A Family Affair
Teagan’s family has always been fairly normal…until her estranged cousin Finn comes to live with them, claiming to have knowledge of goblins, and talking about them as if they exist outside her mother’s stories. Teagan shrugs off his words, but soon her little brother Aiden is claiming to have seen a shadowy figure harm their mother, who falls into a coma and dies not long afterwards. Teagan begins to see these goblins as well. She learns that they are after her family for reasons she can’t understand and that Finn is Finn Mac Cumhail, the legendary hero who will defeat the goblins. And it’s not long before Teagan’s mother’s tales come violently, vibrantly to life.
Tyger Tyger is a very imaginative novel, which cleverly and seamlessly incorporates many Irish myths and legends into its narrative. There is a fine balance of terrifying and entertaining elements in this book; Teagan’s mother’s death is tragic, and it makes the goblins’ existence more realistic and menacing, yet there are many amusing moments between Teagan, Aiden, and Finn as they are on the run.
Finn especially is a smart and tough character, is charismatic without having to try, and it is obvious from the very beginning that he genuinely cares about Teagan and Aiden. Aiden is a very cute character, and it’s great to see a younger sibling play such a positive role in a YA novel. Though he is obstinate and frustrating at times, he proves to be a sweet and endearing character, and very important to the story.
Though there is a touch of romance to Tyger Tyger, the focus is on building the goblin world, on Teagan and Aiden’s discovery of it, and on their discovery of who they really are. Hamilton throws in a fascinating twist that leaves the ending open and everyone content…but only for now. It will be quite interesting to see where Hamilton will take the characters in book two of this planned trilogy. Hopefully there will be more colorful characters with fascinating backgrounds steeped in Irish lore.
Cover Comments: I am not a fan of this cover at all…it’s dark and fuzzy and it looks like something that would belong on an obscure kids’ fantasy book, not a YA novel.
Tirzah Price is a sophomore at Ferris State University and blogs regularly at thecompulsivereader.com. If not reading or writing, she is most likely lurking around Twitter @compelledtoread.