Reading as a Writer: Review of TYGER TYGER by Kersten Hamilton--interview next week
Back in March, I read about TYGER TYGER by Kersten Hamilton in Publishers Weekly. It was being called “a sexy goblin” book and was one of the most talked about novels at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. The buzz was well deserved. TYGER TYGER is one of the best books I’ve read. I mean, I’m ranking it as an all time favorite—a must read for lovers of myth and adventure.
However TYGER TYGER is far more than just “a sexy goblin” book. Actually, that label is kind of a misnomer. I’d describe it as a superbly written, fast paced adventure with a backbone of myth and heart of romance.
It’s told from the point of view of Teagen Wylltson, a smart and courageous Chicago teen of Irish ancestry who is thrown into a dangerous adventure with her younger brother Aiden, and the cocky and irresistible Finn Mac Cumhaill. All the characters--even the secondary ones like the horrific maggot picking cat-sidhe--have depth, personality and delicious quirkiness. None of the characters in TYGER TYGER feel cliché or superficial.
Hamilton also does a masterful job of intermingling Celtic myth, Christianity and Irish Traveler culture. This blend gives TYGER TYGER resonance and a back-story that reaches from modern-day to pagan Ireland and past that to creation itself. But at no time does the mythology slow the pace.
Simply put, TYGER TYGER is a wonderful book that left me satisfied, yet longing for the sequel, GOBLIN WARS.
TYGER TYGER will be released on November 15th. I recommend you pre-order it now as I suspect it may be hard to get come November.
Next Tuesday, I’ll be posting an interview with Kersten Hamilton. Not only will she answer questions about the novel, she also has some wonderful hints about how to reveal back-story and mythology without slowing a story’s pace, about characterization--and she’ll be stopping by to answer questions as well. She’s one heck of a writer and a wonderful person, so be sure to check out the interview.