Malagach and Gortok are brothers. Goblin brothers, that is. Smart and literate, they are quite unusual in their village, and often the target of Zakrog and his gang of bullies. Gortok is the inventor of the two, always coming up with amazing new tools to use. Malagach is a bit of an "idea boy," and he makes a great assistant for his younger brother. Together, they find themselves in some crazy dilemmas, and it takes every bit of knowledge and ingenuity they have to get themselves right back out!
Written as a middle-grade book, this collection of adventures by Lindsay Buroker is entertaining and fun for all ages. The writing style offers a good combination of easy-to-understand language along with higher level words that will challenge younger readers. It's the type of story that will entice reluctant readers to learn new vocabulary while providing an engaging story for more advanced younger readers. The mix of simple sentence structure with more complex structures is a great technique to appeal to many levels of reading. Some middle-grade books feel a bit mind-numbing to an adult, but that was not true in this case. I know my own kids would enjoy it as much as I did. The world that is presented to us is an adventure in itself. We are able to explore the relationships between goblins, humans, orcs, and other creatures, enticing our imaginations while providing entertainment.
The brothers themselves are utterly engaging and fun, with good characterization. The dialogue between them really helps establish each brother's personality. I really liked the fact that the brothers were always on the lookout for new books, and were interested in new math and science facts. Other characters are brought in as concerns the plot, and each personality presented is quite distinct and well-defined. Although all the stories are about the brothers, there isn't a lot in the way of continuity between stories. Each adventure stands alone nicely, which can be a draw for this age group. Some chapters provide a little more backstory into the brothers' lives and some are much more adventuresome than some others. Each story presents a challenge for the brothers to overcome. I found myself more engaged in some of the stories than in others, with one story in particular much less appealing to me than the rest.
Overall, a wonderful adventure with universal appeal!
4.5 /5 stars @ MotherLode
(reviewed 76 days after purchase)