Monday, September 28, 2020

Gribblebob's Book of Unpleasant Goblins by David Ashby


Siblings Anna and Nils encounter an odd little man and his invisible dog. That chance encounter draws the children into an adventure of epic proportions.  The cover and reading level had me thinking this would be a children's fairy tale but as the story took a decidedly sinister turn, I felt it would be better suited to older middle grade readers.

The premise of the tale is that there is a "veil" that separates two worlds. People and creatures can cross over and wreak havoc in the children's world. Anna and Nils are swept up in a quest to put a stop to an evil character that preys on people while dreaming. (Note: the depiction how the villain terrorizes people in the night would definitely be disturbing for younger readers). 

While the idea of two worlds and the creatures that inhabit that alternate world, were imaginative, I felt the author plunged the reader into the action with very little background information or explanation. There were twists and turns and plenty of near-escapes and even some good old-fashioned sword fighting, but I wish there had been a bit more development of the characters.  

For those looking for a high-adrenaline fantasy this may fit the bill. I would caution parents of younger readers to either pre-read or read the story aloud to provide some reassurances (especially at bedtime). This edgy fairytale could be a good choice for an older reluctant or struggling reader. 

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of Gribblebob's Book of Unpleasant Goblins from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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