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Side by Side Book Review: THE HOBGOBLIN OF LITTLE MINDS by Mark Matthews


Pre-Order only. Releases January 28th, 2020

 I received “The Hobgoblin of Little Minds” free from the author. Thank you! I gave this book 5 stars. Let’s discuss why.

What if mental illness was not a disadvantage, but rather a sign of superiority?

This is the main question posed in Mark Matthews’ new book, “The Hobgoblin of Little Minds”. This story is a departure from Matthews’ addiction horror. Instead, he gives us a heartbreaking look at the toll mental illness (specifically Bipolar Disorder) has on families and individuals. Everyone in this book has been touched by Bipolar Disorder in one way or another. Some have walked away from the aftermath to start a new life. Some simply cannot let go and refuse to forget about the person under all of the pain. Some have become obsessed not with finding a cure, but with using the tragedy for personal gain.

Who is the bigger monster, the creature or its creator?

This is the question left burning in your heart once you have finished the book. The Bipolar Disorder portrayed in this book is supernatural in both its manic and depressive cycles. Matthews has made it very dramatic to make it more believable that science can turn these individuals into were-creatures. Yes, this book is a take on were-creatures, but also asylum horror. The unscrupulous doctors in this book prey upon those who have lost everything due to their severe mental illness. Conventional medicines and treatments cannot even begin to help them, which leads them to lose their life one piece at a time. Once they hit rock bottom, they are lured into the asylum with a promise of help. A promise of hope. A promise of regaining what they have lost. Is it far fetched to believe the severely mentally ill are vulnerable to abuse and horrific experimentation? History says it is not only believable, but likely. 

“The Hobgoblin of Little Minds” is a story that explores what love can drive you to do. Even after the patients were stripped of every basic human trait, they still possessed love. It was as beautiful as it was gruesome to read about how this instinct is expressed in an animalistic mind. It was troubling to read about how the lack of even the most basic feeling of love affects a human mind. Again, I am left asking who the real monster in this story is.   

 Beth Griffith lives in Maryland with her husband, three children and a pathetically small herd of cats. She enjoys reading smut and gardening. You can watch saucy smut reviews, read salty book reviews and keep tabs on her questionable life choices on Instagram @mrsbeverlygibbs

The cover of THE HOBGOBLIN OF LITTLE MINDS by Mark Matthews may look like some sort of creature feature, but I’m here to tell you it most certainly is not. The creature on the cover was once human, and the story itself is sad, gruesome, and meaningful.
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
As the story goes, Kori Persephone Driscoe has endured her father’s mental illness her entire life. He has bipolar disorder and has been on and off various medications for years. The many cycles of mania that accompany his illness is much like the cycle of the moon. After several incidents, he was admitted to the Northville Psychiatric Hospital, and then just disappeared. When Kori tries to locate her father, she visits the seemingly abandoned hospital, and finds out much more lurking in the dark. Secret medical experiments are being performed on these suffering patients causing them to transform into animalistic, bloodthirsty creatures. They turn with the cycle of the full moon and become savages in the night.
Mark Matthews always writes introspective horror. His books of addiction horror are fantastic, and his new foray into mental illness is just as effective. Every character from the villain, to the protagonist, and to the were-creatures themselves are poignantly written. He is a licensed behavioral health counselor giving his stories that extra touch it needs for the readers to feel empathy for his characters. He does a tremendous job showing how medication or treatment in general can alter the person’s core personality. I found myself thinking about this book long after I finished.
THE HOBGOBLIN OF LITTLE MINDS is a beautifully and brilliantly written story about the many perspectives of bipolar disorder. It’s much more than a horror story with a malevolent creature - it’s a unique take on the woes of mental illness. Well done Mr. Matthews.

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