Monday, April 11, 2011

REVIEW: Goblin Tales

Title: Goblin Tales
Author: Jim C. Hines
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $7.99 (paperback) $2.99 (Kindle)
Publisher: Lulu
ISBN: 978-1-257-04941-7
Point of Sale: kindle paperback
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib

I’ve met Jim Hines at various SF conventions, and found him to be a likeable guy. He’s also very helpful to new writers, which is probably why I named a spaceship after him in my upcoming novel! Jim’s published seven novels with DAW, a big New York publisher, and various short fiction. He decided to gather five of his short works into one volume. The result is Goblin Tales, which I purchased and recently finished reading. It’s very much worth the price.

Jim’s first three books were the Goblin Quest series, starring a runty goblin named Jig and Jig’s pet fire-spider, Smudge. Three of the stories in this collection (Goblin Lullaby, The Haunting of Jig’s Ear and Goblin Hunter) deal with various bits of Jig’s back story, including in Goblin Lullaby how the runt came to be cared for in the first place. Much like Jim’s longer fiction, these short stories are humorous and suitable for all ages. Jim does not take his Goblins very seriously, and neither do they.

The forth story in the collection, School Spirit, follows Veka, a secondary character from the novels as she goes to a school for wizardry. Like all goblins, Veka’s not what you’d call a high performer. Yet despite (or maybe because of) that, she accomplishes quite a bit at the school.

The final story in the collection, Mightier than the Sword, serves as a prequel to Jim’s upcoming Libriomancer series. In the Libriomancer world, magic allows people to physically pull stuff into our world through the pages of a book. If it fits, it comes through. If, as Jim does, you add that power to your typical Chicago-area science fiction convention, sparks will fly!

The book Goblin Tales is a slim volume, at only 132 pages, but it packs a lot of fun reading into a small package.

Rating: 10/10

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