The Goblins of Bellwater is a book I judged by its cover. I took one look at that beautiful cover and had to read it. How could a book with such a beautiful color disappoint?

Skye and Livy are two sisters living in Bellwater, Washington on the Puget Sound. Livy works for the Forest Service while Skye is a barista while hoping to build a career as an artist. Kit Sylvain is a local mechanic and chainsaw sculptor whose cousin Grady is visiting. Grady is an aspiring chef. Livy and Kit have a growing mutual attraction. Skye, though, is depressive and troubled and Livy hires Grady to cook for them, more to have someone in the house while she’s away to keep an eye on Livy. Their mutual attraction is combustible. Clearly, something is going on.

It’s not a mystery, though. We know exactly what’s happening. Livy has been ensorcelled by local goblins and through her, Grady also falls under the goblin curse. Sooner or later, they will voluntarily walk into the forest and transform into goblins. You might think that since Kit is the official goblin liaison who provides them their monthly ration of gold, he could be of some help here, but you would be wrong.

So, the first half of this book is sophomoric. Grady wants to hang out with Livy to soak up her hotness. Not my words. The writing level of this book is embarrassing. Children’s books have better prose. The plot is pedestrian as well, but there is a trial that one of the characters must endure that is truly original. It redeems the book. It’s a stark contrast to the rest of the book, full of imagination and creativity. There is also a very meta twist. One of the survivors (not telling you who) goes on to write a book about the Goblins of Bellwater. This made me snicker.

The Goblins of Bellwater will be released October 1st. I received an advance e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley.