Transported into an underground world of goblins, war, magic, and hybrid beasts, a trio of reluctant human heroes must brave the strange in this morally complex, action-packed fantasy epic.
The first day of high school gets rough for biracial (black/white) Billy Smith. When he and two schoolmates—Lexi, a young Filipina with little self-discipline, and Kurt, a brooding, white quarterback—end up in Kiranok, an underground goblin city, the three teens unwittingly arrive in the middle of a human-goblin war. Persecuted and almost beaten, the goblins hope for the return of the Goblin King, a leader destined to guide them to salvation. Aided by the cunning yet world-weary goblin Hop, Billy, Lexi, and Kurt uncover new powers and truths about themselves to discover who among them is the rightful heir to the Goblin Crown. Making matters worse is Gen. Sawtooth, a power-hungry, arrogant goblin with a tragic past. Wolfe, a television screenwriter, offers a story full of a surprising amount of emotional heft. Although his exploration of what constitutes a racialized identity is underdeveloped, it’s more forthright than many of his contemporaries’. The story shifts perspective among characters with ease (for the most part), filling in narrative gaps with a balanced mixture of exposition and action and soaring in those moments when these transitions glide.
A flawed but compelling series beginning. (appendices) (Fantasy. 10-16)