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Tyger Tyger (The Goblin Wars Series #1)

Tyger Tyger (The Goblin Wars Series #1)

4.2 51
by Kersten Hamilton

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What would you do if the stories of your childhood suddenly began coming to life?

Teagan Wylltson’s best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures—goblins, shapeshifters, 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. Until Finn Mac


What would you do if the stories of your childhood suddenly began coming to life?

Teagan Wylltson’s best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures—goblins, shapeshifters, 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. Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives, with his killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. Either he’s crazy or he’s been haunting Abby’s dreams, because he’s talking about goblins, too . . . and about being 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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* "Laced with humor, packed with surprises and driven by suspense, the plot grabs readers from the start using the stylistic tactics of the best fantasy writing. . . . Buy this novel for readers of Franny Billingsley and Dia Calhoun as well as fans of urban fantasy."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Ancient Irish myths and legends mix and mingle with the modern world in this fast-paced fantasy. . . . Hamilton has created characters who are quirky and complex. Their stories are tightly woven together and riveting, and readers will look forward to the next installment in the series".—School Library Journal, starred review

"[A] promising new series. . . . The hints of a tragic fate will keep romance fans reading, while the promise of more magical thrills involving Irish folklore will draw in others."—Booklist

"[An] engaging adventure. . . . Even the most myth-savvy readers will revel in the clever twists and surprises."—Publishers Weekly

"Hamilton seamlessly blends magic and realism....The searing chemistry between Tea and Finn will have romance fans swooning"—The Bulletin

"A gentle, mystical story that manages to entwine Irish folklore and first love. An easy read, it is written with an abundance of simple but beautiful descriptive language. . . . The characters are feisty and appealing, and this reviewer looks forward to how the author will develop them throughout the series."—VOYA

Publishers Weekly
Making the leap from picture books and middle-grade novels to YA, Hamilton mines Celtic myth and fairy tales for this engaging adventure, first in the Goblin Wars series. Sixteen-year-old Teagan Wylltson's life may not be entirely ordinary, with an eccentric artist mother, techno-savvy little brother, and an after-school job that involves primate research, but at least she understands it. When Finn Mac Cumhaill, a teenage cousin from a family of "Travelers," comes to stay with them, things get seriously weird. Now Teagan is seeing goblins in the shadows, and mythical monsters are stalking her family. Is Finn, who claims to fight the goblins, the cause or a symptom of something worse? To save someone she loves, Teagan and Finn make a perilous journey into a treacherous supernatural realm, where she learns the truth about her family and its relationship to the goblins. While the plot meanders at times, there's no denying the solid concept or attention to detail present in the overall story. Even the most myth-savvy readers will revel in the clever twists and surprises. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Teagan Wyllston, 16, has a goal—get into Cornell and become a vet. There's no place in her life for boys. But when she meets the mysterious Finn Mac Cumhaill, he sets sparks flying. Her mother dies suddenly and her father disappears as Tea's Irish Traveler family history comes to light in the first strikes of a deadly goblin war. Teagan's brother, Aiden, is blessed with a gift for music that comes in very handy as he, Tea, and Finn quest throughout the legendary realm of Mag Mel, where dangerous sidhe live and the dreaded Fear Doirich rules. Kersten Hamilton's first book (Clarion Books, 2010) in a projected series, drenched in Celtic myth and legend, keeps a leisurely pace through the first half, but builds momentum and action toward an abrupt cliffhanger ending with promise of romance to come between Tea and Finn. Celeste Ciulla imbues her narration with the magic of Ireland, trading multiple Irish accents easily. Fantasy fans will enjoy this goblin tale and look forward to the next installment.—Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI
VOYA - Amanda-Jane McFadden
Chicago teenager Teagan Wylltson works after school at the local zoo helping with the animals. This year she wants to concentrate on her school work, trying to obtain a scholarship, and her job—life has no place for boys. All goes according to plan until her best friend, Abby, informs her that she is psychic. Then Teagan's long-lost cousin, the mysterious Finn MacCumhaill, turns up on her family's doorstep after living alone on the street since he was twelve years old. Strange things start happening, and Teagan begins seeing things that should not be there—or should they? A fatal incident thrusts Finn, Teagan, and her younger brother, Aiden, on a perilous and hazardous journey into the center of Mag Mell, the realm of Fear Doirich, an evil and formidable god who is the ruler of the goblins. Tyger Tyger is a gentle, mystical story that manages to entwine Irish folklore and first love. An easy read, it is written with an abundance of simple but beautiful descriptive language. Although a little slow to start, the story picks up the pace halfway through. The characters are feisty and appealing, and this reviewer looks forward to how the author will develop them throughout the series. The ending is satisfying, although not quite punchy enough, which is to be expected as a lead-in to the second book. This is a good introduction to fantasy for an entry-level reader, with a fabulous cover that entices one to pick it up. Reviewer: Amanda-Jane McFadden
Kirkus Reviews

Teagan Wylltson's life changes when her parents take in a cousin who's in trouble. Goblins frighteningly enter the scene, killing her mother and kidnapping her father, and the handsome cousin, Finn Mac Cumhaill, puts a dent in her plans for a no-romance future until after college.Based loosely on Irish folklore but set in a modern Chicago, the story revolves around Teagan, her five-year-old brother Aidan and the bodacious Finn's search to rescue Mr. Wylltson from the Sidhe. Laced with humor, packed with surprises and driven by suspense, the plot grabs readers from the start using the stylistic tactics of the best fantasy writing. Major characters are beautifully drawn, and many of the secondary characters are equally distinct. Description of geography and care for the small details of worldbuilding contribute to the feeling of reality and make suspension of disbelief easy. The climax and resolution satisfy but leave enough loose threads to fuel sequels. Buy this novel for readers of Franny Billingsley and Dia Calhoun as well as fans of urban fantasy.(Fantasy. YA)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Goblin Wars Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.60(d)
HL590L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Please. Teagan Wylltson’s fingers curled in American Sign Language as she spoke. Trade sweater for banana? She leaned over the fence around the chimp enclosure. Come on, Cindy, she coaxed. Be a good girl. Trade.

