Saturday, August 20, 2011

BOOKS: Goblin Hero by Jim C. Hines

Back for another dose of Jim C. Hines and for a second dose of his highly enjoyable fantasy series featuring Jig the Goblin. Goblin Hero has some goblin-sized warts being the second of a trilogy, but Jig's so .... I'd say adorable, but that's what the runt-size, near-sighted goblin hero happens to be.

He's also my kind of guy/goblin. He's a coward. A highly-functioning, incredibly successful coward. But a goblin after my own heart.

Having earned his Dragonslayer name at the end of the first book in the series, Goblin Quest (review), Jig should be living the life of a goblin Riley. He's not. He's using his Shadowstar-granted power gained in that quest to be a healer. And goblins are stupid, which leads to lots of need for healing. One of the brighter goblins, Veka, has decided to attach herself to Jig because, as Josca says in the seminal The Path of the Hero (Wizard’s ed.) 'every hero needs a mentor.' Or hopeful heroine/wizard in Veka's case.

But the real problem is something is killing the hobgoblins and ogres in the Mountain. And that means Jig is dispatched to find and kill the bad guys. Veka goes along, as does big Braf, the muscle of the team and slightly brighter than a rock. Although, it does end up that Braf shows he's a lot deeper than that. He comes through when needed when Jig's A-Team finally does find the bad guys.


Yep, we're talking Pixies here. Tinker Belle with 'tudes. And magic. And a hankering to take over this world, coming from their oh-so-cold home dimension.

It's a pretty hairy time for Jig and his pet firespider Smudge. Veka starts to develop magic powers, sort of her own, but not really. And, like most goblins, any power is too much to handle mentally. She becomes a loose cannon that fires at both friend and foe. Braf does his almost heroic goblin thing. And all the while, Jig is just trying to survive.

But there does come a moment when the goblin makes the conscious decision to actually put himself at risk and do the right thing for the greater good for all. And that's what makes this book worth a five-star rating, warts and all.

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