I bought this book out of nostalgia; I remember finding it lying around the house when I was a kid, and reading it, and (mostly) enjoying it. So I thought I'd pick up a copy to revisit this short novel from a well-regarded author.
While I had fun reading it, I found that the characters and themes were fairly predictable: protagonist is a child who, suddenly upstaged by the arrival of a new sibling, feels neglected and takes refuge in a local wildlife refuge and encounters "gremlins" that, inexplicably, look and sound like leprechauns. Except that they're not all caricatures of the Irish, they've also got (shockingly stereotypical) incarnations of the Japanese, Romany, and so on. In fact, the stereotypes were so bald-faced that I assumed it must have been written in the 50s. (It wasn't.)
Granted, the racism was as mild as racism can ever be, so it didn't make me put the book down. Nothing made me put the book down; I finished it quickly and don't regret taking the time to do so, but I don't know that I'll ever return to this book. With so many other options out there, it's not the worst, but it's far from being the best.
Final rating: it's light-hearted and occasionally funny, and it never preaches or pretends to be anything other than a light novella, so I'm giving it 3 stars.
- Paperback: 123 pages
- Publisher: Baen Books; Reprint edition (3 December 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1982124245
- ISBN-13: 978-1982124243
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1 x 23.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 141 g
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