Cindy bared her fangs in a grimace, ignoring the ripe banana Teagan offered. She draped the pink cashmere over her shoulders and did the ape equivalent of a runway strut all the way to the bamboo along the back wall, turning to glare at Teagan before she disappeared into the greenery.

“Ms. Wylltson doesn’t appear to be getting anywhere, Dr. Max,” Ms. Hahn, the head of the youth docents, said.

“Tea can handle it.” Dr. Max wiped his balding dome with a handkerchief.

“You should ask Cindy to give it back, Max,” Ms. Hahn said. “The chimp listens to you.”

“She used to.” Dr. Max shook his head. “Lately she just throws things every time I come in sight.”

“How did she get your sweater, young lady?” Ms. Hahn’s eyes narrowed. “That could be dangerous for the animal!”

“I left it on the railing,” Teagan said. “Cindy used a stick to fish it into her enclosure.”

“And you didn’t notice that this was happening, Max?”

“Dr. Max wasn’t here.”

Ms. Hahn’s pencil-thin eyebrows rose. “The girl was here unsupervised?” She sniffed. “That is against regulations. Youth never work with the animals unsupervised!”

“Teagan’s not a youth-docent volunteer,” Dr. Max said. “She is an employee.”

“A sixteen-year-old employee.” Ms. Hahn’s voice was growing louder. “ Youth-worker rules still apply.”

“Teagan is very responsible, and she was never in the cage with Cindy,” Dr. Max said calmly. “Really, Darleen, you’re not helping here. Cindy is just like a child. She’ll pick up the tension in our voices if we argue.”

Teagan sneezed. She wished Ms. Hahn would find somewhere else to be. She wished she’d taken her Benadryl during her break. And she wished Cindy would just give the sweater back so she could head to the animal clinic.

The bamboo shook where Cindy had disappeared. Teagan held the banana to her nose and pretended to sniff.

“Smells good.” The words came out sounding like thmells dwood. Her nose was so plugged up she couldn’t smell the Primate Research House, much less the ripe banana she was peeling.

The bushes at the back of the enclosure shook harder.

“Cindy,” Dr. Max coaxed, “come out and talk to Teagan.”

Cindy came out of the bushes, the sweater wadded into a ball. She held it over her head like a trophy, then put it down and started signing madly.

“Bad girl, bad girl,” Teagan translated.

“Cindy’s a good girl,” Dr. Max said as he signed. “Give Tea’s sweater back. Say sorry.”

Teagan met Cindy’s icy glare. The chimp didn’t look one bit sorry. In fact, she looked just like . . . Teagan glanced at Ms. Hahn. It couldn’t be. Could it?

Bad boy, Teagan signed.

Cindy bared her fangs.

Ugly boy, Teagan signed, then gave Dr. Max a push.

“Hey,” Ms. Hahn said. “What do you think you are doing?”

Cindy screamed and threw the wadded-up sweater at Teagan, who caught it with one hand.

“What . . . how did you do that?” Ms. Hahn demanded.

“Cindy wasn’t saying that she was a bad girl.” Teagan shoved the sweater into her backpack. “She was telling Dr. Max that I was a bad girl.”


“Cindy’s got a crush on Dr. Max. She wants him to stay away from me.” Teagan didn’t mean to look directly at Ms. Hahn when she said it. It was just so obvious. “Common primate behavior.”

“Perceptive!” Dr. Max said. “Didn’t I tell you she was perceptive, Darleen? This girl has a future ahead of her as a vet, or an animal behaviorist. She’s going to get lots of scholarship offers out of her work here. ‘Common primate behavior.’ Of course, of course.” He chuckled and turned mildly pink. “I should have known that. I just didn’t consider myself—”

“It’s the lab coat,” Teagan said. “Very hot.”

Ms. Hahn’s glare made Cindy’s seem warm and friendly.

“I have to clean the cages in the lab and feed the tiddlywinks,” Teagan said before Ms. Hahn could open her mouth. “Gotta run! See you on Saturday.”

Teagan took a deep breath—through her mouth, since her nose was too stuffy—as soon as she was outside. She couldn’t help feeling sad at the zoo. The animals here would never live the way they were meant to live. The primate house was the worst, because the apes were so much like people. Especially Cindy, with her acquired language.

Teagan had learned ASL in middle school so she could teach a preschool signing class at the community center. Community service had seemed like a good idea for her college applications, but Dr. Max had offered her something even better.

He’d been one of the judges of the sophomore science fair. He’d seen her signing to her little brother and offered her a part-time job with his primate research team, socializing with Cindy. Because her science fair project had been on urban wildlife rescue, Dr. Max had agreed to work some clinic time into her schedule as well. If the chimp language program helped convince people that apes should have some basic rights, Teagan was happy to help. But her real love was the clinic. She worked for Dr. Max every Thursday after school, all day Saturday, and half a day on Sunday. As soon as summer vacation started, her position would be full-time, and she’d get to spend four hours a day in the clinic.

She dashed across the zoo grounds, punched the security code into the keypad at the clinic door, and waited for it to hiss open.

“Hey.” Agnes, the vet tech, was sitting at the office desk when Teagan came in. “Look at this.”

Teagan leaned over to look at the computer screen. It was a cryptozoology site, of course. Agnes’s hobby was debunking pseudo-scientists who thought they had pictures of everything from Bigfoot to the Loch Ness Monster. The screen showed a flat, mummified creature with what appeared to be a grimacing face. The caption read, “Alien body found in New Mexico?!”

“What is it?” Teagan asked.

“It’s a dead sea skate. What it’s doing in the middle of the desert I don’t know. Somebody must have brought it home from vacation and thrown it out with the trash.”

“So you told them?”

“Of course I did. More science, less ignorance.”

Teagan left Agnes to her debunking and went to feed her patients in the next room. She put a fresh lettuce leaf into Methuselah’s cage, and the tortoise winked a red eye at her. He’d been someone’s pet until he wandered into the street. She ran her finger along the mended crack in his shell. Shells didn’t heal, of course, but the superglue she’d used to put him back together would probably last his lifetime. Now all he needed was a new home—one that could keep him out of traffic.

Teagan heated some goat’s milk in the microwave, mixed it in a bowl with canned puppy food, then tapped on the nest box behind Dr. Max’s desk.

“Tiddlywinks, wake up,” she whispered. The mass of prickles and paws in the middle of the nest started moving, sorting itself into five baby hedgehogs. Dr. Max had not been hopeful when they were orphaned at two days old, still so young that their prickles were white. He’d said that African hedgehogs were next to impossible to hand raise, but Teagan hadn’t lost even one of the babies. For the first two weeks, she’d carried them with her in a basket night and day, feeding them every two hours. It would have been easier if they hadn’t been nocturnal and done their best feeding at night.

 Now that they were almost weaned, they didn’t have to eat as frequently, so they stayed at the clinic. Dr. Max and his lab techs did most feedings these days, but Teagan still loved taking care of them when she could. Fats waddled toward the food she’d prepared for them, but Arwin the Adventuresome beat him there. Tiny Tiddly, the smallest, sat blinking in the corner while Sonic and Speed Racer pushed in beside Fats.

Teagan filled an eyedropper with goat’s milk and picked Tiny Tiddly up carefully. He was her favorite, and not quite as ready as his brothers and sister for solid food. He patted her finger with his plump pink hands while he sucked milk from the eyedropper. When they had all eaten, Teagan cleaned them and took the bowl out of their nest box.

“Don’t give Agnes any trouble.” She checked the clock. She was going to have to run to catch her bus.

“See you Saturday,” Agnes called as Teagan went out the door.

“Saturday,” Teagan said.

The early May wind off Lake Michigan was cool enough to make her shiver, even after her mad dash to the bus stop. Teagan took her sweater out of her backpack and held it up. Cindy had been very careful with it, really. She hadn’t even snagged the loose knitting.

The bus hissed to a stop, and Teagan pulled the sweater over her head before she jumped up the steps. The driver gave her a sour look as she flashed her student pass, and nodded toward the back.

Two grandmotherly ladies frowned at her. One of them said something to the other in German, and they both shook their heads.

Teagan sneezed as she took the empty seat behind them. The old man sitting by the window blinked at her through thick glasses and tried to press himself into the corner.

Teagan smiled apologetically. “It’s just allergies,” she said, digging her Benadryl out of the front pouch of her backpack. “Nothing contagious.” She swallowed the pills with a swig from her water bottle.

“Tea!” Abby Gagliano got on the bus at Clark and Addison. Abby liked to say she had a modeling job at her cousin’s boutique and beauty salon, Smash Pad. Her purple military-style cap pulled sideways, tight black T-shirt, miniskirt, and cargo boots were a walking advertisement for Smash Fashions, and she did spend an hour or two a day posing in the store window. But most of the time she was the assistant pedicurist, specializing in art for the toenails of the rich and eccentric.

Abby rode the bus home with Teagan at least three times a week to spend the night. Her sister Clair had moved back in while her husband was deployed. The only place the Gaglianos had to put her was Abby’s room, and it was small, so Abby and Clair worked out a time-share. They were never home on the same day of the week, and Abby kept half of her clothes in Teagan’s closet.

Teagan looked around for an empty seat as Abby made her way down the aisle. There wasn’t one.

“Thank god you’re here!” Abby grabbed the post to steady herself as the bus started forward. “I’ve been trying to call you. Your life is totally in danger.” Her face twisted. “What’s that smell?”

“What?” Teagan said. “I can’t smell anything.”

The German grandmother turned around.

“You smell like shite,” she said helpfully.

“Oh, my god. Abby, is there something on my sweater?” Teagan twisted so Abby could see her back.

“Yes,” Abby said.

“Help me clean it off.”

“I’m not touching it.”

“Hold my blouse down while I take my sweater off, then,” Teagan said.

Abby grabbed her shirttail, and Teagan wiggled the sweater up over her shoulders, careful not to turn it inside out. Whatever was on it, she didn’t want to smear it on her blouse or in her hair.

“Eew,” Abby said, and let go. Teagan felt cool air on her midriff as the sweater went over her head. She pulled it off her arms, then jerked her blouse down with one hand. Two high school boys across the aisle had goofy smiles on their faces.

“Nice shimmy,” one said.

“Hey.” Abby smiled at him. “You go to our school, don’t you? Geoff Spikes, football team. Quarterback.”

“Does your friend know who I am, too?” Geoff leaned around Abby to leer at Teagan.

Teagan ignored him and turned her sweater over. She should have checked the back before she put it on. Cindy had left a present for her—a thick brown-green gob stuck right between the shoulders. It had squished flat when she’d leaned back, leaving a lovely smear on the bus seat.

“Tell your friend to call me if she wants to hook up,” Geoff said. “I could spend some time with that bod.”

“She’s into brains, not brawn,” Abby said. “You might have a chance. Just one. What’s your IQ?”


“Wrong answer. You’re out.” Abby turned her back on him.

“Abby,” Teagan whispered, “I’m going to kill you.”

“I had to let go of the shirt,” Abby whispered back. “That . . . stuff almost touched me.”

“Did anything show?”

“Anything like wha—” Abby stopped. “You’re wearing a bra, right?”

“Of course I am.”

“Good,” Abby said. “ ‘Cause he had a cell phone.”


