The Goblins of Bellwater

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

Good book. I was familiar with Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market,” from college and still have my copy. You can still enjoy the story for its fantastical elements without being familiar with the poem it’s based on.

I see some other reviewers had this listed as a romance and that’s listed in the summary on here, but I wouldn’t label it as such. 

I believe I saw the “young adult” label and that’s why I re-read this. Second time through, it’s entertaining. I enjoyed reading about the goblins, might have wanted a little more detail on some parts
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to netgalley and Molly Ringle for providing me this copy in exchange for an honest review.

First of all, I had no idea what to expect! I requested the book because it seemed interesting and in the general areas I like to read. I will say, I LOVED this book. It was filled with twisted, creepy creatures but also had a nice love angle that flowed well with the entire novel. The whole novel felt dark and eerie and it made me so happy!  This was definitely right up my ally and I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
This book was....hmmm...how do I word this....decent?? Average?? Slightly enjoyable but not mind blowing in any way?? They could all work I guess, bc this book is not amazing or marvelous or fabulous. Sadly it's more okay than OHMYGODHOLYSHITTHISBOOKISSOGOOD. Like I don't know, I enjoyed myself I guess, but the book itself is so average and the writing is meh and the characters are okay and it didn't inspire any love from me. It had potential sure, the story was decent but it really wasn't pulled off all too well. Handled by a better author I bet I could have given it a 4 star rating, or maybe a 5, depending on the talent of the writer. But as it stands, this book is alright. It was kind of boring and the ending wrapped up in such a neat little bow I CAN'T STAND IT. I wanted higher stakes, more death, more blood, more "oh shit look what has happened how can we work our way around this new development" situations, but that really didn't happen. I'm not too big of a fan of this story, even though I really wanted to like it more, so I think a 2.5 star rating would be accurate in summing up the way I am feeling.
Was this review helpful?
Beware any reader that considers walking down the path of The Goblins of Bellwater, once you begin this book it will hold you under its spell until the very last page! Readers of Holly Black will rejoice in this modern faerie tale, and cheer on Skye, Livy, Kit, and Grady as they struggle against the goblins that menace the woods in their quiet home near the Puget Sound. Family curses, poor choices, and solid romance made this a page turner that was enjoyable to read!
Was this review helpful?
The Goblins of Bellwater is a contemporary romance/urban fantasy that details the effects of an ancient Goblin curse on the Sylvain. Kit Sylvain owns an auto shop and enjoys chainsaw carving, but he also has a dark secret; every month he's required to bring to goblins and their leader, Redring. However at the start of this novel, Kit fails to bring enough gold and Redring promises that it will come back to haunt him. Unfortunately, Kit's failure causes Skye Darwen to be cursed by the goblins. She starts slowly turning into one and cannot tell anyone what has happened. Her sister, Livy Darwen, an environmentalist scientist, helplessly watches as Skye spirals down this dark path.

Goblins of Bellwater is supposed to be a romance but it doesn't really feel like one. Sure, Livy and Kit begin dating and Skye's curse causes her to fall in with Kit's cousin, Grady, but nothing really feels like the typical romance. For this novel, it is not a good thing. Instead, it feels more like a contemporary novel that happens to involve goblins and happens to include romance; neither is the focus and it detracts from the novel overall. If you're going to write a romance novel, I expect more than just steamy buildups caused by a goblin curse. I expect tension, resistance and furthermore an actual steamy scene instead of a sentence about how "when the two were done..." As a result, nothing really happens in Goblins of Bellwater. 

However, my favorite part of this novel is the story of Flowerwatch and Kit's great-great grandmother. That was an actual romance with consequences and illustrates what happens when you deal with goblins. In fact, I kinda wish that Ringle had chosen to write about that story instead.
Was this review helpful?
This is a dark, paranormal romance with a fairy tale atmosphere and an actual non-pathetic heroine to boot.

