Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creaturesgoblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible crueltyare 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.
About 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.
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.
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
* 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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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.
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!!!
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.
Teagan Wylltson (¿Tea¿), age 16, believes she is from a normal (if whimsical), loving family of four. Her father is a librarian and her mother writes and illustrates books for children. Her younger brother Aiden can sing beautifully any song he has ever heard. He also has an uncanny sense of direction; Tea explains, ¿His brain came bundled with an MP3 player and GPS.¿ Tea works in an animal research lab, and hopes to go to vet school one day. As the story begins, Tea¿s best friend Abby tells her she dreamed that the goblins in the paintings done by Tea¿s mom came alive and tried to kill Tea. Tea laughs it off, until her 17-year-old step-cousin Finn MacCumhaill comes to live with them. He does not arrive alone. Finn is the latest in the line of Mac Cumhaills - Irish travelers, or tinkerers, who were cursed by Fear Doirich, the goblin god, to be plagued by goblins for all eternity. Suddenly Tea starts seeing bizarre creatures all around her. To make matters worse, she feels an incredible attraction to Finn that she knows he feels too. Then her parents are attacked, and Tea, Aiden and Finn decide they must go after them and confront the dreaded Fear Doirich himself.Discussion: Irish mythology is incredibly complicated, and I think Hamilton does a great job of simplifying the parts of it she tackles, by having the adult characters tell stories to the younger ones, in order to explain their dilemma. She also does a very nice job of making the integrated mythology not seem stupid. In part, she accomplishes this by having her supernatural creatures evolved: a goblin is as likely to look like ¿an Abercrombie & Fitch model¿ as a green-skinned witch or deranged cat. She also has Tea¿s father, faced with his scientifically-minded children, often quoting the Shakespeare line, ¿there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,¿ with Tea giving this sentiment due epistemological consideration. (Truth, she eventually discovers, comes in many guises.) In addition, Hamilton insinuates the fantasy elements into such a normal framework as to make them seem like part of the landscape that it just so happens only some of us can see. Most importantly for the reader, the author makes it clear that the magic in the story carries a greater meaning than just exercising the imagination; it is all part of how we can derive insights into human nature for those open to the connection. Goblinhood, for example, is identified as a metaphor for the dark potential in each of us. It is not inevitable, however; we have a choice whether to ¿stumble down that road, pretending you can¿t help it¿ or to walk down a better path, and fight to be better. The biggest appeal of this book for me, however, on account of being stuck at the developmental level of a teenager, is the relationship between Finn and Tea. Finn is not only a sexy, forthright and electrifying suitor, but he does it all with a brogue. He delivers some of the most romantic lines ever. And as icing on the cake, Finn also has a wonderful rapport with Tea¿s little brother, making him all the more attractive. He is definitely one of the best YA boyfriend-types out there.I also really like the prayers Mrs. Wylltson recites with her children at night:"I do not ask for a path with no trouble or regret. I ask instead for a friend who¿ll walk with me down any path.I do not ask never to feel pain. I ask instead for courage, even when hope can scarce shine through.And one more thing I ask: That in every hour of joy or pain, I feel the Creator close by my side. This is my truest prayer for myself and for all I love, now and forever. Amen."(Tea's friend Abby asks: ¿Why don¿t you pray like normal people: No pain, God. Lots of money. Thanks.¿ Teagan answers, ¿Because we¿re Irish. Mom says things never go well for the Irish for very long. She says we¿ve got to be realistic.¿)The only negative I would bring up is
TYGER TYGER has renewed my love affair with all things Irish. The mythology, the culture, the boys... Kersten Hamilton's first Goblin Wars novel showcases all three.I loved the mythology incorporated into this novel. One of the reasons I often find YA fantasy lacking, is that the world building leaves something to be desired. When utilizing mythology, the world is already built, yet their are so many different ways to interpret and things to explore. I appreciate a world built from scratch, but, when done right, using a preconceived world and characters can be just as compelling. I think Hamilton did this successfully.At the novel's start, I wasn't sure I'd connect with Teagan. In fact, I don't really think I connected with some parts of her personality at all - I didn't really enjoy the passages where she is working with animals at her internship - but I did like her character overall. She is relatively level-headed and definitely driven, yet she was willing to believe in this fantastical world of myth and legend. Also encouraging, I actually thought she was a great match for the romantic lead... which is important when I really like the guy!I can easily identify Finn as my favorite character. He's Irish, he's a hero, he's in love. I can't think of anything that would have made him more appealing. I can't wait to read Hamilton's next Goblin Wars installment! I wouldn't mind rereading TYGER TYGER and I might even seek out the original stories that inspired Hamilton.
