Tyger Tyger, written by Kersten Hamilton, is the first book in the brand new (not coming out until November) YA trilogy called Goblin Wars.
Whoo-boy. I'm giving all you book addicts out there fair warning - you are going to be feeling a lot of book love in this review. And I mean, a LOT. Those of you "occasional" readers might not be aware of how intense book love can be. Well - here's an example.
I loooooooooooooved Tyger Tyger - and officially want it to be as a big of a hit as Twilight!!! I feel it appeals to the same readership, plus extras who enjoy the more mythology-based sort of fantasy/paranormal YA fiction - which is where Tyger Tyger would fit in. It deserves heaps of sales and tons of notice - because it is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, you'd like to know what the book is about? Fine, fine. I'll stop gushing for a second and give you a little synopsis.
Main character Teagan has a great job and a bright future. She's ignored boys to the best of her ability, since she has her focus on a scholarship and doesn't want any distractions. Of course, there are other distractions. Like, her best friend Abby, who swears to be psychic, telling Teagan that her life is in danger - because she dreamed about it. And not just in danger from the regular stuff - but more like from supernatural creatures of myth and legend, like the ones Teagan's mom draws for her children's books. And she actually seems genuinely worried. Then there is the insanely good-looking guy, Finn, that suddenly appears in her life and starts to mess with her "no guys" policy.
Thing is, he doesn't seem much more sane than Abby. Because after some odd things begin occuring, he isn't that surprised about it. In fact, he seems to fully believe that goblins are after them and that his ancestry gives him the namesake of The Mac Cumhaill - the legendary figure that hunts goblin-kind.
But as more strange, horrible incidents happen - Teagan wonders if maybe she needs to start listening.
Tyger Tyger starts off in a fantastic way - letting us get to know Teagan before anything else happens. She is immediately likable, especially since she is an animal lover like me. The novel has some hilarious lines, mostly delivered from Teagan's awesome best friend Abby (I love her!). There seems to be no effort in causing me to care about Teagan and her friends and family. They are all written so naturally, believably, and lovingly - with vibrant, individualistic personalities.
Before I had even finished the second chapter of Tyger Tyger, I was already fully wrapped up in these lively characters and even the quietest beginning hints of supernatural mystery beneath the surface. Kersten Hamilton's writing is easily involving, suspenseful and haunting. Her radiant, beautiful prose enhances the narrative flow of Tyger Tyger and caught me up in the unexpectedly sad turns, the sometimes laugh-out-loud funny dialogue, and the truly creepy, nightmarish beings that begin to appear.
Every plot twist resonated powerfully and was enchantingly mellifluous. Before you can even guess what is going to happen next, the scary, frightening, painful stuff starts building quickly. It is both heartwrenching and impossible to put down. Honestly. There were times when I stayed up reading far too long in bed, only to regret it because I was freaked out enough to not love the idea of trying to sleep. It was that good.
As Tyger Tyger progresses it get better and better, despite that seeming almost improbable. The plot gets deeper and darker as it goes on, having the richness and chilling quality of the original fairy-tales, myths and legends - being both explosive and profound. The fantasy world that Kersten Hamilton creates is elegant and vicious, poetic and cruel. I felt like I was there with Teagan, Finn, and her adorable little brother Aiden.
Every line of dialogue in the book is down to earth and mature - yet still young and current. Through Kersten's extraordinary writing, the descriptions of the goblins are graphically, visually clear to the reader and totally spine-tinglingly freaky. Yes, perhaps "spine-tinglingly" isn't a word. But ya know how I start making up words when I am experiencing book love.
So to summarize: Tyger Tyger is sparklingly refreshing, phenomenally suspenseful, heartwrenchingly believable, nightmarishly creepy, subtly romantic, unexpectedly twisty, lyrically magical, gloriously exciting, sublimely scary - and one of the best books I've read in 2010!!!
You need to seriously mark your calenders for November and make sure to grab up a copy of Tyger Tyger as soon as you see it - because this is a book that needs major notice - and I'm hoping you'll help spread the word.
Now, may I please have my copy of Book 2 now?!?!?!?
I told ya - you totally overdosed on my book love, didn't you? Don't blame me - you were forwarned. ;)