The intertwining of the two worlds, both our real world and this dark magical one was well done and the 'liaison' role between the two forces was original and intriguing though I wished we'd got to see a little more of Kit as a character. The pacing was good and it was refreshing to have such a satisfying ending for a fantasy standalone.

The first scene with Grady and Skye actually really tugged at my heartstrings, something about the way he treated and communicated with her and her own, albeit limited, responses just gave me the feels in a big way. I mean, it got rapidly less cute and innocent as you'll see but that scene stuck with me.

Oddly, what I took most from this book is a strange insight to mental illness and depression. Though Skye's illness is really a magical spell/curse the frustration and depression she experiences, as a result, is most definitely less than magical and I thought it was eloquently expressed and I found it interesting to see through her eyes.

One of my peeves with all books of this genre is the tendency for the characters to substitute sex for dealing with their problems and there's some of that here but it's definitely not as problematic as other books I've read and certainly less vulgar.

Livy was a cool and I must say, unexpected female lead and as I said before, utterly non-pathetic which is great. She didn't need anyone to come to save her, she just did what she had to and I respected her immensely for it. I did wish Kit had more of a role to play but he was still a good character.

This was a great read I demolished in one day but I'd have to emphasise it only stands this strongly alone - a sequel (unless it was mindblowing) would probably ruin it.
Was this review helpful?
Very fast and enjoyable read.  I can definitely think of a few of my patrons who would love this.  I will be checking out for more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
I have always loved stories about the fae that dwell just beyond the human world--this can include goblins, elves, fairies, and countless other creatures. Some of my favorites in this genre include An Enchantment of Ravens and The Treachery of Beautiful Things. I thought I'd give this one try, and it was about what I expected. Nothing amazing, but entertaining nonetheless.

If you're looking for a story with depth, originality, and elegance, then this is not the book for you. I gave it three stars because it is average: nothing more, nothing less. The characters, while bland, aren't annoying. The book is short enough that even the slow parts weren't too boring, and the action was just intense enough to keep me reading. It's a short, simple read with basic prose and very little stylistic voice. I would say that it is targeted towards younger readers, but it is a bit mature in terms of sex--there is no explicit detail, however, I wouldn't recommend it for a pre-YA audience.

Overall, the book was simple with just enough intrigue to make me want to read it. It's not a great novel by any standards, but it's something I would pick up for a short read on a rainy afternoon. It's super cheesy, but that's what makes books like these fun to read sometimes. (Key word: sometimes. Normally I wouldn't tolerate a book like this but I haven't read something so unambitious in a long while).
Was this review helpful?
First of all I would like to say thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me early access to this book, when I first saw it I knew that I just had to read it – the cover is literally the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and if I had a poster of it, I would gladly and proudly display it on my wall; additionally the book sounded bloody amazing! Of course I’ve read books about fae and mythical creatures, but I’ve never actually read anything in regards to Goblins, so I was very much looking forward to reading it.
From the offset I didn’t originally think it was going to be as dark and ‘serious’ as I’d originally thought it would be. I just assumed that a poor human would stumble upon these Goblins in the woods, they’d be taken and then it’d be a rescue mission to get them back, but it was honestly so much more than that and I was pleasantly surprised.
It turns out that once Skye was taken by the Goblins, she wasn’t taken for ever… yet; instead she was put under a spell where she was unable to mention anything about the Goblins or barely anything at all for that matter, as their way of making her hate the human world and want to join them willingly – if you can really call it that.

I must put a trigger warning here just in case as there are mentions of depression for most part of the book, and having struggled from depression myself somewhat, it kind of made me a little bit like ehh. So just a warning. Despite the kind of uneasy feelings, I actually found the spell Skye was under, which most characters thought was depression – as the characteristics are very much similar – quite insightful for those who haven’t had any experience, personal or non-personal, with depression as it allows them to see the struggles people go through – I almost saw the spell as a kind of metaphor for depression as even though Skye was fully aware of everything going on surrounding her and how her behaviour had changed, she couldn’t physically do anything about it and we knew it! She desperately wanted to speak and enjoy things in life, but no matter how she tried she just physically couldn’t, and even though it isn’t directly addressing it I think it’s great that it is too some extent raising awareness of this terrible illness.