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.
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!
I didn't go into this book expecting much, I find I'm not much a fan of the current crop of YA fae books. This one was better than most, but was still lacking. I liked the story, and the author's world building, especially the Mag Mell, but the characterization was lacking for me.I liked that the main character, Teagan was not a TSTL, vapid teenager. She was smart and had goals for her life, and didn't act impulsively, which is pretty rare with a female protag in YA fantasy.I liked Teagan's family, her parents were really great, especially her dorky librarian dad and her little brother Aidan. Granted, I think Aidan seemed a lot older than five, but I loved his "power", and he had some great lines.I was excited when I saw this book was about goblins, but I shouldn't have been. The author just used the fae/sidhe and called them goblins. That doesn't make them goblins. You had your Highborns, and then your lower castes like bean-sidhe, cat-sidhe, sprites, etc. Some were more evil than others, but they all had the fae cruelty streak, or a least the mentality that humans are lesser. But again, nothing that I haven't read in other fae YA books--just changing their "class" name to goblins doesn't give you a new and different idea. Just a hook that falls short.What fell flat for me in this book was the characterization. The characters were all likable--except Teagan's best friend, Abby. Why is the best friend always a bitch? Anyway, the characters were all likable, but there was nothing to love. They were very two-dimensional, there were so many times the author could have taken a scene/conversation/thought further by injecting some emotion, but that never happened. Lost opportunities, because I really wanted to love Teagan and Finn, but other than them being nice people and Finn being a hero, we never really got to know them.For me, it was one of those books that I'm into while I'm reading it, but once I put it down I had not urge to pick it back up. It was just a nice story, but there was no "I'm dying to find out..." to it.Oh, and another thing. Why do so many authors write about the "electricity" between two people? As I understand it, it's used to convey the excitement, adrenaline and elevated heart rate you get when someone you're attracted to is near. It doesn't really mean "electric", as in every time that person is near, you feel a shock and the hairs raise on your arms. So silly. How about instead of repeatedly telling us about this artificial physical reaction Teagan has to Finn, you instead show us the little moments and emotions that make two people fall in love? Novel idea, huh?*I received this as a free ARC from NetGalley, in exchange for my review. No goodies (other than the story) were acquired by me.*
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.
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. When I was 10 or 11, I was a fan of Mary Tanner's Wizard Children of Finn. She wove Celtic mythology into the tale of two children who time/place travel to meet the Finn Mac Cumhaill of legend. I wanted to be the lucky lass to win his heart.Kersten Hamilton also uses the Celtic mythology in Tyger Tyger. The stories of Finn's namesake provide a framework for the adventure inside. Teagan's mother is a writer who illustrates her own books. The paintings are populated with goblins and other creatures from Celtic mythology. Abby dreams the paintings come alive and the creatures are hunting Teagan. Children's Services come by the house to see if Teagan's parents will take in their nephew, Finn. None of their lives aren't the same after he moves in. Though Teagan is 16 and her stomach feels all fluttery around Finn they have a chaste romance which would be appropriate for younger readers. Younger readers may identify with Aiden, Teagan's younger brother, and think of Teagan and Finn as resourceful role models. Hamilton populates her novel with characters readers won't soon forget.
