Book Review : Tyger Tyger

Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton.  2010.  (advance copy)

Kersten Hamilton weaves a tale of fantasy, adventure, danger and romance with her first young adult novel. Seventeen-year-old Teagen works with chimpanzees doing research with sign language trying to obtain a scholarship to Cornell. Her goals do not include boys, but that changes when Finn Mac Cumhaill, a gorgeous Irish boy, comes to stay with her family. Soon Teagen discovers the existence of another world amongst her own. A world of goblins, the sidhe and other creatures that begin to hunt her family. After a tragic event, Teagen, Finn, and Teagen’s younger brother Aiden must journey into Mag Mel, the realm of goblins, to save their family. During their journey, Teagen faces her worst nightmares and uncovers family secrets long forgotten.

Hamilton creates fantastic characters in this novel. Teagen is a headstrong heroine with a mind of her own. Finn is charismatic with his Irish accent and warrior instinct. But Hamilton also fleshes out the secondary characters. Teagen’s family plays a large and positive role in the story which is always a plus for this reader. Teagen’s little brother Aiden is one of my favorite characters. He can remember every song he hears and is basically a human GPS which turns out to be an asset when they get lost in the twisted world of Meg Mel. Hamilton also incorporates Celtic mythology, Arthurian lore, Saint Patrick, and religion into this compelling story. I tore through this book and can’t wait for the next two in the trilogy to come out.

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