Friday, June 12, 2020

Changeling (The Oddmire, #1) by William Ritter
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it, goblins must perform an ancient ritual involving the rarest of their kind—a newborn changeling. But when the fateful night arrives to trade a human baby for a goblin one, something goes terribly wrong. After laying the changeling in a human infant’s crib, the goblin Kull is briefly distracted from his task. By the time he turns back, the changeling has already perfectly mimicked the human child. Too perfectly: Kull cannot tell them apart. Not knowing which to bring back, he leaves both babies behind.

Tinn and Cole are raised as human twins, neither knowing what secrets may be buried deep inside one of them. Then when they are twelve years old, a mysterious message arrives, calling the brothers to be heroes and protectors of magic. The boys must leave behind their sleepy town of Endsborough and risk their lives in the Wild Wood, crossing the perilous Oddmire swamp and journeying through the Deep Dark to reach the goblin horde and discover who they truly are.


I received a complementary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

"By now she had learned what more experienced parents could have told her as a young mother: mischief is in the nature of goblins and growing children in roughly equal measure, which left the matter uncertain far longer than she had anticipated."
One of my favorite things about this book was the boy's mother, Annie Burton. She was a badass mom that loved her children, despite one of them being a goblin changeling. She didn't care which one was magical or different, and loved them both in equal measure. They were her boys, and she would do anything to keep them safe. I really liked that she played a large role in this story, and that she wasn't willing to simply leave her children to their fate. The boys were what? 12? They shouldn't be roaming through the Wild Wood alone–regardless of their reasons–and I'm happy Annie didn't hesitate to go after them. Her love was palpable, and it saved Cole and Tinn more than once.

On the other hand, I hated not knowing what happened to their father, and wish it had been addressed during this book. We're told he disappeared shortly after their one child became two–the result of a confused and inexperienced goblin–but never learn why he left or where he went. Annie assumes he's dead, the townspeople think he disappeared in the Wild Wood, so hopefully the author picks up that thread in a later book.

Cole and Tinn were fun characters to read about, and I liked how strong their sibling relationship was. They weren't just brothers, but best friends. They did everything together, whether it was stealing apples or going to a school dance. They have no idea which one of them is the changeling, and it's something that has weighed heavily on their minds for years (the loss of their father, the talk of the townspeople, the uncertainty of their own flesh and blood). However, they both wanted to be the changeling, so their sibling could continue living a normal life. There were no selfish characters in this book (even Kull was doing a bad thing for the right reasons), and I enjoyed seeing the love between the boys and their mother.

I really liked Fable as well, and I'm really happy the second book seems to be centered on her. She's a very interesting character, and the fact that she's half-magic makes me want to know more about her history. Her mother was also fiercely protective of her, but again, no father. She's definitely keeping secrets from her daughter, and I desperately want to know what they are! I have a feeling we're going to see more of the world that her mother experienced as a child, and the in-between place Fable was able to access in this book without getting hurt.

The magical creatures were interesting and fun to read about (particularly the hinkypunks), and some of the information was new-to-me. I really liked how the author portrayed the characters within this book, and that his spin on known creatures was subtle without being confusing. He made them unique to his book while still keeping their core characteristics. My son also liked learning about the creatures that lived in the Wild Wood, especially the Thing without a name or purpose. He devoured the clues the author dropped about a creature cloaked in shadows, and was really surprised with how that particular part of the story played out. I also wasn't expecting something like that, and hope there's more to that tale as well.

My son and I both really enjoyed this book, and we're looking forward to starting The Unready Queen in the next few days (we're currently in the middle of a Goosebumps book). Changeling was a wonderful story with relatable characters, amazing family-vibes, and a magical world that was surprisingly believable. (★★★★☆)


  1. I want to read this now! Great review. thank you!

    1. Thanks! We're about to start the second book. :)

  2. This sounds like a fun one! How awesome the mom has such a big role too.


    1. I loved that their mom was so involved in the story! She was willing to do whatever it took to save her boys, and didn't care that one of them wasn't human. At one point she said (I think to herself) that she'd always known who was who, but she still considered them both to be hers. <3

  3. Oh I like the sound of this one. That cover is great too.

    1. One of the best MG books I've read in ages! :)


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