“You can kill me later. We have to get off at the next stop. Your life is in danger.”


“I said we have to get off here.”

“I meant the other part. About my life being in danger?”

“I had a dream,” Abby said.

“A dream.”

Abby nodded. “I’m totally psychotic. You know I am.”

The old man huddled in the corner threw a worried look at her.

“Psychic. She means psychic,” Teagan assured him, using her sweater to wipe the brown goo from the seat.

“That’s what I said,” Abby agreed. “I should be working for the psychotic hotline, I swear.” She grabbed Teagan’s arm and pulled her down the aisle.

Several passengers cheered as they went down the steps.

“Does the ape poop really smell that bad?”

“My eyes are watering,” Abby said.

“Where are we going?” Teagan asked as the bus pulled away.

“We’re not going.” Abby waved toward the building above them. “We’re here. St. Drogo’s.”

“No, no, no.” Teagan stopped. “I’m not going to church. Not with this sweater.”

“Then throw it away.”

“Never,” Teagan said. “It’s my favorite sweater.”

“How long have I been your best friend?”

“Forever,” Teagan said.

“Damn right.” Abby started up the church steps. “I flunked first grade so you could catch up to me, didn’t I? I gave up a year of my life for you—a whole year! And have I ever asked you to do anything for me?

“Yes,” Teagan said. “All the time.”

“That’s true. But this is life and death, Tea, I swear. You’re always taking care of other people. Now I am going to take care of you. I’m going to light a candle so Drogo will intercede for you.”

Abby wanted to go to church? She’d only been twice since they’d transferred from St. Joseph’s Academy to public school, and that had been in the ninth grade.

“This is crazy,” Teagan said, but she followed Abby up the steps and past the smiling statue of Saint Drogo leaning on the handle of a hoe. “How is my life in danger?”

“I’ll tell you after we pray.” Abby looked around nervously. “I want to get out of here before Father Gordon sees me.”

They dipped their fingers in the laver and crossed themselves before they stepped into the familiar nave. A second statue of Saint Drogo, his face grim and his hands lifted in petitioning prayer, stood to the side of the altar.

Teagan had asked her parents who Drogo was one Sunday morning when she was six.

“Frodo the hobbit’s father, from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings,” Mr. Wylltson had said. “Isn’t it marvelous that they built a church for him?”

“Hist! John!” Her mother’s Irish accent showed even in a whisper. “Mind you’re in church, and don’t mislead the girl. Saint Drogo was a holy man, and a bilocate. He could be in two places at once. The blessed man spent every Sunday face-down on the floor in front of the altar while simultaneously working in his garden to the glory of God.”

“I think he was sleeping in church,” Mr. Wylltson had said.

“John,” Mrs. Wylltson warned. “I’m instructing our daughter in the things of the faith.” She turned back to Teagan. “That’s why we have two statues—the petitioner and the gardener. If I could do that, think how much painting I could get done.”

“Come on.” Abby tried to pull Teagan toward the altar, but she shook her head. The statues of saints along each wall looked unusually disapproving.

“I’ll wait here.” Teagan slid onto the pew at Saint Francis’s feet. If anyone would understand bringing ape poop to church, it would be Francis.

Abby went to the front, lit a votive candle, and knelt with her head bowed. Teagan shifted on the hard pew.

“Abigail Gagliano.” Father Gordon had entered the nave. “I haven’t seen you for—”

“Laters, Father.” Abby jumped up. “Gotta run.” Teagan followed her out.

“So what was this psychic dream?” Teagan asked. “Did it have perverts with cell phones and a bus in it?”

“No.” Abby shuddered. “Saint Drogo was in it. He was trying to tell me something, but his Italian was all mixed up. Like, not Italian at all. And some of your mother’s paintings—the ones in your basement—came alive. I remember the goblins for sure. The goblins came upstairs, and they were after you, Tea.”

“You’re making me walk six blocks home because you had a crazy dream about my mom’s paintings? You were right, back on the bus. You are psychotic.”

“Whatever,” Abby said. “The people on that bus thought I was a hero for getting you and your monkey poo out of there.”

“Very funny.” Teagan found a plastic grocery bag in the gutter, shook off the twigs and dirt, and wrapped her sweater in it. “And it’s ape poop. Cindy is an ape.”

Aiden was playing Super Mario Galaxy in an alcove off of the living room when they came in the front door. Lennie Santini loomed over him, waving the Wii wand to gather up the stars that appeared on the screen. The alcove was Aiden’s den of boyhood, complete with video games, a Lego castle, and an army of Lego men set up around the room, ready to wage war.

Ai-den-is-the-hero,” Aiden sang in sync to the synthesized music.

Teagan winced. If she had known her dad was going to get him a Wii for his fifth birthday, she’d have destroyed every compatible sound system in the house. Aiden was one chip short of being a high-end cell phone. His brain came bundled with an MP3 player and GPS. Every tune he had ever heard was stored in his gray matter. When the music had no lyrics, he made up his own.

“Hey, Tee-gan,” Lennie’s voice boomed. “Hey, hey, cousin Ab-by.”

“Hey, Lennie,” Teagan said. Lennie was a sweet six-year-old trapped in a plump, pimply eighteen-year-old body, and he was Aiden’s best friend in the whole world. “Does Mom know you guys are playing Mario?”

“Dad said I could if I didn’t sing too loud.”

“Dad’s home already?”

“Hey, choirboy,” Abby said. “You still have that goochi-goochi I gave you?”

Tamagotchi.” Aiden paused Mario and pulled the electronic pet out of his pocket. “I’m taking good care of it, see?”

“Hey!” Lennie squinted at the pixels on the tiny screen. “He’s growing! Let me feed him, okay?”

“Okay.” Aiden handed it to Lennie. “But you have to whisper. Dad said to be quiet because we have company. They’re in the kitchen.”

