By Kersten Hamilton
Published by: Clarion Books
Publication Date: November 15, 2010
Digital ARC from Netgalley
(This review first appeared at Under A Star Studded Sky as part of Rachel’s Amazing August Blog-A-Thon 2010. Stop by and check out her site!)
Summary from 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.
There was SO much I loved about this book, but for me, good characters are the heart and soul of any story so let's start there. Teagan has taken over as my favorite YA protagonist because she breaks all the stereotypes. Unlike a lot of girls in YA, Teagan has more on her mind than the hot boy. She has a job (working with animals,) goals, a great family that she actually likes, and a best friend with mafia ties who can always make a call....she KNOWS people. And Finn...sigh. You can just hear his Irish accent when he's talking and when he calls Teagan "girl." It's enough to make you a little weak in the knees. And he breaks the stereotypes too. He's not a bad boy (although his past is a little mysterious) and he never resorts to treating Teagan badly. He's the kind of a boy a girl SHOULD fall for.
As for the story itself, Kersten Hamilton weaves some mighty fine magic with her words. Tyger Tyger has its roots firmly planted in Celtic folklore and mythology, drawing upon tales of the Sidhe and of goblins and the legend of Fionn Mac Cumhaill. I wasn't familiar with any of these stories before, but I'm dying to get my hands on some more Celtic mythology now. I don't want to give away too much, but man, that summary leaves out SO much that it makes it really hard NOT to talk about other aspects of the book. Suffice it to say there is some excellent world building here, replete with supernatural creatures I haven't come across in any other books I've read. I found myself completely immersed in this magical world as I was reading and I gladly went along for the adventure. Here, you'll find a world where there is magic to be found in songs and promises, where the creatures in the shadows just might be real, and where you never know when a roll of duct tape might come in handy...so be prepared!
All in all, Tyger Tyger gets a solid 5 stars from me. I really loved this book and I hope you will too! Add it to your wishlist or pre-order it now...it'll be available November 15th!