Seeing that cool looking werewolf on the cover with a heart in its hand, makes you think you know what this book is about. You don’t! THE HOBGOBLINS OF LITTLE MINDS is full of surprises and werewolves are the least of them.
Kori’s father is bi-polar and his meds aren’t working very well or at all. When they do work, her dad is not himself-he’s numbed. When they’re not working or when they become less effective, he becomes the exciting father she knows and loves. He’s full of surprises…at least until the mania cycles out and the depression sinks in. One or the other of her father’s mental states often ends in a visit from the police and a trip to the psychiatric hospital. Unfortunately, his last visit to the hospital became permanent. There, he met Doctor Zita and his life changed forever. Is this a good change or a bad one? You’ll have to read this to find out!
There are several people in this cast of characters that intrigued me, but most especially: Dr. Zita. I’m a horror and dark fiction fan, so I’ve read the gamut of tales about villains and secret medical experiments, etc…, but rarely have I come across such an intriguing villain. Even though I ended up hating her guts, I felt like I could almost understand how she got to where she was. Aren’t those the best types of villains?
THE HOBGOBLIN OF LITTLE MINDS had a personal effect on me, other than just the enjoyment of the novel. A few family members, including my mom, are bipolar, so I have some experience of it in my own life. I saw first hand many of the situations in this book. Medications that don’t work, meds that entirely change a person’s personality-so much so that they’re not recognizable anymore. I’ve often wondered in those cases whether the meds were worse than the disease? Reading this book, all of the matters regarding mental illness rang very, very true. That’s mostly likely because Mark Matthews has worked in the behavioral health industry and is a licensed counselor.
I know that I’m focusing more on the mental health aspect to this book, rather than the werewolf aspect, but make no mistake! These…creatures are scary as hell, but also objects of pity. They’re not exactly werewolves, but they cycle with the moon just the same. I’m not sure if this is a werewolf tale with psychological aspects, or a psychological horror tale with a werewolf aspect. As I was reading, I had Stephen Graham Jones’ book MONGRELS in the back of mind, but I actually liked HOBGOBLIN better, (and I ADORE SGJ!)
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Overall, this novel is creative, linking the cycling of disease with other types of cycling in a unique way. We have a dark, manipulative villain in Dr. Zita, we have some commentary and observations on behavioral health and how it’s treated in this country, and lastly, we also have some scary-ass abominations that are hungry.
You know you want to read it, so TREAT YOURSELF!
**Thank you to the author for the paperback ARC provided, in exchange for my honest feedback.**