Goblin Secrets by William Alexander

82%

10 Critic Reviews

The result is wryly humorous and bearably yet excitingly menacing: Even while much is left unexplained, Rownie’s triumph is both gripping and tantalizing.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

In the National Book Award–winning Goblin Secrets, a boy joins a theatrical troupe of goblins to find his missing brother.

In the town of Zombay, there is a witch named Graba who has clockwork chicken legs and moves her house around—much like the fairy tale figure of Baba Yaga. Graba takes in stray children, and Rownie is the youngest boy in her household. Rownie’s only real relative is his older brother Rowan, who is an actor. But acting is outlawed in Zombay, and Rowan has disappeared.

Desperate to find him, Rownie joins up with a troupe of goblins who skirt the law to put on plays. But their plays are not only for entertainment, and the masks they use are for more than make-believe. The goblins also want to find Rowan—because Rowan might be the only person who can save the town from being flooded by a mighty river.

This accessible, atmospheric fantasy takes a gentle look at love, loss, and family while delivering a fast-paced adventure that is sure to satisfy.
 

About William Alexander

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William Alexander won the National Book Award for his debut novel, Goblin Secrets—praised by Kirkus Reviews as “gripping and tantalizing” in a starred review—and won the Earphones Award for his narration of the audiobook. He studied theater and folklore at Oberlin College and English at the University of Vermont and currently lives, writes, and teaches in Minneapolis. Ghoulish Song is his second novel. Visit him at WillAlex.net and GoblinSecrets.com.
 
Published March 6, 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. 242 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Goblin Secrets
All: 10 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jan 18 2012

The result is wryly humorous and bearably yet excitingly menacing: Even while much is left unexplained, Rownie’s triumph is both gripping and tantalizing.

Read Full Review of Goblin Secrets | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Feb 06 2012

The result is a (sometimes gruesome) fantasy stuffed with interesting ideas that don’t quite have room to breathe.

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Booklist Online

Above average
Reviewed by Abby Nolan on Apr 13 2012

At times the story feels stitched together and a bit claustrophobic (the action is mostly confined to the city of Zombay), and the magic of masks and performance doesn’t always come through.

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Teen Reads

Excellent
Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on Nov 09 2012

I’ve read a lot of children’s fantasy stories and this one was unlike any I had read before. William Alexander introduces us to not only a whole new world of fantasy and adventure but also a whole new way of writing in this genre.

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Watermark Books And Cafe

Excellent
Reviewed by Melissa Fox on Sep 18 2013

...it’s a steampunk world unlike every other out there: Alexander deftly mixes mechanics with High Fantasy magic; trolls and prophecies with clocks and theater. It’s gorgeously written, flowing from one act and one scene to another, drawing the reader further and further into this remarkable world...

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KidsReads

Good
on Mar 06 2012

This accessible, atmospheric fantasy takes a gentle look at love, loss, and family while delivering a fast-paced adventure that is sure to satisfy.

Read Full Review of Goblin Secrets

io9

Above average
Reviewed by MICHAEL ANN DOBBS on Dec 17 2012

Though I did not love Goblin Secrets, that doesn't change the fact tha...Alexander is an author willing to take risks and he's got an impressive imagination.

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Kepler's

Good
Reviewed by Megan on Sep 18 2013

You know when you come across a book that picks you up and carries you into its world, welcoming you into the company of interesting people...This is one of those books. Odd, smart, and ridiculously fun.

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Provo City Library's Children Book Review

Excellent
Reviewed by LW on Dec 14 2012

Goblin Secrets is an odd and beautiful book, Familiar and Utterly Other at the same time, a book richly rewarding for those young and old who are able to let themselves go with the flow of its sparkling narrative.

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Black Gate

Excellent
Reviewed by C.S.E. Cooney on Aug 06 2012

Finally, in finishing this novel, I felt full up, as if this book had been a feast of fancy, and one that nourishes the longer it lingers. And then, my cup did spill over, and I’m afraid that — at the very end — and possibly because it had ended — I wept.

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Reader Rating for Goblin Secrets
84%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 82 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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