Talk about a wild and fun supernatural read! Goblins are dangerous creatures in this imaginative new series from an author who also knows how to write awesomely unique characters.My favorite part of TYGER TYGER by far were the characters. Yes, pretty much all of them. I feel like this doesn¿t happen often in lots of YA speculative fiction that I¿ve read: sooner or later you¿d come across a stock character. But in TYGER TYGER, all of the characters are just so memorable. I loved Tegan¿s family, from her parents¿ intelligent banter to her little brother¿s, well, little-boy dialogue. Finn didn¿t feel like just another perfectly enigmatic love interest character. Everything from his speech to his behavior marked him as trouble¿the most alluring kind of trouble. If Tegan didn¿t fall head over heels for the guy, I certainly did. He is a bad boy without the clichés, a fire barely contained in the body of a teen boy. Cooooool.In fact, I enjoyed the characters so much, particularly Tegan¿s family, that I was absolutely devastated when tragedy struck. Unfortunately, for me, the story took a dive into the implausible and poorly plotted when the goblin conflict came to the surface. The characters¿ movement into this new other world felt choppy; whatever interest I originally had in the characters trickled away as the book moved deeper into supernatural territories.But that was totally just me and probably my mood at the time, which was not feeling very patient with rough plots. I think that the uniqueness of the premise, the appeal of the adorably quirky characters, and the promise of simmering danger will make TYGER TYGER a keeper for many readers. Definitely recommended if you like your paranormal fare, but want something different from the usual vampires and werewolves.
I want to begin by saying that Tyger Tyger is an interesting read. It¿s not entirely cookie-cutter and I appreciate that aspect. That said, though, I finished this book feeling absolutely unfulfilled.The beginning of the book talks of Teagan¿s work with CIndy the chimp. There¿s of course no mention of the chimpanzee in the middle because of all the ¿action¿ happening, but then we return to her¿only for it to end with no real explanation of what the purpose of the relationship was to begin with. It seems the entire situation was just filler.My favorite character by far was Aiden, Teagan¿s little brother. His magical singing ability was entirely fun and he was just too cute for words as a supporting character. Finn was likable, for the most part, and his superior fighting abilities were cleverly worked in. I still, though, don¿t really know how to feel about Teagan herself.The Irish folklore was fun to read about, and the -idea- of goblins was interesting. However, I felt like the folklore was there as a prop and to me the goblins did not seem like much more than creepy fairies.In general, the uneven pacing of the book, the forced (and massive) introduction of information at the beginning, and the lackluster writing quality really dampened my enjoyment of the book.
Amazing dive into Celtic mythology that definitely left me aching for more! Tyger Tyger was such an unexpected delight that I am surprised that I waited so long to finally read it! Right from the start, Teagan is such a fascinating character - and her family and best friend seem just as colorful! I mean, how cool is it that she gets to talk to chimps via sign language? Super-awesome! And I really adore her family - her father and his quirky bookish humor; her little brother who hates Elvis impersonators; her mother who writes and illustrates children's books!Unfortunately the goblins soon take over the story - and pretty much turns Tea's world upside-down and wreaks havoc on her family, work, and nearly everything normal in her life.Tyger Tyger has such a richness in its story that will resonate with anyone who loves a good mythology. Kersten Hamilton's writing captured the very essence of all things Irish in my opinion (not that I am Irish by any means), all beautiful and mysterious and achingly, dangerously heart-breaking. The story kept me on my toes and I can't count how many times I held my breath in fear for Teagan, Finn, and company! I was surprised at all the different places Tyger Tyger took us, but it was hard to mind since I was too wrapped up in all the excitement!Tyger Tyger is a definite WIN - and I hope that we get to see more of this gorgeous world that Ms. Hamilton has dreamed up!