In other news, I must admit that I did very much like all the characters in this book which doesn’t happen very often when it comes to me as I am extremely picky – but not one of them did I dislike! Skye and Livy are sisters that have both lived in Bellwater since birth and are known around town, they both live together with Skye wanting to be an artist and Livy making it her life goal to care for the forest and waters surrounding her home – legend. They are both lovely people, with Livy going above and beyond in order to get her sister back, not giving up once no matter what stood in her way. Then there are the two cousins Kit and Grady. Kit has known the Goblins all of his life due to the fact that his family, and now him, have been liaisons for the Goblins for many years, basically meaning that it is his job to ensure that the Goblins don’t bother the humans or kill anymore by providing them with gold every week, to which he can steal (with no consequence of prosecution) due to it being ‘for the tribe’ – of course he hates this as he literally has no life and can’t go anywhere without them following, but what can he do? Nothing. Grady on the other hand, is in Bellwater voluntarily and can leave whenever he chooses – no Goblins attached – and is an aspiring chef who seems to make the most delicious food ever (I got very hungry when reading this, so make sure to have snacks on hand). He takes a job as a sort of cook for Skye and Livy as an attempt to try and cheer Skye up after she is put under a spell by the Goblins. It does however, not turn out too well – you will see.
As you can probably imagine there will be romance, which at first was actually quite enjoyable and I didn’t mind it all (you all know i’m not a fan of romance) as it wasn’t conventional or cringey or thrown into your face but then at the end you’re hit with self-sacrificing and those three little words and I was just left left with a big WHY? shaped whole in my heart. I must admit it wasn’t too bad, I have seen worse, but I still was a bit urgh. However, the most prominent source of love was probably family love which was lovely to see as I believe we don’t get shown a lot of that nowadays so it was very refreshing to read and it almost made me care about my brother. Almost.

I did overall very much enjoy this book and was totally not what I was expecting at all! I sincerely loved all the characters (as you know), the recurring theme of nature and the forest and I very much enjoyed the plot. I did only give it a 3.5 stars as it didn’t blow me away, but I would very much recommend it, especially those who are looking to learn a little bit more about fae or just want a very good read.
Please let me know if you read it and what you think of it too!
Was this review helpful?
Overall I enjoyed it, and it was a fun reimagining of goblin fruit and fae havoc.  It brings something to the genre and could be YA or adult, depending on your mood
Was this review helpful?
I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to read this but every time I reread the synopsis I was just... underwhelmed. Let the record reflect that I am wishing I had just dove in because from the very beginning I was sucked into this amazing read. Seriously, the story was amazing, the characters were well flushed out and connectable and I loved the urban fantasy feel of the whole thing.
Was this review helpful?
I only made it 35% of the way through before I realized it was a rehashing of Holly Black's Darkest Part of the Forest. Having read that, I felt it was entirely too similar for me to be a good judge of this book. I would love to come back to it when that one isn't as fresh on my mind.
Was this review helpful?
As a whole this book was enjoyable to read. This whimsical and dark story is about four individuals getting tangled up with the local fae in a town called Bellwater. In this story you will discover lives that have been doomed to a curse and greedy goblins you will soon hate. I give this book 4/5 stars. The attractive magic of this story lets you escape from reality. I recommend this book for new adult fiction readers.
Was this review helpful?
Something different, which is a nice change. It's not vampires, or werewolves, or ghosts, or aliens, or witches, it's goblins at the center of this novel. A welcome change of pace. Finally something new to add to the genre. Although I had hoped it would be a little darker, it still filled the hole in my fantasy reading.
Was this review helpful?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been positively obsessed with all things goblin related. Well, mostly fairytale related, but definitely with a focus on goblins, too. I've always been so intrigued with how mischievous they are. How they're not what they seem at all. How they'll trick you and seduce you. The mythical creatures are just so complex! From the stories I've read about goblins in the past, I can tell you that The Goblins of Bellwater succeeds at its descriptions of goblins, at least in my eyes. Ringle does them justice. It feels very classic but with some unique twists on it. I loved how weird and quirky this book is. If you're a fan of the bizarre and fantastical, then you'll probably enjoy this one, too. 

