Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Review: Tyger, Tyger

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Tyger, Tyger
   * Series: Goblin Wars #1
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pages: Hardcover; 308
Release Date: November 15, 2010
Source: NetGalley
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Fans of Fantasy with strong characters and a rip roaring plot line.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Teagan Wyllston grew up hearing about Celtic mythology, night crawlers and banshees, and how the Irish Travelers have been at war with goblin kind since before time. One of her favorite stories is the legend of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, the great hero who defended his people and was cursed by the goblin god for all eternity. It's a good one, full of powerful beings and romance, but it is just that . . . a story, and nothing more. That is, until eighteen-year-old Finn comes unexpectedly into her life. Then, suddenly, the stuff of Irish legend doesn't seem quite so fantastical. Could Finn be her hero, like his namesake in the stories? Or is Teagan destined to fight the forces of evil herself?

Side note on me:

I'm the girl who sat at the front of Children's Literature and stared, mesmerized, listening as my professor (who had a lovely English accent) read us Grimm's Fairy Tales. They fascinated me. So dark, yet so much to learn from each one! I did my final paper on how Disney has taken all the cautionary parts out of these "cautionary tales". Sad really. I ramble, but you'll see why I wrote this when you read my review.

The Characters:

For me, the key to falling in love with a book is being invested in the characters. If I truly believe in them, fall in love with them, the story has my heart and I give into the magical flow and ebb of the words on the page. Kersten creates a group of characters that are not only easy to fall in love with, but are as unique as night and day!

Teagan is sweet and resourceful. She is a character who really reminded me a bit of myself! An affinity for animals, a sassy best friend, and such a deep bond with her family that she would do anything to make sure that they were taken care of. Teagan has a strong personality that I just love! Sure, she's sweet. Mess with her family though and you're going to be in a world of hurt! Her dialog made me smile and her perseverance made me proud.

Aiden, well Aiden is a human juke box. I simply adored his character! Complete with cherubic features and irrational fears, he was a big ball of adorable! Funny, likable, innocent, a heart as big as the sun. There were times when Aiden actually brought tears to my eyes. Teagan and Aiden made a great brother/sister pair in this book, each one filling in where the other is lacking.

Enter Finn. Ah Finn. How do I describe him? Finn is one of those dreamy, charismatic and completely self-sufficient kind of guys. The type of literary boy (dare I say hunk?) that I can totally fall in love with. From the very beginning when he asks Teagan if he can kiss her, I was sold! Who doesn't love a boy who can not only charm you, but can handle himself in a fight? Ah Finn, you have my heart sir.

My Review:
Is it any wonder that I loved this book? I knew I would. Loved it, my friends!

My thoughts are still all jumbled up in my head, so I will write this from my heart and do my best not to ramble on too much.

What I loved most about this story was the way each character is so clearly different from one another. This is the type of cast that, even without reading the "Teagan said," portions at the end of each line, you know exactly who is speaking. Finn's charismatic and yet strong personality, Teagan's loving and resourceful personality, Aiden's sweet and innocent personality. Each one is so distinct, so real, that you can believe in these characters rather easily. Kersten has managed a trifecta of perfectly written characters. A trio of amazing! This book is so utterly different from so many other novels I have read in this genre, it's better. Better by far.

The world that is built for the reader in this story is truly beautiful. You will be drawn in by the descriptions of the notorious sidhe, appalled by their actions and yet equally intrigued. Descriptions of Fear Doirich and his evil deeds sent shivers down my spine. After reading this book I can guarantee that you will find yourself searching for more Celtic Mythology. It will awaken a need. Kersten has done such a stellar job of drawing the reader in! The world of Mag Mell was written so perfectly that I found myself dreaming about it when I slept. It isn't often that a fictional world finds its way into my dreams, I was thoroughly impressed.

If you're looking for romance, you will find that here too! Finn and Teagan have this deliciously tense relationship that keeps you on your toes. From the first moment they meet, there is this spark between them that refuses to let go. It was refreshing to see a "love" that wasn't instantly perfect. Does anyone believe in an instantly perfect love? A love that takes effort, compromise, and time? That is a love that I can be invested in!

Tyger, Tyger is akin to all my favorite stories from Grimm's Fairy Tales. Underneath the humor and love, is a darker portion of the novel. A cautionary portion if you will. Warning us that seeing, is not always believing.

"It's an Irish story, love," Mrs. Wylltson said. "We don't do happy endings." ~Pg. 46


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