Thursday, November 8, 2007

November book of the month: Goblin Quest

I just finished reading my November book-of-the-month, Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines. Imagine a D&D adventure told not from the warrior prince's point of view, or the dwarf cartographer's, or the mage enslaved to dark magics, or the elvish thief with the haunted past--no, not any of these, but from one of the monsters the adventurers encounter. And not Tiamat, either. It's Jig the goblin, nearsighted and runty, and his pet firespider Smudge.

It's a clever idea, but it could have been so very badly done. I almost didn't buy the book because it's marketed as some sort of laff riot and I expected fart jokes and stupid puns. But Jig is a sweet guy, while still being thoroughly a goblin, which I appreciated (and which made for the funniest bits); his introduction to the world beyond his own is fascinating and well-done. The book is longer than it probably needs to be, but then I think that about most fantasies these days (hell, Baen won't even consider manuscripts under 100k).

There's a sequel available, Goblin Hero, which I'll be ordering, and a third book, Goblin War, is due out in March, I believe it is. I plan to read both. I also recommend checking out Jim C. Hines' blog; reading it was what made me decide to pick up the book. He's a funny guy.

To meander away from my book review, I started reading Jim C. Hines' blog because he's participating in an interesting project that CatsCurious Press is running. In January they're taking submissions for a retold fairy tale project. They'll choose one story told from the protagonist's point of view, and then Jim will write the story from the antagonist's point of view. The two will be published together in one slim volume. It sounds like fun, particularly since the emphasis is on humor.

So of course I had to check out his writing style, to see how well his humor jibes with mine. And not only do I like his humor and his writing, but it's kind of eerie how his approach to story echoes my own. Just a fortnight ago I was complaining (publicly, I'm ashamed to admit, in a writer's forum I frequent) that I can't find books on the shelves that are a bit like mine. Well, now I have.

You'd better believe I'm subbing to CatsCurious on the stroke of January 1. I've actually started the story, and it's really, truly awesome and funny. I was hoping to have finished by now so I could spend the next two months rewriting and polishing it, but NaNo intervened. I guess I'd better get back to writing so I can finish my novel and go back to work on that short story. I'm still just at 16,135 words, and I see that MY BROTHER has written over 17,500! Where's my keyboard?! I need to start typing!

No comments: