Monday, November 1, 2010

Tyger Tyger by: Kersten Hamilton

"Of course she's frightening," Mrs. Wyllston said. "She's Ginny Greenteeth. She drowns travelers in bogs."

    I have to admit, when I first saw the cover of this book I was a bit iffy as to what would be *inside. But let me tell you, from the moment I read the first line I was hooked and couldn't get enough. And now that I've finished the book with a little smile still hugging the corner of my mouth, I now fondly look over the cover knowing who those figures might be, what they might be doing and why. But best of all I know now what's inside that lovely cover.
    Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton tells the story of Teagan Wyllston. A teenage girl who is focused, driven, and has a plan. Teagan gets good grades and has a goal in sight, she wants to be a veterinarian.  She volunteers at the Zoo and plans on getting a scholarship to get into  veterinarian school. With all this planning and strict scheduling Teagan doesn't have the time, or room for boys. That was her best friend Abby's job. That is, until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives.
    One day Abby calls Teagan frantic about a "psychic dream" she had last night of Teagan being in danger of goblins and shadows. Rolling her eyes Teagan entertained Abby's persistent rants and let Abby pull her toward the church where Abby prayed for Teagan's Safety. When they return to Teagan's house, it's to find that Finn Mac Cumhaill will be the Wyllston's new house guest.
   With Teagan swatting the sparks that seem to fill the air whenever Finn is close by and Abby spraying holly water in his face because she belives Finn somehow is the devil incarnate and connected to the foreboding nightmare she's had about Teagan, a tragedy strikes the Wyllston household that leaves everything in shambles.
     Teagan is completely blind sided by the tragedy and finds that she has to dig into her mothers past to find the answers she needs, and the only one that can help her is Finn Mac Cumhaill.
      Oh there was just so much I loved about this book. I don't know if it was the mood that I was in or what but the first line just drew me immediately into the story with Teagan at the zoo. I loved the Wyllston's home with the laundry shoot, the maid's stairs, and everything else described. I could just imagine it, Her father a librarian, books all around the house, and her mother an artist and writer, with her artwork all around the house.
"Teagan knelt beside her mother, took her hand and breathed in the scent of paint, linseed oil and turpentine. Her mom always smelled like creation."
   The strong point in this book for me was not only the lovely **mythology and folklore of the Irish, but the characters themselves. I loved Finn from the beginning, an Italian quirky best friend Abby who's uncles and cousins run the mafia, and a little brother with  an impeccable sense of direction and a quirky fear of Elvis Impersonators, what more could you ask for? Of course Mr. Wyllston warmed a place in my heart from the very beginning and stayed there warming the cockles of my heart.
"Excellent," Mr. Wylltson said. "That means I read. When I meet someone who says they're not 'much for books,' I can guarantee that they haven't met the right book yet."
Mr. Wylltson stood up. "I'd be happy to make some introductions."
  He's a man of literature, of thought, of love. He is one who sings the monsters out from under his sons bed, and out of his closet so that Aiden can sleep at night. He's one who takes notice when his children are scared and frightened and doesn't brush it off but takes it to heart and encourages them. Like when Aiden squeals because he sees a shadow, Mr. Wylltson says,
". . .And that's why I think you should practice a more manly scream. A . . . Tarzan scream. Like this."
Teagan put her hands over her ears as he demonstrated.
"John Paul Wylltson," Mrs. Wylltson said, "You'll not be calling elephants to my table."

    Which segues perfectly into the family dynamic. I loved it. I loved Teagan's nick name of Tea and how it felt warm and nice being with all of them in the Wyllston home. And wait till you meet Mamieo, talk about kick-butt grandma. Her relationship with the almighty was a sweet layer to the book, and not at all self rightously fidgety.
    Now don't get me wrong, not all is nice and dandy, there are some frightful characters in here with quite the skirmish and twisted ways that you would expect from any Goblin filled book. Speaking of Goblins, you don't read much about goblins, but let me tell you the Goblins were frightful alright. They were Grotesque, disgusting creatures, especially the cat-sid'he. *shiver* echhh.  Hamilton did a wonderful job creating both worlds, the warm household full of art and literature that belonged to the Wyllston, and the odd magical other-world where things that went in never came out.
    The pacing was perfect for me. There were some points that I felt jump-cut a little bit, where I wish the moment was explored more, but all in all a fantastic read. I will definitely be looking out for Ms Hamilton's other works. Tyger Tyger is due out later this month, so be on the look out! you won't want to miss this one.

* Yes you can point the finger, I am a cover snob
**Which I'm a total sucker for


Book Source: Review Copy from Publisher

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Kim @ The Caffeinated Diva said...

I just won the ARC for this book so I am looking forward to reading it. I loved your review of it!

KIKA said...

Kim: Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it :) I'll be keeping my eye out for you review!

Kersten Hamilton said...

Thank you for the great review, Kika! I am extremely humbled by it.

But I must confess, I love Tyger Tyger that much, too!

jen7waters said...

Oh Kika, I want to read this book so much!;D Love those quotes you posted.

KIKA said...

Kersten: it was a pleasure to read your book :) I truly loved the story

Jen: Jen! it's so good to see you on here :) It really is a good book and yes those quotes still make me smile when I see them.

Alison said...

I'm glad you like the book. I'm starting to read this now. It seems interesting and different.

KIKA said...

Alison: :) I really enjoyed it. I had been drowned in text books for so long, to have a breath of fun adventurous reading was just the thing I needed :) I'll be checking your blog to see how you like it, I'd love to hear what you though