“Company?” Teagan asked.

Abby followed her through the door into the kitchen. It stretched across the whole back of the old house. They used half of it for food preparation and eating. The other half was an art studio. Teagan’s mother was standing in the art-studio half with a woman in a purple pantsuit. A female water goblin leered out of the still-wet paint on the canvas before them, the strands of her thin hair plastered to her round face.

“You illustrate children’s books?” The woman’s head wagged disapprovingly.

“Write and illustrate.” Aileen Wylltson turned to gaze at the woman.

The woman took a step back. “She’s . . . frightening.”

Teagan wasn’t quite sure whether the woman meant the painting or her mother. She would have given anything to have inherited her mother’s intense amber eyes, ringed by subtle green, but the gene lottery had given her her father’s dark brown eyes instead.

“Of course she’s frightening,” Mrs. Wylltson said. “She’s Ginny Greenteeth. She drowns travelers in bogs.”

Teagan’s father was filling the teakettle at the sink. He smiled at the girls. “How was work, Rosebud?”

“Fine.” Teagan tossed the bagged sweater at the laundry chute. Her father had taken both the doors off, upstairs and down, six months ago to refinish and seal the ancient wood. Now the openings gaped like a monster’s maw, offering up basement breath and the occasional death rattle from their old washing machine. The sweater dropped from sight as her mother and the woman turned toward Teagan.

“Tea, you’re home!” Mrs. Wylltson said. “Ms. Skinner, this is our daughter, Teagan, and her friend Abigail. Tea, this is Ms. Skinner from Social Services.”

Ms. Skinner’s glance flicked from Teagan to Abby, and her thin lips pressed together. She clearly did not approve of Smash Pad’s fashion statement.

“Pleased to meet you,” Teagan said.

“A teenage daughter!” Ms. Skinner’s ginger eyebrows drew together. “You should consider her safety when deciding who you take into your home.”

“We always take our children’s safety into consideration,” Mr. Wylltson assured her.

Ms. Skinner ignored him and studied Teagan. “How do you feel about your cousin Finn coming to live with you?” she asked.

Teagan blinked. “Who?”

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
* Laced with humor, packed with surprises and driven by suspense, the plot grabs readers from the start using the stylistic tactics of the best fantasy writing. . . . Buy this novel for readers of Franny Billingsley and Dia Calhoun as well as fans of urban fantasy."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

• "Ancient Irish myths and legends mix and mingle with the modern world in this fast-paced fantasy. . . . Hamilton has created characters who are quirky and complex. Their stories are tightly woven together and riveting, and readers will look forward to the next installment in the series".—School Library Journal, starred review

"[A] promising new series. . . . The hints of a tragic fate will keep romance fans reading, while the promise of more magical thrills involving Irish folklore will draw in others."—Booklist

"[An] engaging adventure. . . . Even the most myth-savvy readers will revel in the clever twists and surprises."—Publishers Weekly

"Hamilton seamlessly blends magic and realism....The searing chemistry between Tea and Finn will have romance fans swooning"—The Bulletin

"A gentle, mystical story that manages to entwine Irish folklore and first love. An easy read, it is written with an abundance of simple but beautiful descriptive language. . . . The characters are feisty and appealing, and this reviewer looks forward to how the author will develop them throughout the series."—VOYA

Meet the Author

Kersten Hamilton is the author of several picture books and many middle grade novels. When she's not writing, she hunts dinosaurs in the deserts and badlands outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she lives. This is her first novel for young adults. For more about Kersten, please visit www.kerstenhamilton.com.

