REVIEW: The Little Goblin Girl by Illy Hymen

Maja is a young goblin woman living in the slums of the city-state of Trinity. One night while exploring the city, she becomes the victim of a sinister campaign to sterilize the female goblin population. With the help of her new lover and his guild, they will push back against the city government and unravel an inhumane plot to eliminate the goblin population in Trinity.

Warnings: Depictions of fantasy racism, forced sterilization, violence, degradation kink, sex transformation, incest, underage sex

Category: M/F, F/F

The Little Goblin Girl is book one of the Goblin Girl series, a series of indie erotic fantasy novels. As of this review, only two books are out, the second available only through the author’s Patreon, although The Little Goblin Girl is also available in a safe for work version presumably with all the sex cut out. I was very excited about this book as it boasts a book where “sex and plot matter simultaneously” which is, after all, exactly what I’m always looking for.

WRITING
For the most part I really really enjoyed reading this. The writing is very fun, has a whole lot of personality, and is almost frantically fast paced and breezy. As the listing promises, it is full of both gratuitous sex and a big sweeping plot, and is very charming while it is doing both. The story is a tale of a group of rebels fighting back against institutionalized racism and prejudices, all in a fantasy setting with magic, quests, and fantasy locales. The subject matter is pretty disturbing; it does involve a racially motivated forced sterilization plot, so mind the warnings- even though this is fantasy world racism involving goblins, its still potentially upsetting content. I will also say that while the story overall was very gripping, I found that the ending dropped the ball for me, and lost the steam it had been building up. However it was for the bulk of its story a very wild romp and full of character and pizaz.

EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
I was thoroughly in love with most of the characters in this book, Maja especially. She was incredibly charming and I knew I was smitten with her right from the jump. However despite the fun and at times wacky personalities of its characters, the story does seem to rush through some of the scenes, especially the emotional ones, so despite being very engaged with the book’s characters it was at times difficult for me to follow their emotions well. There is also a fair bit of hinted at backstory to all of them that was under-explored… possibly to be saved for the next book. I really loved getting to know the characters though, and if nothing else I was left wanting much much more.

WORLDBUILDING
The worldbuilding was very interesting here. It’s a high fantasy setting of course, but it is populated by a lot of charming little details, like goblins eating nothing but candy. It’s also very allegorical, and not especially subtly so, of real world issues and problems, showcasing bigotry and racism as it’s primary plot points for the heroes of the story to combat. Here is where the book starts getting problematic- it feels pretty ACAB for the most part, as the policing force in the city are corrupt, and engaged in racist conspiracy and police brutality. I say it feels ACAB because it is ACAB… right up until it isn’t. The ending sours the message a whole lot by moving in a disappointingly centrist direction, both-sidesing the police issue and promoting peace and tolerance over fighting back against injustice. I kept waiting for the “one good cop” character to realize that the system she was apart of was rotten to it’s core, but instead its a message of working to change things from the inside. Which wouldn’t have been so bad if she hadn’t spent the entire book spouting very Blue Lives Matter type rhetoric that I kept hoping she’d recant. Alas, the politics of this book seem to be very firmly centrist, and I’m not sure I love its message.

STEAMINESS
This is certainly a wild book on the erotic content front. It’s very visual in nature, rather than experiential which doesn’t exactly scratch the itch for me personally… I prefer very experiential and emotional smut content over these kinds of visual blow-by-blows. However, it gets points from me for sheer dedication to absolute filth. It’s full of incredibly hardcore degradation kink and dirty talk, if you like that sort of thing, and lots of very rough sex play to go along with it. But it also has a lot of softer, sweeter content to balance that out as well. There’s a lot of gender exploration and a whole sex-transformation subplot, as well as some incest and incest fantasizing. Definitely mind the tags! I do wish that there had been some M/M content though, as it always feels vaguely uncomfortable to me when a het-leaning book like this includes F/F but not M/M, but that’s just my own preferences.

Enjoyed this quite a bit until it got to the ending. I had been anticipating getting on the author’s Patreon in order to read the second book, but, alas, the centrism of the ending really soured an otherwise very enjoyable reading experience for me.

Have you read The Little Goblin Girl? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!

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