Gizzard Stones

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Sep 2017

Member Reviews

I wasn't sure what I would find in this book, but I'm glad I gave this book a try. It was different and interesting in a unique way. Gizzard Stones had all the bones and backstory a great book has.
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This book read more like a short story than a novel, could definately have used for world building and detail.
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This just did not appeal to me.
I found the characters poor and the world just did not come together.
Others may enjoy it but not me.
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A really nice story. I found It to be a little slow to start with, but enjoyed the story.
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Grimdark, or dystopian fantasy as one might categorize it, is a subgenre that is growing. Authors like Martin and Abercrombie have made the call for a more realistic variant of fantasy. A style where the future of the protagonists are uncertain and the secondary world is a dark place, and might even stay so, no matter how many farm boys find magic swords and magical aides. It is not surprising that genre literature aimed at younger readers would also follow that trend.

The world that Garth Upshaw paints for the reader has a somber color pallet. It is a world that starts out being familiar to an avid fantasy reader. A world united under an oppressive Queen, Maeve, who uses her magic to not only stay young, but also terrorize the citizens. She rules them all with an iron fist through the violent Lord Zorahn, in a style reminiscent of the dictatorships of Chile or Argentina. Queen Maeve has a deep dark secret. The source of her magic comes from certain stones. Stones that most people believe come from her mines. Mines where goblins work themselves to death. The truth is something far more sinister.

Nail is a goblin on the lam. He is trying to escape the clutches of the Queen's men and when his sister is mortally wounded, he seeks the help of a human. Alas it is too late. They recover her body in order for Nail to recover the stones from within her body, traditionally  in goblin society the family members eat the stones. The human reveals that the stones have magical powers and they are worth quite a lot. Not only does Nail learn the secrets of how the stones work, but also that there are no mines. Maeve has been using the goblins like cattle, making them eat the plant veya that their bodies have then converted to stones. Then slaughtering the goblins to harvest the precious commodity. With the power of magic Nail decides that it is time for a change.

At the same time a fairy named Lianne and her rat like friend Feldsken are pulled into a revolutionary group trying to overthrow the Queen, by accident.Gizzard Stones is a tangled web of various story lines that quickly intertwine. Upshaw keeps the reader on their toes all throughout the book without there ever being a dull moment. It is helped by each character walking a fine line between being bad and good, like all good characters should. Even Maeve has a positive agenda, believing she is what is best for the world. Saving them from warring city-states and bringing in expensive goods. So what if the citizens are oppressed and the goblins are used as cattle.

The world that Upshaw has created might just as well have been made by Jim Henson. It is one part Dark Crystal and one part Labyrinth. A place filled with mutated humans, fairies, goblins and other mystical things. It is a place that is so familiar that one can easily escape to it, but dark and horrific enough to make one feel for the creatures who dwell there.In the end Gizzard Stones is able to blend the familiar in fantasy and that which is new and disturbing, our reality.
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This book was full of so much fun and mystery. Magic, goblins, wonderful plot! The adventure started from page one and I was so sad for the book to end. Can't wait to read the next in this series or at least more from this author. I received this free arc from net galley for a honest review.
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A fun, quick read, but not something that would really stick with me. Nonetheless, it was entertaining and had some great characters!
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In this story, there is magic, goblins and humans which engaged me into a well built fantasy world.  There is a nasty queen who wants more and more power.  She gets her power by eating the gizzard stones of the goblins.  It doesn't matter to her that the goblins must be killed in order to get them.  Also in the story is a girl named Leanne who has been somewhat isolated from other humans due to her father.  She seems to not completely to understand why her father is involved with the underground resistance group called the "Believers."  Nail is a goblin that helps the goblins escape from the Queen's clutches.  How did he do it?  

The writing is excellent.  The characters are engaging.  Yet I was a little confused as to why Leanne's story was included with the goblin Nail.  I don't really think it was made clear enough as how they worked together.  When you read the story, you will hopefully see what I meant.  Perhaps the author intends to write a sequel to this novel?  It is worth reading.
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Gizzard Stones by Garth Upshaw is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. I thought this was a children's book but after reading it I found it is NOT a children's book, maybe a late teen or young adult. I liked the plot and characters and it was a fun read.
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This was an amazing adventure. I haven't read adventure fiction in a while, and I think I needed something like this to bring me back home. Firstly, I read the description for the book, both on Goodreads and here, and I think I spent the entire novel waiting for Lianne and Nail to join forces (which is the impression I got).  Grit was a good substitute; her personality made me chuckle quite some.  I could relate to Lianne on so many levels, which is very important to me - I need to be able to relate to a character; distinguish the parts of myself which I see in them. I got so drawn into her powerlessness against the Believers (Mitroan, actually) at the start, and I loved the way she went ahead and turned it around. Her compassion created a wonderfully stark contrast against the world this story was set it, which is refreshing. Now, back to Nial... he lost it for a bit. I didn't blame him, I actually supported him, but my point is: this was so well written and thought out that I could completely understand why every event happened the way it did and why the characters are the way they are.  Even Queen Maeve was someone I eventually felt empathy towards. 

All in all, a really great adventure. Thank you for the galley copy!
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Imaginative YA novel  that features excellent world-building and strongly realised characters. Although it's aimed at younger readers, I found plenty to interest older age-groups, and the way in which the author arouses our sympathy for both opposing species is skilfully done - I was rooting for both Nail and Lianne. The plot and milieu are so well-constructed that a sequel has to be compulsory!
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