I wanted to love this book... I mean really love it. I thought a book about goblins sounded unique, and might present a fascinating, new spin on things...Turns out that goblins are just fey by a different name. Turns out the author relies very heavily on exposition (let's call it what it is: infodump) in the first section of the novel, which nearly caused me to walk away from it.Now, it's not all bad. In fact, once the second half of the book begins -- three months after the first half -- the action and characterization pick up in a significant way, and the story pulls you in because Things Are Happening. But by this point, we've lost the ability to make a meaningful connection to the main character. It doesn't help that the tragedy at the end of part one is glossed over, with part two picking up months afterward, because that means we lose that connection with character and story that comes through a tragic event.What is the story, anyway? The main character's (Teagan) cousin arrives for a visit, but it turns out he's a legendary figure from Irish mythology and has goblins following him around. His presence causes tragedy to strike Teagan's family, including the kidnapping of her father. So, Teagan, her brother, and her cousin have to head into Mag Mel (goblin territory, ie. fey realm) save him.There are also little things that bothered me about the story: Why do we spend so much time with Teagan at the chimp enclosure where she works? She's going to need sign language later, yes, so it's important that we know that, but the time spent here is disproportionate to the information's role in the rest of the book. I also wasn't overly fond of Teagan's best friend Abby, who seemed to be nothing more than a character of convenience. She's never in any real danger, and all her scenes could have been filled with walk-on characters instead.The dialogue also becomes awkward at times, and the author seemed to overuse dialogue rather than allow much real characterization (or, as I've said, emotional connection to the story) to develop. Teagan, unfortunately, was the blandest of all, and she seems overshadowed by the other characters in the second half of the book -- she's just along for the ride, while everyone else has cool powers or abilities that actually solve their problems. Remind me why she's the main character again? All told, the story itself is decent, and the continuing action in the second half of the novel was what kept me reading. I liked Hamilton's dedication to Irish mythology and her use of the correct types of Irish fey (uh, I mean goblins) since there are notable differences between the fey of England, Ireland, Scotland, and so on. For that reason, I'd recommend the book if you like books about fey or Irish mythology, but it's not going to be a great read for someone who needs solid characterization to get into the story. That said, I did read it in one sitting (after getting through the first section), so it was entertaining enough to hold my interest all the way through!ETA: I also really liked that the romance didn't dominate the story, and -- believe it or not -- seemed more realistic than a lot of romance in YA. In this case, it started with a significant attraction and then cooled off a bit as they got to know each other... rather well done, I thought. On the whole, I'd say I liked it. Not loved, as I'd hoped, but liked enough to read the next one if it happened to wander across my path someday.
Tyger Tyger is the first book in a captivating new YA trilogy called the Goblin Wars. I was not sure what to expect with a book about goblins, however I found these goblins are actually scary, evil fae. I learned a lot more about the goblin world mythology and legends in this book. I was drawn into the story from the first pages and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it!Teagan¿s life is going great. She has loving parents, an adorable little brother Aiden and a devoted best friend Abby. She has a great job working as an intern with animals at the Chicago Zoo, and she has a bright academic future ahead. Teagan (Tea) has no time for boys right now, her life is plenty busy. Then, Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives and turns Tea¿s life upside down. Finn is a distant relative of Tea¿s mother, and he is an Irish Traveler who fights goblins. Tea and Finn are instantly drawn to each other, which surprises them both, and worries Abby. Abby has been having troubling dreams about goblins. Unfortunately, it seems that when Finn arrives, so do the Goblins.One of my favorite things about this book are the quirky characters. Tea¿s best friend Abby is the comic relief who claims to be psychic, frequently gets words wrong and whose family has mafia ties. Tea¿s five year old brother Aiden has a beautiful voice, has a photographic memory, and is called the human GPS for his navigational skills. Her father is a librarian, and her mother an artist who draws and writes about the goblin world. Tea always thought these were made up stories and never considered this fantasy world existed. All of the characters are well drawn and interesting, sometimes out-shining Tea.The adventure is fast-paced and full of suspense. The fantasy world is vividly drawn and the supernatural characters are complex. Some are frightening, others intriguing, and some can even be charming.There is some romance between Finn and Tea, but it is not the focus of the book. Finn is protective of Tea, and they have an electrifying connection. Their relationship was one of the strong points for me, and I hope to see their relationship explored more in future books.The story includes a mix of Celtic mythology, fantasy elements and Irish culture that keeps the story fresh and intriguing. It made me want to read more about the myths and Finn Mac Cumhaill when I was finished reading.Tyger Tyger concludes with a powerful and surprising curve ball ending. I can¿t wait to read what happens next!Recommended for fans of YA fantasy. Tyger Tyger is available for purchase on November 15.You can read more about Kersten Hamilton¿s books on her website.Thank you to the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for providing this book for review.