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Tyger Tyger 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
gbubookreviews More than 1 year ago
Teagan Wylltson's life has always been a little strange. Whether her best friend, Abby, is rambling about goblin paintings coming alive or she is signing to a moody ape. Even her family is strange with her Irish mother and human-recorder brother who knows every lyric to every song and is terrified of Elvis impersonators. But when mysterious Finn comes to live with her family her strange never seemed so normal. Teagan is seeing shadows and creatures from the corner of her eye, that magically disappear when she focuses on them. Then she catches Finn leaving in the middle of the night saying he never should have come and brought them here. Teagan, unsure of what he's talking about, lets him go. But when a terrible tragedy hits her family she begins to put the clues together and falls into the very world Finn tried to keep her from. The Good: This book was AH-MAY-ZING I loved every single second. The romance was steamy without being soppy and controlling the plot or even being a big focus. I don't know why this book didn't get more publicity because it was so good. At the beginning the characters just draw you in. They are hilarious and they continue to be throughout the whole story. I found myself smiling often and even laughing out loud a few times. Even the minor character, some with only a line or two, were memorable. Author found just small ways to make the book a bit odd or funny that really stood out as unique. Then once the action picks up it just keeps going and going. The Bad: The book was filled with stories of mythology and fantasy. These sometimes got to be a bit confusing with hard to pronounce names and lengthy paragraphs. For me when I come to a name I don't know or is hard to pronounce I just skim it. Well when there were multiple people with weird names it was hard to keep everything straight. The stories while were interesting were also distracting from the action though they were completely relevant.
kittydanza More than 1 year ago
TYGER TYGER, by Kersten Hamilton, is the first in The Goblin Wars series. Hamilton starts this series off with action and suspense that made me dizzy with excitement for the continuation of the story! Hamilton's re-imagination of Celtic mythology with the addition of the Sídhe made a dangerous, but fantastic combination that turned into a remarkable story. I absolutely fell in love with Hamilton's creativity and combination of elements of folklore and fantasy. I actually loved every character written, even the bad ones if you can believe it. Each character had his/her own thing to make him/her stand out. Aiden absolutely stole my heart. He was the most adorable little brother that I have ever read and he was actually a huge part of the journey. And I actually wanted to jump in the pages and steal Abby. She was seriously the best friend, albeit untrusting of Finn and the situations that he thrust upon her buddy, Teagan. I loved the references to her stereotypical Mafioso family members and psychic abilities. Even Maimeo, the kick-butt grandmother, and Raynor, the brave protector, became very dear to me in Teagen's travels to Mag Mell. And I shall not forget our two leads, Teagan and Finn. Teagan had a great head on her shoulders and did not let Finn's immediate attraction to her cloud her mind. Finn was definitely swoon-worthy. He got points for being physically attractive and brave in his attempts to keep Aiden and Teagen safe. During their travels to Mag Mell, Hamilton showed the nastier side of the Sídhe. The creatures that they trio faced were not humanized at all, they would kill and maim if necessary. It was interesting getting a new view of this folklore. Overall this was a great start to the series. It was action-packed, fantastical, with a bit of teen romance thrown in. I highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoed this episode, but since the series is plainly moving into the arena of soppy teenage romance, I won't be reading any further in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stop telling everyone what its about! This book is amazing! Ignor the bad reveiws. Its great! It ain't like twlight but it is a love/adventure story. Opps! I should stop before I give anything away! Its awesome!!!
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Teagan Wylltson thinks her friend, Abby is joking. But Abby swears that she's psychic. And she's dreamed that horrifying creatures - goblins, shape-shifters, shadows, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty - are hunting her friend. 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 dream, because he's talking about goblins too...and about being the Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn has survived alone on the streets since he was twelve, so he knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming. (Excerpt from back cover) My Review: The story telling and writing style form this author seems a little disconnected at first. It took several chapters of character development and background to really get moving for me. I did like the book once it kicked into 3rd gear after about chapter 5 to really get interesting. Once hooked though, it takes you to a magical world filled with wonder, mystery and intrigue. I would like to continue reading the Goblin War Series books if the characters and plot catches you earlier within the first 3 chapters. Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton, is definitely geared for a young adults read! The imagination of the author takes you into a different story unlike any that are out in the market today. The Celtic History telling and mythology from the time tells about Goblins and the old world of Ireland which is very interesting. I am going to pass this onto our children to see how they like it. I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars due to the first few chapters just seemed to be a little hard to get through as you learn about the main female, her friends and a mysterious stranger that comes to live with her family. I received this book compliments of Kersten Hamilton personally for my honest review and can't wait to read the next in this series of books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really. Follows some of the myths of the fae.
tennisgirl3194 More than 1 year ago
I wish that I could write every character’s name down as my favorite. Kersten Hamilton is fantastic at creating diverse personalities and implementing them throughout the book, adding hilarity as well as a sense of realism to a plot filled with goblins, curses, and chaos. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever like a book with goblins in it, but I know that I love books that take old legends and twist them into a modern plot. I’ve never heard much about Irish tales, and Ms. Hamilton explains in the author’s note that she’s changed much to fit in with the story, but I adore when things of legend are taken in a realistic way. I actually started to read this quite some time ago, liked it but couldn’t get into it, and then started re-reading it two days ago. I was so captivated, I couldn’t put it down! I think it was just my earlier mindset that prevented me from enjoying this novel. Tyger Tyger had me immediately flipping the pages to see what would happen next! Most YA books contain some ounce of romance, and this book is no different on that account. But what I especially liked was that nothing was rushed. Teagan has her own goals in life and doesn’t want a relationship to stand in her way, and Finn won’t pressure her into having something more between them. It was a pleasure to read about two wonderfully defined characters both caring for each other and at the same time thinking for themselves. Though at times there were so many different characters in a scene my head could barely retain all of them, Tyger Tyger is one of the better fantasy books I’ve read lately. I’m glad to see that there will be a sequel In the Forest of the Night, set to come out in October. Much too long of a wait! I’ll be counting the days. I give this novel 5/5 stars and recommend it for any YA or fantasy fan, or anyone who’d love to read about goblins and folklore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TurningThePagesBlog More than 1 year ago
