Author: Kersten Hamilton
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Goblin Wars
Publisher: Clarion Books
I suddenly found myself in the mood for something different, and at the moment I happened to be standing in the teen department of the library. Tyger, Tyger made its way home in my book bag as a result.
Set in modern Chicago, the book follows the adventures of Teagan, a high-school senior looking towards college, who discovers that her ancestors weren't just Irish... they were the characters of Irish lore and mythology. And not only that, they're an integral part of an ancient feud between the agents of good and evil.
The plot of the story is fast-paced and exciting, and frankly, I loved it. From chases through the streets of Chicago to expeditions into the treacherous world of Mag Mell, this story was definitely the 'something different' I was looking for.
The characters were delightful as well. From walking MP3 player, 6-year-old Aiden, to the tough and chivalrous Finn Mac Cumhaill, and from no-nonsense Mameio to wild-child Abby, the cast was rich, vibrant, realistic, and lovable.
I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the rich layers of Irish mythology and folklore woven into the plot. It added a great deal of depth and intrigue to the story, and it was cool to find the references to characters I already knew from reading Celtic lore.
Tyger, Tyger is not a Christian book, so I wasn't expecting it to behave like one (I say that a lot, I know) but there were still a few elements about it that I didn't like.
One was an incident towards the beginning of the book in which Teagan accidentally pulls her t-shirt up while taking off her sweater. She's on a public bus at the time and once she gets her sweater off she realizes that a guy on the bus is videotaping her. The video later shows up on the internet. As if that isn't bad enough, that incident didn't even have anything to do with the plot of the story, which makes it even more annoying.
Another issue was the language scattered throughout the book. I did appreciate the fact, however, that at one point one of the guy characters uses a swear word and Teagan's dad reprimands him and tells him not to speak that way in front of ladies.
Another issue was the teen-angst-type stuff surrounding Teagan's attraction to Finn, but perhaps that would be better categorized as an annoyance rather than an issue.
One thing that I really liked was the fact that, in spite of this not being a 'Christian' book, the characters (Irish Catholics) made it clear that God, or, 'The Almighty', was the creator of all worlds, not just this one. He created the alternate universes they visited as well as Earth, and He created all the creatures, goblin and human alike. The goblins were evil because they chose to follow that path, not because God made them that way. I found that highly refreshing, coming from a secular book.
On the whole, Tyger, Tyger was fun, exciting, and of course, something different. I don't know that I'm necessarily eager to read the rest of the books in the series, but I certainly wouldn't mind doing so if they came across my path.