always a plot for me. I mean, I finished this book in one day.

I’m still not sure what I think of the world building, though. On the one hand, I felt like I didn’t understand what was going on very clearly for the first part of the book. On the other, I really appreciated how Jacobs never info dumped. She even had the best opportunity, with the lost boys having no idea how things worked on Mylena. But Jacobs kept that to a minimal as well, and I really respect that.

All in all, I would recommend those who want to return to a fairytale land with lots of action and a lot of romance. It’s not one of those books you can read too deeply into, but that’s okay sometimes. It’s a fun, quick read. I don’t think I’d go out and buy book two, but I would certainly take the chance to request it on NetGalley.

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