Thursday, September 2, 2010

Review - Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton -
4 out of 5 stars
(release date - November 15, 2010)

Summary via goodreads.
Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.

TYGER TYGER reminded me of the books I read when I was a kid, and I mean that in the best possible way! It's a classic fantasy-world adventure story like The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland with a modern, more grown-up twist. And just like the books that I read when I was little, I also learned a lot. TYGER TYGER is a wealth of fascinating information on Irish mythology, goblins, Irish Travelers and more.

Right from the beginning, TYGER TYGER is interesting and different. Teagan is not your average girl. She works at a zoo communicating in sign-language with apes after school, she's got her entire educational career planned out. Her family isn't average either. From her little brother's uncanny musical abilities, to her Irish Traveler mother who writes and illustrates creepy children's books about goblins.

Teagan's life is going pretty great until her mother agrees to take in Finn - a totally crush-worthy Traveler who speaks with an Irish accent despite having grown up on the streets of Chicago. Teagan and Finn's attraction is instant, magnetic, and literally, electric.

But Finn's arrival brings trouble. Finn's claims that he's the Mac Cumhaill of legend and that the creatures Teagan's mother paints are real are unsettling. Suddenly Teagan and her little brother are seeing strange creatures doing terrible things. And then tragedy strikes and one thing becomes clear. The goblins are coming. It's up to the three to journey into the world of her mother's stories on a rescue mission.

I loved so many things about this book. The yearning between Teagan and Finn, the world-building and the secondary characters. Teagan's Chicago is a realistic and gritty place. No one gets off easy. Being a Traveler isn't romanticized. And this is what makes TYGER TYGER so great - it's believable.

If there's any negative for me with this book, it's that I'm personally not a fan of cliffhanger endings, even in a planned trilogy. That's a matter of personal taste, but I would've liked a bit more resolution. Still, the set up is well-done and there's a promise of more adventure, and a deepening of the overall mystery. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book!

Cover: I like the colors a lot, and the sense of warmth and magic coming from the tree but the picture is a bit... fuzzy for my tastes. It was hard for me to tell at first what it was. After reading the book, it makes more sense why it is the way it is, but it didn't totally draw me in.

Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5


Simcha said...

While at first this book didn't really capture my interest by now I've read enough positive reviews of it that I really do want to read it. Great review!

Melissa said...

Great review! You're the first good review of it, and I'm glad because I definitely want to read this one :)

Kersten Hamilton said...

*It's a classic fantasy-world adventure story like The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland with a modern, more grown-up twist.*

WOW! Than you Valerie! :)

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