Goblin Quest subverts the associated norms of the traditional fantasy genre, especially the tropes of your typical Dungeons & Dragons party. While there are some authors who are overtly comedic, part of the fun of this novel is that it's enjoyable because it breaks down our assumptions of the typical fantasy world and instead adds a practical and realistic outlook--all from the perspective of the unlikeliest "hero", Jig the goblin. Hines's language is quite functional that's easy to get into although I find that it lacks that extra "oomph" that immediately hooks you as a reader. As far as plot goes, it's your not-so-conventional dungeon crawl (which is actually surprising because there's not a lot of dungeon crawl fantasy novels out there despite the pervasiveness of Dungeons & Dragons and its clones) with the occasional twist here and there to keep it refreshing. Hines's characterization is competent enough, everything from Jig and his lovable pet spider to the usually annoying and frustrating party members he ends up with. If you're a Dungeons & Dragons fan, this is one of those novels that easily fits the game and there are numerous times when I'm wondering what a particular scene or monster's D&D counterpart is. While the book isn't necessarily for everyone, fans of traditional and mainstream fantasy can appreciate the book, especially since that's the genre it pokes fun at. Quite an enjoyable read and even if you don't get all the funny moments, it's still a fun story.
1 - There are better ways to spend your time.
2 - Ho hum books, usually typical of its genre. Probably only recommendable to die-hard fans.
3 - A cut above the rest, usually with one or more elements that sets it apart from the norm.
4 - Highly recommended and is easily a pioneer of the genre.
5 - A classic or it will be.