November 1, 2011

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe

Private Bronwyn Hyatt returns from Iraq to her small hometown in Tennessee.  A returning hero, she has mixed feelings about coming back to the childhood home she gladly left behind.  She is part of an insular community of "Tufa"--a dark-haired mysterious clan with a supernatural affinity to music.  Bronwyn's unique heritage comes with certain obligations and she finds, much to her dismay, that she can no longer outrun her past. 

Iraq left her wounded, both in body and soul.  Her homecoming is marked with omens of impending death and a restless "haint", waiting to speak with her.  This story follows her journey of healing and trying to find the place where she fits with her people.

One of the things that I loved about this book is that it doesn't read like the average fantasy novel. The description of the small-town mentality, the well-written dialogue, and the characterization seem more like a modern novel with fantastic and magical elements naturally blended into the book.   The third person narrative skips between several characters, giving you a well-rounded view of both the action and the motives of characters. 

The only reason it fell short of five stars (and indeed, the first 75% of the book truly earned it) is that certain aspects felt oddly incomplete.  There were several moments where the characters, especially Bronwyn's parents, acted in ways that didn't seem genuine and didn't make sense.  There were also a couple of loose ends that I feel weren't fully explained.  Still, it was overall an amazing novel, and one of my recent favorites!

4 stars
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  1. I really enjoyed this one as well, much more than I expected to! I can't wait to read the next in the series.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm pleased you enjoyed this, and your poitn about the end of the novel is very valid.

    My review: The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe


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