I LOVED THIS BOOK! It had everything that I want in a book. It has goblins, the fair folk, a little bit of romance, suspense, comedy and a teenage heroine that is NOT a whiney, self-absorbed brat! I applaud the author Kersten Hamilton on her first YA novel which in my humble opinion is a great start to a promising career in this genre and I wish her the greatest success. I adored the characters; I appreciate how she took time to make them seem “real”. I also enjoyed the interaction between them all. The only character I didn’t like was the bad guy. My favourite character was Aiden, he’s such a sweetie. I wish he were a real person because I’d smother him in hugs. I appreciated that Hamilton took her time building the characters, the plot and the settings because it was easy to follow along. She gave just the right amount of attention to detail without going overboard. Well, except in one instance where she went into graphic detail about Teagan (the heroine) drooling and having snot on the back of her love interests shirt. *SHUDDER* I can handle blood and gore but snot and drool count me out! Anyways, back to the story. Teagan is an animal lover who wants to go to Cornell and won’t let anything get in the way of those plans. Especially not a boy. That is until her cousin Finn comes to live with them. He isn’t her blood cousin (thank goodness) but he does make her teenage heart go pitter patter. Finn is the son of Teagan’s mother Aileen’s “brother”. Finn is an Irish Traveler who has been on his own since he was 12 years old. Not long after Finn comes to stay with Teagan’s family he helps defend a friend of the family, A boy named Lennie who is a 6 year old trapped in the body of an 18 year old. That night Lennie’s mother come over to thank Finn and makes the family dinner, while this is happening Aileen is struck with inspiration for a book (she’s a writer and illustrator or children’s books). She grabs a pen and begins writing down her idea when Aiden spots a “shadow man” reach over and touch his mother. No one thinks too much of this except Finn, who decides to run away. The next day Aileen feels ill and gets sent to the hospital, where she slips into a coma and dies three days later. A few months go by and nothing happens. Until one day when her father fails to show up for a meeting with a social worker. She goes looking for him with Aiden and Finn shoes up out of the blue looking even more rugged than before. They find their way into Mag Mell an alternate dimension. This is where the real action lays and since I don’t want to give too much more of the book away let me say that this is where the Cat Sidhe, Sprites, Goblins and the Fair Folk come into play. So we follow the trio Aiden, Finn and Teagan as they fight to get her father back from the villain’s evil clutches. After a startling revelation Teagan learns about her mother’s past and her future. .. This book is filled with twists and turns. Its action packed and in my opinion one of the best books I have read all year and in my opinion one of the best books I have read all year. I cannot wait for my copy of the second book in the series to come in at the library. This is one author to look out for in the future which is why I gave this book 5 stars. I highly recommend this book to anyone at all. I think it will be a favourite of those who like YA fantasy novels and Irish folklore. GO READ THIS BOOK!
Natasa-WMYB More than 1 year ago
Halfway through this I realized none of the characters were interesting enough to continue reading about, which is a shame because I did want to like this book. The story itself isn't too bad but it shares the same blandness with its characters. I don't know about you, but I find "Tea" as a moniker slightly irritating--especially if you get sidetracked by its other meaning whenever it comes up. I'll just refer to her as Teagan so I don't get the urge to make myself a cuppa. The beginning of Tyger Tyger is promising and surprised a few laughs out of me. Teagan is a funny and engaging narrator. Unfortunately as soon as Finn becomes a permanent fixture in the story, Teagan becomes invisible in the dialogue between Finn and Aiden, her little brother. This is a very sore point for me because I'm all for strong and independent heroines; as well as being invisible, Teagan relies on Finn to save Aiden and her whenever they're in danger from the goblins. She never takes the initiative herself. Maybe this changes later on, but I don't think I want to find out because right now I can't get over how demeaning the story is to Teagan. The mythology is passably interesting but as the book wore on it came to the point where I was forcing myself to try to remember details here and there. At that point I realized that if they weren't interesting enough to remember, then it wasn't worth finishing. The writing style is better suited to a contemporary novel instead of soft fantasy. It works great in the beginning because the element of magic hasn't been introduced yet but afterwards turns stilted and awkward. Overall, Tyger Tyger is a disappointing read that fails to live up to its great beginning. I'm sure for some people it's right up their alley, but it just couldn't hold my attention. Advance reader copy provided courtesy of Netgalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
susie_d More than 1 year ago
When I discovered that this book was about goblins, I just had to read it. Finally, a book that wasn't about vampires. But, the story did not live up to my expectations. The only two characters that stood out were Aiden, Teagan's little brother, and Abby, Teagan's best friend. I am actually kind of surprised that Abby does not have a bigger role in the book. She is the one who has the dream about the goblins, yet she does not get to take part in the adventure. The other characters were pretty flat. The stories that were told within this book got a bit confusing, making it hard to keep track of which persons did what. There was not enough action in the book, and I had to push myself to finish it.
BiggerSky More than 1 year ago
This book made me not want to stop reading even when I got home at one in the morning from a four hour trip, I couldn't put it down! It keeps you on your toes and wanting more. I won't say much about the actually book becasue I want people to read it!! You'll love it, even if your not a goblin person.
Ladystorm More than 1 year ago
So Abby really was right, the goblins have arrived. They have taken Teagan's father so Teagan, Finn, and Aiden must go into Mag Mel. While they are there they find out a lot more about Teagan and her brother than they really wanted to know. Who their mother really was and why she wanted to escape Mag Mel. Aiden makes a friend out of a little Sprite who comes in handy some times and gets hooked on chocolate. Not everyone is bad in this new world but its hard to trust anyone as they fear the Dark Man. Teagan, wants a lot out of life, she is studying really hard in school. She has a after school/summer job working with animals. When Finn comes to stay and brings with him the goblins her whole world is turned upside down, but she keeps it together pretty well. She has her weak, I want to cry moments but for the most part she keeps a level head. She makes for a great main character, I don't like weak female characters and she is not weak. She knows what she has to do and that she has to keep her little brother alive as well and she does it with minimal complaint. Finn is the Mac Cumhaill, the goblin hunter. His family are Irish travelers and he doesn't really have a actual home. His parents are dead and sometimes he stays with his Mamieo (grandmother), but mostly he is a wanderer. The only reason he comes to stay with his aunt Aileen is because he thought she knew about the goblins. He never meant to put her family in danger but when it happens he is a fighter. He will not let them fight alone and well I liked him. Aiden was probably my favorite. He is the little brother who loves to sing, but it comes in handy in Mag Mel. His singing can soothe the other world and open paths for them to take, and he is a walking GPS. He never gets lost even in a weird world. He is funny and lovable. There is only one thing that I didn't really understand in this book. At the beginning Abby is the one telling Teagan that she had a dream about goblins coming to get her. So why is it when Teagan tells Abby about the goblins having her father, she doesn't believer her? I know she can't see them or anything but she told her about that horrible dream so I just thought she might be more inclined to believer her. Over all if you like books about goblins, myths or fables I think you would like this book. Never been a huge fantasy reader but I really enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PenelopeL More than 1 year ago
