REVIEW: Mossbelly Macfearsome and the Goblin Army by Alex Gardiner
I read the first book in the Mossbelly Macfearsome series two years ago, and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I don’t really have all that much to say about Mossbelly Macfearsome and the Goblin Army.
Although Mossbelly Macfearsome and the Dwarves of Doom seemed clunky at times, I thought that this was because Alex Gardiner had done a lot of work crafting his world and it would be explored more thoroughly in the follow-up novel. We did explore more of the world, but the way that it happened was startling and rushed. Even though it’s only been a week or so since I finished the story, I’m already struggling to remember exactly how the characters ended up where they did because the direction of the story changed so rapidly.
If I’m struggling and I’m much older than the target audience, I’m not sure how well this book will be received by middle grade readers!
Going into this story all I knew was that there was going to be a goblin army and that it was set at Halloween, so I’d been expecting a very spooky adventure. There was some trick-or-treating, but it was portrayed very differently from any trick-or-treating I’ve experienced in the past! It made sense in the context of the story, but without Alex Gardiner offering a reason for the twist on the tradition it felt me feeling puzzled.
I did enjoy going on another adventure with Mossbelly and Roger. Mossbelly’s unfailing belief in Roger’s bravery – and Roger’s fear of everything Mossbelly forces him to do – is a great dynamic that makes for a lot of laughs, and there were some very funny moments during this book. However, there were also moments that were trying too hard: where things became so absurd that it just made me roll my eyes rather than chuckle. This might be different for a middle grade reader, so I’m not judging it too harshly for that, but that forced humour was missing from the first book which was one of the reasons I liked it so much.
The story ends on a cliffhanger, so I’m hoping that there will be another installment to the Mossbelly Macfearsome series in the future. The first book was brilliant, and even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of this installment it is still a series that I would love to carry on reading.
My favourite thing about the book had to be the bonus content at the end. I can’t tell you exactly what it was – it’s linked to an event that is a nice surprise! – but it certainly put a smile on my face. These books are great at putting in jokes that only adults will properly understand, so they do make great bedtime stories for you to read and enjoy with your little one.
Sadly Mossbelly Macfearsome and the Goblin Army wasn’t the best sequel I’ve ever read, but there’s still a lot of potential for these characters to go on a few more exciting adventures!
Thanks for reading,