Author: Chloe Jacobs
Publication date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Rating: 5 stars
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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..
My first thought when I was reading this book was: "This is.... a debut novel?!"
Because it was flipping fantastic.
You know how sometimes you read a book and you just love it so much and you want everyone to read it and fall in love with it? That's how I felt about Greta and the Goblin King.
Greta is officially my new favorite heroine. She is a badass and I loved her for it.
"She needed to remember this moment. Not the fear or the loneliness- although those feelings were strong enough to tear her apart inside- but the anger. That was something she could use, it would give her strength."
Four years in the harsh world of Mylena has turned Greta into a tough-as-nails bounty hunter who can go head to head with just about any goblin/fairy/gnome. Greta reminded me a lot of Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series in that she too was a wonderful mixture of strength and sarcasm. But, like Rose, Greta also had heart. She cared even when she didn't want to, when she knew better, and it was obvious that she was the type of person who would do anything and everything for the people she cared about.
Speaking of the people Greta cares about..... Isaac. The young goblin king.
In my mind, goblin is not synonymous with hot, but Chloe Jacobs has convinced me otherwise! Isaac and Greta have a fairly rocky history of lies and deception but their chemistry is off the charts. I loved that they kept pushing each others' buttons, challenging one another, and their occasional back-and-forth snark certainly doesn't hurt. ;)
There's hint at a possible love triangle in the next book, which brings me to my next point....
The human boys. These are kids and teenagers stranded in a foreign and dangerous land and, against all odds, they have managed to survive. Led by Wyatt (the potential other love interest), these boys have become a family. I loved them. From adorable little Jacob to tough, angry Ray to responsible golden boy Wyatt, I loved each and every one of them.
I'm not worried about there being a love triangle--in fact, I'm kind of looking forward to it (shocking words, I know!) because all three characters are so well-developed and none of them are present just for the sake of creating romantic conflict. I think this story has the potential for a really well-written love triangle, albeit possibly heart-wrenching because I love both boys very much.
This is YA fantasy done right. The world-building was great, the pacing was impeccable, and the adventure was riveting. The action starts pretty much from the very first page and keeps my attention for the rest of the book. Background information about the world of Mylena and how Greta got there was given as the book progressed in a way that didn't disrupt the flow of the story which was something I really appreciated.
Oh, and did anyone else realize see the influences of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale in this story?? I wouldn't necessarily classify this book as a direct fairy tale retelling, but Chloe Jacobs definitely took some of the basic elements of the Hansel and Gretel tale and spun it into a completely unique and captivating story. When I realized the connection, it was like:
All in all:
Sigh. Guys. I really loved this book! I gobbled it up and I can't stop going back and re-reading bits of it over and over. I really need that second book. If you like fantasy, adventure, general epicness, and a seriously awesome heroine, then you really need to go pick this book up.
Oh, and the romance was great too... you know.... if you're into that kind of thing. ;)