Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

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.

I am so mad at myself.  Why?  Because I didn’t read this book sooner, of course!

Here’s the story on this book.  I was looking at contests for book giveaways on Goodreads, because who doesn’t want a free book, right?  So I found Tyger, Tyger on that page and thought it might be interesting.  I entered the contest and what do you know?  I won a book!  So the lovely Kersten Hamilton, author, sent me an autographed copy of her book.  She said she couldn’t wait to get my opinion, especially since I was a high school teacher and studying to be a librarian.

And then I let it sit on my shelf.  For quite some time, actually.

The description on the dust jacket does not in any way, shape or form describe the beauty of this story.  Now, you have to understand that my family is Irish on both sides and I have long had a fascination with Irish mythology and folklore.  I have read as many things as I could find about this subject, in both fiction and non-fiction.  I love, love, love it!

So, imagine how thrilled I was when I realized that this book was based in Irish mythology!  I couldn’t believe my luck!  Ms. Hamilton has done an excellent job of weaving Irish legend into a modern story of the sidhe.  There’s a bountiful amount of Irish legend and magic in the story and even includes Finn Mac Cumhaill himself!  What’s really nice is the seamless way that she is has placed all of this into modern day Chicago.

Once I started reading this book, I had a hard time putting it down.  It was unfortunate that my graduate classes started back up this week.  I can safely say that I would much rather have read this book than attend the class on cataloging!  Of course, I also wanted to read this book instead of eating.  Or sleeping.  I could not stop thinking about these characters.

This book had a little bit of everything.  It was definitely full of danger and adventure.  There were warm moments, humorous moments, sad moments and scary moments.  The plot kept surprising me.  Even though there was definitely a handsome leading man, complete with a lovely Irish brogue and gentlemanly manners to boot, the leading lady didn’t swoon for him right away.  (Although I have to admit that a certain 40 year old might have swooned a little.)  It was nice to see the girl not fall instantly in love with the boy for a change. 

And the plot!  The plot was amazing!  It kept me on my toes the whole time!  And the secret reveal about ¾ of the way through the book is something that I never saw coming!  And what a complication it was!

I was so sad when I reached the end of the book, and I’m really glad that there are more on the way.  The only bad things?  First, I have to wait for the next book.  And second,  I’m worried that, like all good Irish stories, there will never be a happily ever after.  Please, Ms. Hamilton, don’t stay true to that part of Irish tales!

This book is a solid A, especially if you love all things Irish like me!

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