Thursday, February 3, 2011
Review: Tyger, Tyger
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Publisher: Clarion Books (November 15, 2010)
Summary: 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.
First Impression: Delicious Irish folktales, sensible lead character, awesome family and friends... why did I put this book off for a while? Well, the summary and the cover didn't grab me. But once I started reading, I was hooked. I love Teagan and Aiden, and Finn and Abby and Teagan's dad, and Mamieo. I loved the mythology and conflict that Kersten Hamilton gathered and created, and I loved the wonderfully evocative language that brought it all to life.
Plot: I've always loved myths. Growing up, my family had a series of books on mythology and folktales around the world in our playroom, and I spent hours and hours just paging through. It has been a while since I read anything focused on Ireland, and this was so amazingly wonderful that I'm already wondering what I can use to fill me in on Irish folktales until the next book in the series comes out. (In the Forests of the Night, expected in 2011) Hamilton's plotting is well-paced, interesting, and suspenseful. The romance is mostly in the background, and thank all the heavens there is no love triangle.
Characters: Oh, Teagan. How I love a girl with a goal, y'all. Teagan wants to go to a very competitive veterinary program, and she's not going to let something silly like boys stop her. Not even handsome, mysterious, Irish boys who live in her house and politely ask to kiss her. Frankly, she's stronger than I am. She's still completely realistic and likable, though, which can be a tough line to tread. Her little brother is SO well done, as is her father. Finn is a great heroic figure combined with a closet romantic. I'd like to learn more about him in future books, but I still adore him. Listing the characters I love would take too long, and listing characters I thought were poorly done... nada.
Style: Hamilton's prose is lovely and lyrical. The characters with Irish accents were very well done - I could hear the accent in my mind, but it wasn't ridiculously overdone. The descriptions of Teagan's mother's artwork, and Mag Mell, created wonderful, detailed images in my mind, which is probably why I didn't like the cover. The voices of Teagan and Aiden were very realistic, and many authors have a really difficult time with little kids in books. Aiden was awesome, I utterly love him and want to give him a squish.
Wrap up: You should read this book. It is fun, and mysterious, and endearing! It will make you talk in an Irish accent even though you should really never do that! (or at least I shouldn't.) I am totally looking forward to the next book in the Goblin Wars series.