I'm always game for a good jaunt into the world of fairies, goblins, and other fantastical creatures. I've read all kinds of these books, there are ton of them out there in YA and MG fiction. Tyger Tyger, however, was exceptional. I loved it. The story has it all: action, heartbreak, Irish mythology, lots of danger, and a somewhat subdued love story that I'm sure we'll get to indulge in more in the follow-up books to this series! I can't wait!I love how the story unfolded. First you meet Teagan; she is just a normal girl with a strong sense of where she wants to go in life, hard-working and focused on her goals. The relationship between her and her little brother, Aiden, was one of the best parts of the book. I really loved how they spoke sign language to eachother, and it definitely came in handy in dangerous times! The truth about who they are and who Finn is, and why they are all mixed up in this dangerous legendary world reveals itself at such a perfect pace that this book never dropped my attention. I was engaged all the way through!I became endeared to so many characters in this book, the kind of characters you never forget: Teagan, Aiden, Finn, Mamieo, Raynor Shine, even Mrs. Santini...by the end of the book, each one had won a special place in my heart. They each had their strengths and weaknesses, but all knew what had to be done to make it through this adventure and it was done with bravery and selflessness, without a second thought.As you can tell, I cannot recommend this book enough! If you haven't picked this one up, run out and get it now!! :)
To be up front this book not only confused from the very beginning but was slow. It took a while before I started to get into it. I found myself backtracking trying to figure out what I miss. But alas I kept going and it wasn't bad after all.After Finn arrives everything goes south. Teagan is bombarded with trying to save the only family she has left and is fighting with everything that she has... She see's things that she is not suppose to see. With her father missing, it is up to her to bring him back...Finn is no ordinary guy. He strong yet cunning. He reminds me of Maguyver. Always fixing things with duct tape and very smart. He was a great character that I adored. Aiden, Teagan's brother was a breathe of fresh air. He would either say something shocking or something funny. He always had me on my tiptoes.The love interest in the book was one that I enjoyed. Right away Finn was hitting on Teagan and at first all I could think was how conceded the guy was. He was so confidant in his skills that he knew he could get Tea. But little did he know that Tea was special. She was head-strong and knew where she was going. I love that.The folklore was interesting in this book. The more I read that more I learn. Which is why I love to read these types of books. You always learn something new. If you love folklore then I recommend you pick up this book. There was some cursing in the book.
A YA book with no sex, cursing, or drugs? How can THAT be entertaining?Read THIS YA book and you'll understand.There are some extremely funny passages that had me smiling as I read along, and it had a great lot of Irish/Celtic myth and folklore intertwined, which I found fascinating to read and learn about.The main protagonist is Teagan, whose best friend Abby, has been having some odd dreams involving Teagan, goblins, and other wee and not-so-wee beasties. Teagan has a wonderfully quirky family. Her mother illustrates children's books and has many paintings in the basement including sprites, spriggins, hookas, goblins and young girls in medieval dresses. Her little brother Aiden (the walking iPod and human GPS) is wonderfully precocious, and the love between her parents is obvious and wonderful. Her father is a librarian who often regales the family with tales of the siddh and other folklore and myth that we don't learn enough about in school.When Teagan's 'cousin' Finn shows up after a family tragedy, things take a turn and we find out that there's more to Mr. Wyllston's tales than myth. On a journey to save her father, Teagan, Finn and Aiden encounter many strange and mystical creatures, both good and bad, and Teagan finds out that there may be more to her parents than she initially thought.This is a wonderful YA book, even suitable for middle-graders, as the hints of romance are suitable for that age group, and I think even most adults, especially those with a love of myth and folklore, would find it very engaging. There's a great adventure afoot, and we meet many new characters, including villains, that we'd like to know more about. Since this is the first part in a series, I'm thinking that we will. Thankfully, the book ends on a satisfying note, and we're not left with a cliffhanger until the next one comes out.There is one spot in particular where I felt that the jump in time was a bit much, and that we didn't get a chance to see how Teagan dealt with something that would have deeply affected her, but other than that, I never found a spot that I didn't like.I really enjoyed this read, and I will be buying a hard copy for Not-So-Bebe Girl Autumn. My thanks go to the author for pointing me towards the galley. QUOTES (may differ slightly from the finished version, as these are from a galley):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 seal."That's what i said. I should be working for the psychotic hotline, I swear.""Why don't you pray like normal people?" Abby asked. "'No pain, God. Lots of money. Thanks'""Because we're Irish.""You though he was cute when you first saw him," Teagan said."For, like, two minutes. Then I tried to melt him with holy water."BOOK RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Article first published as Book Review:Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton on Blogcritics.Teagan Wylltson is a typical young teenager. She has her best friend Abby Gagliano, and she loves working in the clinic with the animals.The training with the chimps requires sign language, and Teagan is very good at it. After