NOT A REVIEW: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Narrator: Kyle McCarley
Published by Macmillan on April 1, 2014
Length: 16 hours 25 minutes
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.
Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.
Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend... and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.
This exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.
I almost made it through this book. Almost. I got to about the 80% mark, so close it seemed a waste to not finish as I hate marking the review as DNF. But, I just couldn’t do it. I’ve been in a reading slump and found my lack of excitement for this book was not helping me. I also knew if I set it aside I would never come back to it. So there it is. I decided to move on.
Before I go further, I want to add that I felt a stronger obligation to continue with this book because pretty much every blogger (and some non-bloggers) I know had really positive things to say about it. I think everyone gave this either 4 or 5 stars. That’s a solid indication this book is worth reading. So, now how to sum up my reaction to the book? This is the hard part, because if I didn’t think the book had any merit, it’s unlikely that I would have read as much as I did and coming here and sharing all the things that made me stop reading would be much easier. The premise is interesting.The protagonist, Maia, is nice enough. There are some interesting political strifes and racial divides, and of course, intrigue behind the murder of an emperor and his heirs (setting up a most unexpected and unprepared character to take the throne). But ultimately, I just was not that excited. I think there was too much page space about etiquette, proper clothes, proper Empress, etc. etc. I’m sitting here trying to find a nice way to say I found it boring. I can’t.
In short, 80% of the way through the book I decided to set it aside because I was bored. I’ve also been in a bit of a reading slump, so when I read a book I’m not thrilled about when I’m in a slump, I’m not sure if I didn’t like it because I was in a slump or if I’m in a slump because I’m trying to force myself to finish a book I found boring. Either way, I’ve decided there is no way for this book to come back and win me over. And I honestly don’t feel like I’m missing out in whatever happens in the last 20%. And since misery loves company, I read this as part of an online group read/discussion. I took some solace that there were other readers of this book that felt exactly like I did. I think its a hit or miss book because while all of my blogger friends enjoyed this one, I was certainly not alone in the discussion in feeling bored.
I’m happy for those that enjoyed this, unfortunately, I can’t add my voice to the buzz. Ah well …. onwards to the TBR pile!