Paranormal

Review: Goldilocks by Patria L. Dunn

Goldilocks book cover
Image from Patria Dunn; used b permission

Title: Goldilocks

Author: Patria L. Dunn

Genre: Paranormal

At seventeen years old, Hannah Adler has already lost her mother to a brutal murder, and her father to a job that keeps him away more often than not. Then she is uprooted from the city and only home she’s ever known and deposited in the gold rich mountains of Hinsdale, Colorado. Never one to make friends easily, the only thing that keeps Hannah grounded is her star quality cross country talent. While running through the woods behind the cabin gives her solace, Hannah quickly discovers that this seemingly enchanted forest is hiding something that no one is willing to talk about. Being eaten by one of the many mutant wolves is the least of her worries. When Hannah stumbles upon a hidden cave deep in the woods, the bear that saves her life only adds more mystery to the sable eyed Jake. But there is something that Jake isn’t telling her, and Hannah is determined to find out what.  What begins as a simple curiosity will lead her into a legacy that no one will soon forget.

I love retellings, especially updated/modern ones or ones with a twist. So when an offer for a paranormal retelling of Goldilocks showed up in my inbox, I said, “I’ll read that.”

Hannah was okay. Strangely enough, I liked her better at the beginning than at the end (likely for reasons I’ll talk about in a minute). I liked her for the most part, but I was a little disappointed when she gave up cross country. Silly, I know, but she was so good at it!

Jake was also okay. He was sweet and gentle and protective. Mostly, though, he was a vulnerable teenager in a deadly world wanting to prove he can make his own decisions. I liked him more than Hannah, but only a little. My biggest problems with him came from the romance.

The romance between Hannah and Jake bugged me a bit. Sometimes it was fun and sweet and I loved it. And other times it was annoyingly insta-lovey. That was actually important to the plot, so I can’t fuss about it being there, but I think it could have been handled better.

Yeah, the plot – fabulous Goldilocks update! There’s three bears, and Goldilocks sneaks into their house…and that’s about where the similarities end. No problems with porridge here. These bears are protecting the world from the evil wolves, while the mine Hannah’s dad works for is inadvertently helping the wolves. It was all fascinating and I loved the mythology that went with it.

This is one of those books where I can’t even say, “this needs changed.” My problems with the writing and the plot are hard to pinpoint. It was close, very close, but not quite there.

Overall, Goldilocks was a good read. Not fabulous or even great, but good. It was a nice, unique update to the standard Goldilocks story. I think it just needed a little more work before publication.

I received a free review copy of Goldilocks from the author. Her generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.

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