her usual Thursday at the clinic, she heads home, with no clue of what is in store for her or her family. She is met by her best friend Abby Gagliano, Abby considers herself psychic and has had a dream where Teagan is being hunted by goblins. They have been best friends forever, but Teagan finds the whole story silly and makes sure Abby knows it. Abby is well aware that Teagan¿s mom is an illustrator and writer of children¿s books featuring the very same goblins. The illustrations are so well done it feels as though the goblins are alive, so Abby¿s dreams are no surprise.At home, there is company, Ms, Skinner is from social services and is here about Teagan¿s cousin Finn Mac Cumhaill, he needs a place to stay, and the Wylltson¿s appear to be the only ones available.Teagan¿s younger brother Aiden is special, he does not speak and he has an amazing way with direction. He is afraid of many thing but Elvis impersonators are the worst. As her parents go to pick up Finn, Teagan settles in to play with Aiden.When they return with Finn, she finds there is something dark about him, the way he looks deep at everything, identifying all the ways in and out, he seems dangerous. But there is more, much more, Aiden likes to him, and welcomes him to the fold. Aiden is not good with others but Finn is the exception. She too finds an instant attraction. So she is cautious, but at the same time excited that he is here. He is also different, more edgy, seeing things that no one else seems to see.When this difference starts affecting Teagan, first with her job and then with the things she herself begins to see, she is afraid. Finn makes a decision to leave the family before the danger finds them, but it is too late.First Teagan¿s mother dies mysteriously, and then her father disappears, and it is up to Aiden, Teagan and Finn to find the answers. First, they must find Mamieo, and she will help them find their way. But will they be able to get to her before it is too late?Teagan is a funny and likeable character, she has great interplay with her friend Abby, and she is a typical teenage girl. She is actually a bit more mature then some, with her job at the clinic and her closeness and care of her younger brother. The main problem is that she has begun to see things that others cannot, and she has found herself in a position that a young girl should not have to be in. It is up to her to save her family.Aiden is a special child. He has some great depths, and yet he has some strange fears. He is smart but is not very socially developed. Nevertheless, he has a love for his family, and his innate directional ability is a wonder.Finn is a handsome young man, too long on his own. He has been hunted and has learned the streets in the hard way. His presence has put the Wylltson family in danger although he is the only one that can help them.Tyger Tyger is a fast paced and interesting book. It is hilarious in many of the interactions, and yet has a sad and haunting quality as well. The characters are very well written, and easy to identify with. Ms. Hamilton has done a wonderfull job of building a world within a world that only a very rare few can see, the imagination and storytelling is both bold and exciting.I would recommend this book for the older YA. It is fun and yet it is also very dark, and may be too much for the young teen or pre teen reader. I believe that it is also a great book for anyone who loves a good story filled with fantastical creatures. You cannot get any better than this.This book was received as a free e-book from Net Galley. The opinion is my own based off my independent reading and understanding of the material.Cover courtesy
I was apprehensive about this novel at first mainly because I (deep breath) judged the book by its cover. I did not like the cover very much, (hello giant tree!), which gave an almost impression of a self-published novel. I know, I know, I am being book-prejudice, but I have had my fair share of self-published novels that lacked proper editing and a good designer. It automatically got an involuntary flinch from me. So once I got past the cover, I decided to take a break from vampires and read a book about goblins. Tyger, Tyger follows three unlikely heroes where they travel through a fantasy realm to rescue their father and defeat the king¿Fear. One is a small six-year-old boy, the human GPS, another is an Irish traveler who claims to be born to fight all of goblin-kind, and lastly a heroine who just wants to get into Cornell¿s vet-med school and sees all boys off-limits until her goal is reached. Tyger, Tyger is for fans of Impossible by Nancy Werlin who likes a little myth and folklore with their fantasy. The novel has a heavy-hand on religion and Celtic pre-history and mythology. The mythology demonstrates in-depth research and dedication. If your attention span, however, is just a smidge better than that of a goldfish (such as myself) you might find yourself dazed and not fully comprehending the quick history lesson with a barrage of names. The overall execution for Tyger, Tyger was well-done and well paced with very little fault. Kersten Hamilton managed to craft a novel that I think will even please the Irish with her ghastly goblins, crafty cat-sidhe, swift sprites, and heinous hellhounds. It is like walking through Narnia¿s closet and reaching a land where everything is questionable and the motives selfish. Some of the actions and details were confusing to read and harder to imagine in the mind. The characters were fun to read, but many lacked that memorable personality. They were very likable throughout the novel and some had great moments where they shined with life. I do feel frustrated, however, with Teagan and Abby when the goblins do appear. It was Abby who first warned Teagan that the goblins are coming yet when Teagan told Abby that the goblins were here she did believe her. It makes me wonder why Teagan did not mention the dream and why is Abby so reluctant to believe her. I expect great things in the sequel and answers to questions that I still have.
