Thursday, April 10, 2008

GOBLIN QUEST by Jim C. Hines

If you've been corrupted by Lisa Shearin's novels, the first thing you've got to do to appreciate GOBLIN QUEST is to get her idea of what goblins are out of your head. I mean, sure, her goblins are hot. They look like Chippendale dancers with fangs, but Lisa's a girl and we girls like that sort of thing.


Jim C. Hines is a guy and he has a different sense of humor. His goblin, Jig, is like a blue Yoda with a massive inferiority complex. And fangs.


I'm not picky. I like both kinds of goblins.


Jig's a goblin and not a very good one, by goblin standards. Even though he survived his adulthood test of finding his way home through the underground tunnels alive, he starts the story still doing a goblin-kid job - stirring the muck-pots. He's considered too stupid to patrol the outer tunnels for annoying adventurers. He's also the runt of the litter and assumed to not be of much help in a fight. Of course, this is tough for him to figure out since, as far as he can tell, goblin battle tactics consist of all the goblins charging in at once, usually while drunk, and getting themselves killed. Jig spends most of his time tending the scorching muck-pots with his pet fire-spider, Smudge, on his head and avoiding the bigger goblins.


Then, one day Jig is stunned at being chosen to go on patrol. He figures out pretty quickly he's been chosen to flush out adventurers so the big goblins can sit back and get drunk. He expects to be troll-fodder by nightfall. Those annoying adventurers - elves, humans, dwarves, wizards - they're always hunting for rings and amulets and they're much better fighters. So, off Jig goes, assumingly to his immediate doom.


Well, he gets the doom part right. Unfortunately, the adventurers off the whole goblin patrol and take him along on their quest as a guide. So, it's a delayed doom as far as he can tell.


Now, if you're thinking 'Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring,' you need to get over it right now. These adventurers seek a magical rod, but it's not to save the world. It's so Barius can prove he's a studmuffin to his parents so he can be king, even though he doesn't stand a bunny's chance in Mount Doom because he's got a lot of brothers. Barius is a roguish warrior, but he's no Aragorn. He spends most of his time whining and spatting with his brother, the wizard Ryslind. Yes, there's a dwarf, probably the most level-headed of the lot and maybe the only with a sense of honor. The elf is a girl they picked up after she tried to pick-pocket them. Unlike Legoles, Riana couldn't hit the broad side of a cave-troll with anything. If they were all in a boat, I'd say they were on the Voyage of the Damned. But, they're crawling through tunnels by hobgoblin territory and getting sucked down whirlpools into the Necromancer's domain.


And did I tell you about the carrion-worms? They're about the size of your forearm and feed on dead flesh. Of course, the deeper down you go into the tunnels and caves, the bigger and less picky they get about their food.


So, who's going to off the Necromancer? And don't forget about that doggone dragon. There's always got to be one and, of course, he thinks he's the bomb. I'm telling you, going on quests for magical objects ain't what used to be.
There's no nookie in this novel. I'd rate it as Violent on the Gore O' Meter, but nothing about it gave me nightmares.

GOBLIN QUEST is the first of a trilogy. The second is GOBLIN HERO. The third, GOBLIN WAR, has my favorite cover art of the three.

If you like GOBLIN QUEST, of course you'll want all three books. You may also like MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND by Lisa Shearin and THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien.


Lisa Shearin said...

LOL! Okay, you sold me. Goblin Quest is officialy on my TBB list (To Be Bought).


Kimber An said...

Thanks for popping in, Lisa!

Robyn said...

Sounds great. My son lives for this kind of thing.

Sara J. said...

I've been wanting to read the Jim Hines books for a while, but just haven't got around to buying them yet. I love the third cover too! Especially the glasses!

Nice use of graphics, btw--it's a great comparison ;)

Tia Nevitt said...

Great review! I need to get this book. Loved all the illustrations.

Kimber An said...

Thanks, Sara, Robyn, and Tia! I think GOBLIN QUEST has ageless appeal. A Middle Grader might love it as much as a Middle Ager, just for different reasons. I really like books which do that. Our society is segregated enough.

Kimber Chin said...

I love the expression on the goblin's face in the Goblin War cover art. It is like "How the heck did I get HERE?"


Some artist had a great sense of humor (and the talent to share it).

ThRiNiDiR said...

girls...girls...girls :)

I need to get my hands on these books as well even if I'm not such a great follower of humorous fantasy; I hope Hines will change my mind.

Kimber An said...

He just might.