A chosen few know that there is another world that lives alongside our own. Of course, those chosen don’t necessarily feel privileged with the knowledge, especially Kit Sylvain, the goblin’s liaison-under duress. Kit is the latest member of his family to be subjected to a centuries old curse- if he doesn’t bring gold to the tribe of goblins that occupies the forest near Puget Sound on a monthly basis, they find someone to hurt, or kill, or even worse, become one of their number.
When Kit meets Livy, he can’t permit himself to fall in love, because he doesn’t want to expose anyone else to the goblins’ manipulations. He doesn’t realize that he’s already too late on that front. The goblins have chosen another victim, Livy’s younger sister Skye. Skye is enthralled by a spell that will make her leave her humanity behind, and drag Kit’s cousin Grady along with her.
For The Goblins of Bellwater, author Molly Ringle created a background of an entire population of “fae” characters, those native to the Washington state area, and the encroaching goblin “weeds.” I was intrigued by Ringle’s take on the origin of the goblins, as they were once human and “turned” into beings of nature, mischief, and violence. While her goblins by far take center stage for the otherworldly cast, the imaginative and ultimately benevolent intervention of the native fae creatures help prevent a disaster of horror-story proportions. The human characters are well-developed as well, with intricate backstories of their own and seemingly natural incidents that draw them to each other.
The plot somewhat reminded me of a movie Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2010,) which featured a group of ancient beings that lured people into a basement to join their ranks. However, this is a paranormal romance and not a horror story, so there was an escape clause, which Livy, the environmental scientist, was able to undertake thanks to the favor of the “other” fae in the woods. Ultimately it takes the love, friendship, and willingness to sacrifice between the four young people to save them all, and stop the curse for all time.
This beautiful story should delight fans of the paranormal, romance, and urban fantasy books. I thought it seemed a little slow in the beginning, but within the first hundred pages the action picked up and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. I ultimately decided this novel deserved 4.5 stars, and I would definitely check out more of the author’s work in the future.