I absolutely loved Tyger Tyger. It¿s a fast-paced and entertaining thrill-ride full of goblins and creepy creatures and a well-written plot that will keep you turning pages.I love paranormal and contemporary books, don¿t get me wrong, but there is something special about these fantasy novels that just draw me in. Tyger Tyger was not an exception. From start to finish, I was completely enthralled in Teagan¿s journey with Aiden, her six-year-old brother and Finn, a mysterious descendant from one of her father¿s books, as she travels into an unknown world to discover her roots and rescue her father.I also adored the characters. While Teagan is our protagonist and we get to know her quite a bit, the story doesn¿t shy from the other characters. Finn is a mystery for a large chunk of the book, but information is unraveled slowly and it starts to become easy to put the pieces together, which is always fun to do. But Aiden is my favorite. Although only six-years-old, he was brave but still appropriately innocent for his age. And he said a lot of funny things. In what other book will you find a child afraid of Elvis impersonators?Overall, Tyger Tyger was so, so awesome. Ditch your angels and mermaids and werewolves for a moment and dive into this adventure where cats walk and talk, pixies live in your hair and portals to strange worlds can be found in your local neighborhood park. I definitely recommend it to everyone!
Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyTYGER TYGER is a dark faerie tale, and I mean that in the best possible sense. The scary creatures that used to frighten and terrorize children in the old original faerie tales skulk through the pages of TYGER TYGER in truly chilling let-me-pop-your-eyeballs-and-slurp-the-juices kind of ways.All manner of creatures from Irish folklore pop up in this story including pixies that brandish needle sized swords for decapitating their enemies, goblins who steal children for eternity, and cat sidhes who crush babies just to hear them scream. They are dark, depraved, and mesmerizing. The human (or nearly human) characters are less gruesome but no less entertaining. Teagan¿s best friend and Mob princess Abby, her adorably precocious little brother Aiden (who shares my loathing of Elvis impersonators), her grizzled and cryptic sage of a grandmother, and the cursed but captivating Finn. Finn, or course, would be the romantic lead and I loved him from his very first scene. He has a chivalrous and noble streak that balanced out his more reckless independent tendencies. And he has some of the best make-you-swoon lines that I¿ve read in a long time. Reminiscent of C. S. Lewis¿s wonderful Chronicles of Narnia books, TYGER TYGER is a twisted tale of goblins and magic filled with honorable yet flawed characters, and a lovely dash of true romance that readers of all ages can enjoy. Sign me up for the next Goblin War book.
I was excited to read this book right from the get go because I've never read a book specifically about Goblins. The world that Kersten created with the Goblins and Mythology is just wonderful and unique. It was a great read and I can't wait to see where it goes in the next one(there is a next one right??). The book starts off introducing Teagan Wylltson. Everything about her is interesting, starting off with the fact that she is using sign language to communicate with a chimp. She has set goals for how she wants the next few years of her life to go, and it quickly gets off track. With the arrival of her cousin Finn(Love that name!), things start getting a little weird. I loved Teagan, Finn and Aiden (Tea's little brother) who work together throughout the novel to save Tea's and Aiden's father.Every character in this book belongs in it and they are all interesting, even the goblins. Kersten has a way with creating characters and it really shows in Tyger, Tyger. They all connected so well and made this novel very enjoyable. If you're looking for something different than your average paranormal, I recommend you read this book! I will say that while the beginning was interesting, I didn't quite get drawn really into the book until Finn showed up and things started getting weird. The mystery and action is what I truly loved about this book, and how everything unraveled... definitely awesome!