Do you know what the French word is for Goblin? Do you know what Goblin fruit is and why it's so addictive? Do you ever wonder what deodorants Goblins use? Do you have any idea why you do not want Jack Frost nipping at your nose? Or why Goblins will not drive American made cars?
These and other questions are answer by Melanie Jackson in her first WILDSIDE Romance called Traveler. It is a highly imaginative work that draws the reader into the seamy underworld of Goblins, The Fey and rock singers with more than one set of mammary glands. It is a spooky tale of Jonathan (Jack) Frost and Io Cypher and Goblin who plot to take over the world. Looks like we have trouble right here in Goblin City...a.k.a. Detroit. This quasi-futuristic Detroit, under the Lutin Empire, evokes memories of the hard-edged Detroit of the movie Rob Cop or John Carpenter's Escape from New York. A town where lawlessness is the law, life is cheap and the average nice person is just another toy or meal for the uglies that roam freely in this nightmarish, grim wasteland. Survival of the fittest is the only game in Goblin City and it's merely complicated by all sorts of magick.
The rest of the United States has sort of taken a hands-off policy toward the city of Detroit - now called Goblin City. It has been turned over to the Goblins of the Lutin Empire. They peddle Goblin Fruit, which is addictive on par with crack or ecstasy, but they are also secretly waging a quiet warfare with biochems in their Lutine Air a perfume. Io Cypher feels this is very dangerous to mankind and will do what she must to stop it. Having lost her mother to Goblin Fruit addiction, she has a personal bone to pick with the creepy critters. Io is a member of H.U.G.S (Humans Under Ground) and has been sent in to find Horroban, the head of the Lutin Empire, before the Goblins find a magick crystal that could strengthen and extend the Goblin's rule outside of Goblin City. Jack Frost a "death fey" is on the trail of the crystal, too, and links up with Io. Both quickly come to the conclusion that Io was sent in more to distract Jack from finding the crystal before another of the H.U.G.S agent reaches it. However, this dynamic duo soon has a meeting of the minds and decides the perfume the goblins is making to be a bigger danger to humankind.
This report prepared by DeborahAnne MacGillivray
Love Spell, Aug 2003, 5.99, 369 pp.
Most people ridicule H.U.G. members as lunatic conspiracy buffs seeing the improbable. However, the members of the Humans Under Ground group know that though paranoid, they are right about nasty happenings. This time the threat is the goblins going after possession of the magical generator. Xanthe of H.U.G. believes the Motor City police too weak and ineffective to stop the goblins so she sends her disciple Io to end that potential problem.
Io meets the notorious Jack Frost in Goblin Town just beneath the Motor City. They are attracted to one another from the start, but she keeps her distance partially out of fear. Still as they work on stopping the Goblins, whose plan is even more devious than Xanthe told Io, she and Jack fall in love, but first they must win the day against impossible probability and somehow stay alive doing this and that makes for even more impossible odds.
By page thirteen this reviewer began thinking of shutting down the novel and not critiquing it as it was impossible to follow. However, because of enjoying Melanie Jackson's previous romantic speculative fictions such as THE SELKIE and DOMINION, I decided to persevere for a few more chapters, but not past page fifty. Four hours later I had finished a fabulous romantic fantasy thriller. The story line needs a couple chapters to let the audience know this isn't Kansas, but once the alternate world is introduced the plot turns into an exciting other world fantasy thriller starring two delightful protagonists on a quest to save an unbelieving and unthankful world. Those fans that stay the course will relish this walk on Ms. Jackson's weird wild side.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner