Chris Lira's Reviews > The Goblin Emperor

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
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I was really looking forward to this book. Steampunk goblins? Sounds great. Good review score? I am all over it.

Unfortunately, despite 2 references to ‘steampunk’ on the back cover(from other authors, no less), the steampunk elements are really, really limited. I mean almost nonexistent. Yes, they have airships. They are mentioned just a few times, but in zero detail. There are 3-4 references to a pneumatic-tube messaging system. Then there’s a ‘clockwork bridge’; maybe a draw bridge or something. But again, just mentioned in passing. So to me, for all intents and purposes, the steampunk factor is zero. Or maybe .01.
My bigger problem with the book though, was the system of names and titles. I read a fair amount of fantasy; I understand world-building, and each author’s attempt to do something a bit different. But I find it a bit bewildering here. For instance, someone’s last name is Danivaran, but Danivada refers to the whole family. A family last name may be Bazhevel, but a character from that family might be a Bazhevin, like Osmin Bazhevin. Oh, and Osmin is not a name, it’s more of a title, and might be Osmer for a different gender. And different titles depending on whether the character is married or unmarried. This made it difficult to keep track of characters in a given scene or conversation. This was explained in an appendix….at the end of the book. Moving it to the front would have been helpful. Again, I get the intent, but for me it impaired my enjoyment. YMMV.
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Reading Progress

February 6, 2019 – Started Reading
February 6, 2019 – Shelved
February 12, 2019 – Finished Reading

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