Overall, this was a really enjoyable read. It is fast paced, relatively short, and I'm super happy I gave it a read. It's incredibly atmospheric and dark. I'm excited to see what Molly Ringle does next.
Was this review helpful?
I found this book odd. I thought the plot and storyline - the way it played out - was fantastic, but I found the characters a bit .... superficial. Not in a materialistic way, but more so that with some editing or review they might have been able to develop a bit more 'personality' and therefore become more realistic as characters. In any case, the worldbuilding was considerably good - although I did find the goblins vs natural fae a tough sell. Perhaps if they were less evil v good it could be more complex, but then again, as a YA novel you have to let some stuff slide because less complexity is necessary. Great depiction of Skye with the curse, and great sisterhood between her and Livy.
Was this review helpful?
Wow! This is a rare, and well-deserved 5-star rating for me. This was a book that I immersed myself in, and poured over the enchanting details until I finished a day later. The plot lingered in my mind during times where I had to stop reading, and it reminded me of home, with the vivid imagery painting a very real picture of the PNW. I would describe the story as magical. Yes, it literally is about devious goblins commandeering the forest and lording a 1000-year curse over a family's bloodline, but it is so easy to imagine yourself in the story with a tale like this. This story moves quickly, and is great for fans of fantasy and lore, with romance that isn't maudlin/sappy. It's tragic, thrilling and satisfying.
Was this review helpful?
The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle is a very unique work, as it deals in lore and has a lot to offer. Surely the idea is an evergreen for a fiction writer, with obvious attention to folklore. Then why did it suck so badly? A fast-paced writing, jumping from one scene to another, underdeveloped characters these are the sum of sins committed throughout this work. I can easily say that if the author had divided a book into three parts, and wrote each into about three to four hundred pages, it would have already made a big difference.  This book simply had too much crammed into a single piece of 288 page of paperback copy. I simply did not connect with a single character, could not feel their pain, sorrow, passion, nor urgency. This is not to say that the work is hopeless, but I would consider writing a rewrite in a more detailed and lengthier version.
Was this review helpful?
Was not a big fan of the first half, second hal;f was definitely better!
Full review is on my blog! (http://evelynreads.com/review-the-goblins-of-bellwater/)
Was this review helpful?
Reason I chose the book:

Goblins, need I say more? I love fantasy and the darker the better. I started this book and it looked really good. Until it didn’t.

Reason why I’m not finishing it:

The way the depression was written is the main reason why I’m not finishing the book. Livy, Skye’s sister keeps on mentioning how Skye was such a happy person, like happy people can’t become depressed? Depression comes in all shapes and sizes and happy people can just as easily have depression as sad people – even if they ‘don’t show it’ in the way that 'sad' people do.

The title is Goblins, right? Except the goblins don’t really feature much in the story (I stopped reading around the 50% mark, so I don’t know if they appear more heavily in the second half of the book). But I would expect there to be a lot more scenes involving the goblins rather than the people. It’s called Goblins of Bellwater not People of Bellwater.

Any thoughts I had while reading the book:

The goblins lure people in by planting the scent of coffee and baked goods. And let me just tell you that that will MOST DEFINITELY get me there. Like I would dive head in if I smell coffee and scones. Especially if the scones have whipped cream on it.
Was this review helpful?