Saturday, 1 January 2011

Review: Tyger Tyger - Kersten Hamilton

Tyger Tyger: A Goblin Wars BookTeagan 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.

In many ways, Tyger Tyger follows a well used and well loved format that is popular in Young Adult Fiction. Fiesty heroine meets cute bad boy and finds out the world is not as she’s always thought it to be. Tyger Tyger has that unique edge as the fantasy element is somewhat unusual. While there’s books based on faerie lore, I don’t think I’ve ever read one that draws on Celtic mythology. It was this that first attracted me to the book and this that made me love it. Celtic myths have always interested me, particularly the legend of Fionn Mac Cumhaill. The myths also fitted in seamlessly with the story - it made sense why and when they were being retold.

Finn in the story is an ancestor of the original Fionn Mac Cumhaill and so has special abilities linked to this. He’s very much the bad boy whose heart is in the right place – the kind I love. Teagan’s a great protagonist as well. Just the right amount of vulnerability without being pathetic and she keeps Finn on his toes. The best friend factor in the form of Abby was surprisingly not annoying and superficial. She felt like a real person, plus her brothers have the most awesome names! The surprise character of the book was Aiden, Teagan’s little brother. Usually younger siblings are there to make up the numbers or to be rescued but Aiden is actually just as powerful, if not more so than the others. He gets the group out of trouble more than once and in way that was actually believable for a young kid.

If you’re looking for a book with great characters who you feel invested in right from the start, a ton of fantasy and mythology and a bit different to the norm then be sure to read Tyger Tyger.

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