I had my doubts about how much I would like this book, but I ended up loving it! From page one, I felt like I was taken on an adventure. Seriously. I tore through this book, needing to know what would happen next, but not wanting it to end. I was enthralled. The pacing was perfect, the plot refreshingly original; all I needed was about 20 more chapters, and I would have been the happiest reader alive. :) I enjoyed the way the author chose to open the book in the first chapter. It introduced Tea, the protagonist, in a unique way and showcased a lot of her personality, without giving a whole bunch of paragraphs of description. Along those same lines, the characterization rocked. It was full of family members and friends who are so eccentric, you love them; the younger brother who's quirks become endearing, the best friend who has mob connections, the long-lost cousin with an unknown past...they are all exciting, and very different than your average characters. One thing I didn't like, however, is when the best friend blatantly rejects the idea of mythical creatures existing that she, herself, had warned Tea about. I thought it was very out of character, especially since I was expecting a big "told you so" moment, or at least some recollection of her own adamant warning. Other than that, Tyger Tyger flows well. There was never a point where I felt like it was lacking in speed or excitement. The story wraps up most loose ends when it's finished, but it does leave off with a devastating tantalizing little cliff-hanger. I seem to remember the word 'no' coming from my mouth a few times, as I flipped the last page back and forth, trying to make the book tell me more. Kersten Hamilton did a great job weaving myth, history, and modern life together, to create a story that both frustrates and captivates...in a good way. Oh, and the guy? This one does not disappoint. Who doesn't love a guy with an Irish brogue, and a nice upper-cut? Needless to say, I am hooked on this series, and will be waiting anxiously for the next book. I highly suggest you read this book. Stat! Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BBandReveries More than 1 year ago
Tyger Tyger follows the adventure of Teagan, her brother, Aiden, and Finn into Mag Mell to rescue Teagan's father from Fear Doirich, the goblin king. That's basically the gist of the whole story. Hamilton put together a wonderful story. The mythology was well crafted/researched. It really brought the story to life. However, I felt that there were just so many names and places that I could barely pronounce that I found myself having to reread certain parts to get the back story correct. I did like how Hamilton incorporated the Gaelic phrases. Finn's dialogue was interesting to read. He was confident in everything he did-from fighting to flirting. His character was a bit flat though. I just didn't get that spark of a three dimensional character from him. I didn't feel that he was real. In fact, most of the characters didn't seem that three dimensional. Since this is the first book in a series, I'm really hoping Hamilton explores them more. Although I really liked Aiden and his singing ability. It made for some very funny moments, especially in Mag Mell (Kiss the Girl scene-wish he kept singing). Oh, and Ms. Skinner, a very obscure character, made me so angry, she needs to get a life instead of trying to control and judge others'. I was a bit frustrated at how both Teagan and Finn have the whole love-at-first-sight moment, then Finn goes away for a while, and she's not upset. What bothers me is that they barely had a conversation and he's in love with her. Also, throughout the book there aren't any serious romantic moments-there are a few cute ones, though. Also, Abby, Teagan's best friend, kept warning Teagan about how the goblins are coming for her in the beginning, but then when they finally do show up, Abby doesn't believe her. Tyger Tyger is like a modern day fairy tale-without the fey. It was a good book. Hamilton included Irish folklore, religion, goblins, and a really cool car chase in her novel. That car chase was very fun to read- most of the books I read don't include one so that was interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marcie77 More than 1 year ago
I had heard a lot of good things about this novel before I read it. I'm a big fan of fantasy so I was eager to read this novel as well. Tyger, Tyger is based on Irish folklore. I'm not too familiar with it but I enjoyed learning about it through Kersten Hamilton's words. This story is centered around Teagen, a teenage girl who has her life planned out. She is entirely focused on what she wants in life and how's she's going to get it. I really liked Teagen's character development through out this book. She starts off as a over confident girl whose world is turned upside down when she realized nothing is as she thought. She has to find her inner strength and get her confidence back with the help of Finn Mac Cumhaill. Finn is a bit of mystery. He lost his parents at an early age and has been a nomad ever since. He comes to stay with Teagen's family. There is an instant attraction between him and Teagen. I have to tell you I have a thing for accents and Finn being Irish was definitely a plus in this book. His character is charming and intriguing. Finn and Teagan have to work together to save her family from the goblins. They find some interesting help along the way including Abby and Mamieo. Abby is Teagen's best friend. I love her character. She made me laugh out loud several times. Mamieo is Teagen and Aiden's grandmother. She is a lively woman who you wouldn't want to mess around with. Tyger, Tyger is an enjoyable book to read. The story line is fantastic. It is fast paced and exciting. It's full of Irish legends and adventure. I love that Kersten Hamilton included a bit of romance but it isn't the main story. There are also a couple of plot twists that I found very interesting. Kersten Hamilton has written many books for young children, however I would recommend this book for teens because of some violence and some language. Tyger, Tyger is the first book in the Goblin Wars series. The next book, In The Forest of the Night comes out October 3, 2011. I'm really looking forward to it.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Who would have thought goblins could look like Abercrombie models? Certainly not Teagan Wylltson. She'd grown up listening to her father retell Irish tales of fierce creatures and ancient curses, and watched her mother transform canvases into monstrous trees and water goblins who like to drown travelers in bogs. To Tea, goblins were foul, loathsome things. Apparently, looks can be deceiving. With boys strictly sworn off and college acceptance number one on her agenda, Tea is unwittingly pulled smack into the middle of a family crisis, bringing her face-to-face with nightmarish ghouls and a dangerous cousin, Finn Mac Cumhaill. Even with the warnings from her best friend, Abby, Tea cannot ignore the magnetic attraction she has to Finn. But Tea needs to stay focused, especially when she suddenly finds herself sole caretaker of her younger brother, Aiden, whose special gifts seem to be making themselves extremely useful. In TYGER TYGER, you'll find macabre fantasy swirled with the soul searchings of a teenage girl. Crafting each scene with visual details, Kersten Hamilton weaves a complex story, combining legend with modern day. She pulls her readers in with intriguing characters and engaging action, luring us further as she deepens the relationship between our heroine and the reckless yet enchanting hero. Tea, Finn, and young Aiden, with the help of cunning zombie cats, shadowy soul-stealers, and a green-skinned water goblin, coax us into Mag Mell, the magic world of the goblins, where they walk a musical path and discover long hidden family secrets - one which threatens to smother the fiery connection between Tea and Finn. Your bookmark won't stay long in one place with this dangerously enticing tale.