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Thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: April 6th, 2020

400 Pages


A MAN IN SLICES: A young man wants to prove to his long distance girlfriend that they have “legendary love,” better than Vincent Van Gogh, so he sends her more body parts than just his earring the mail.

KAMP: A man so horrified of encountering a ghost that he sets up “ghost traps” all over his apartment, desperate to catch one before it can sneak up on him.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HUNTER!: Big game hunter Neal Nash, leaves his own meat-themed birthday bash, to go hunting for Goblin’s hallowed (and protected) Great Owl, but the North Woods are unkind at night.

PRESTO: In the pages of Presto magazine, a young boy reads that his favorite magician, Roman Emperor, is coming to town. Problem is, Pete doesn’t know that Emperor’s magic is real, and his latest trick involves audience participation…a little boy volunteer.

A MIX-UP AT THE ZOO: Dirk Rogers works at both the Goblin Slaughterhouse and the Goblin Zoo, but the workload is really getting to him. Will he be able to separate the two jobs on the night he finally breaks down, or will the slaughterhouse and zoo overlap in his cracked, dark mind?

THE HEDGES: A young girl finally reaches the end of Goblin’s biggest tourist attraction, The Hedges. But what she finds there sparks a mad chase between the owner of The Hedges and the Goblin Police, through the streets of the rainy city, and into the terrible North Woods.

The author of Bird Box and Mad Black Wheel welcomes you to Goblin. May your night there be wet with rain, breathless with adventure, and filled with fright. (Goodreads)

Argh! I am so frustrated! I was a little disappointed in Malerman’s A House at the Bottom of the Lake, but really enjoyed Bird Box, and I was quite intrigued by the premise of Goblin, so I decided to give it a shot. The creepy prologue raised the hair on the back of my neck, so I started getting quite excited. Alas, that was the best part of the book. Going by each novella, they all start with interesting premises, but the endings are either confusing or anticlimactic. The characters were fairly decent, and I really loved Pete in Presto, but the little girl, Margot, in The Hedges, was absolutely dreadful. A couple of the stories tie into the backstory of the town, but the others sort of were thrown in there on their own. While I like how the epilogue wraps up what had begun in the prologue, there are plenty of unanswered questions at the end which has added to my frustration. This wasn’t a terrible read by any means, but neither was it a fulfilling one.