Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Review: Tyger Tyger: A Goblin Wars Book by Kersten Hamilton

An Irish Fairy Tale with a Decidedly Modern Twist!
WARNING: Contains some spoilers!

Teagan “Tea” Wylltson has a dream. Finish high school with good grades, work part-time at the town zoo, and win a scholarship to Cornell’s Veterinary School. Boys and relationships were not part of that plan. Neither were fairy tales come to life and death-defying adventure, but Tea was in for a shocking surprise!

Tea’s daily life is filled with unique individuals, including a mother who is a brilliant author/illustrator of children’s fairy tales, a librarian father who claims to be a descendant of King Arthur’s wizard, Merlin, a younger brother who possesses the voice of an angel and the memory recall for song lyrics of an MP3 player, and a best friend with family ties to the local Mafia and an aunt who named her four sons after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! So when her parents agree to take in a long-lost cousin who had been living on the streets and with a band of Irish Travelers, Tea doesn’t even bat an eyelash. Until Finn Mac Cumhaill actually crosses the threshold of her home, that is, because from that moment onward, Tea’s eccentric but basically ordinary world turns upside down and nothing will ever be the same again!

Being a person of Irish descent, I really looked forward to reading this first installation of Kersten Hamilton’s new trilogy based on the Celtic fables that I have always found so fascinating. Tyger, Tyger did not disappoint! Ms. Hamilton’s book made the old legends come to life, enthralling me with her vivid portrayal of Mag Mell, and her spellbinding descriptions of all the magical creatures that live therein. Goblins, Sidhe, Storm Riders, Saints, and Guardian Angels all play essential parts in the unfolding drama, which is guaranteed to keep you entertained and glued to your seat as you turn page after page, unable to put the book down!

The only thing I would like to see changed in this fantastic tale is how Ms. Hamilton handles the aftermath of Aileen Wylltson’s death. That event is such a pivotal turning point in the story, yet it is glossed over with barely any mention. A few extra chapters inserted at that juncture of the story, further developing key information that is later brought into play, would in my opinion make the entire story feel more cohesive and the story line flow more smoothly between the world of modern-day Chicago and the ancient fantasy world of Mag Mell.

All in all, though, I enjoyed Tyger, Tyger a great deal, and I am very much looking forward to reading the next two installments in this lovely trilogy. I give Tyger, Tyger 4 paws!

***FTC Disclosure: This e-book was provided in exchange for an honest review, no other compensation was given, all opinions are my own***


Shari said...

Hi there Crazy Cat Lady. I am so glad that you mentioned the glossed over death of Teagan's mother!!!!! It bothered me so much that it kept me from really loving this book. Like the looks of the new blog. Shari over at myneuroticbookaffair.blogspot.com


I absolutely loved this book. I was a little bogged down by the mythology but finally got it. The glossing over didn't stop me. I just assumed that from one year to the next the family had grieved and gone on with their lives as a year had passed in the story. I think the meat of the story was the fairy tale aspect of it and cluttering it up with how broken the family was with the death of the mom would have slowed things down. We know they were broken. We know the grief they suffered at her unexpected death and we know there was something more to it. But we don't know that until a year later. I thought she handled it well because her death wasn't key to the plot. IMHO. Heather

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