Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton (ARC Review)

Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.

*I requested a copy of this title to review through netGalley*

I had no idea when I requested this title just how much I would enjoy it. Young adult series have been near and dear to my heart since I was a young adult, but lately I haven't been as enthused by all the Twilight-esque books that are being published at breakneck speed. Hamilton's book stood out to me because it was a fantasy novel with depth, and it sounded like an intriguing addition to the urban fantasy genre.

From start to finish this book had my attention. Each character is this book has an explicit place and purpose to the story; each time something new was introduced you knew you should pay attention or be confused later. It's also surprisingly dark for a young adult novel. Bad things happen, sometimes at a speed that leaves you gasping, and I as a reader had to make sure I was paying attention to the words, to the story, to guarantee that I really understood what was going on.

Hamilton's skillful hand at weaving Celtic history and legend with the world of today is just one more reason to recommend this series. I've always loved a good back story, and Hamilton's commitment to having reasons behind all of her characters and their actions make the whole book that much more believable. Things feel very deliberate and it's resulted in a novel that really catches you and doesn't let you go until she's done. The only thing that makes me crazy is the slightly cliff-hanger ending, but I guess I should have known what I was getting into reading the ARC of a series.

I highly recommend that anyone who enjoys young adult OR urban fantasy pick this book up when its released in November - this series is definitely one to watch!

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up! This is a riveting start to a new young adult series. Hamilton has written a dark fast-paced romp through Celtic history and lore that would be enjoyed by anyone.

Series - 1) Tyger Tyger (November 2010)