The Hum and the Shiver (Tufa #1)
No one knows where the Tufa came from, or how they ended up in the mountains of East Tennessee. When the firstEuropeans came to the Smoky Mountains, the Tufa were already there. Dark-haired and enigmatic, they live quietly in the hills and valleys of Cloud County, their origins lost to history. But there are clues in their music, hidden in the songs they have passed down f...more
Probably between a 4 and a 5 stars for me. But I'm going to round it up because the book felt very fresh and original to me. No cliches. Very subtle storytelling.
Technically, this should be classed as urban fantasy. Except it's not urban. It's rural. It's set in small-town Tennessee. And it's not all full of vampires and werewolves and the stereotypical props of urban fantasy.
Imagine a book somewhere between American Gods and Faulkner. Not the bullshit The Sound and the Fury Faulkner, I'm talk...more
Then the book seems t...more
The blend of magic and the mundane is something I try to achieve in my own work, since I think the more real the mundane details feel, the more the magic can shine. This book feels so authentic I never question that I am right there in the story.
Bronwyn Hyatt is a war hero returning from Iraq to her home in East Tennessee t...more
This is one of those books whose peg doesn't really fit into a genre hole. You can make it fit into a couple maybe, bu...more
Contemporary fantasy often becomes urban fantasy, to the exclusion of all other forms. A few stories fall outside the urban subgenre barriers, such as American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and fall well. The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe is set in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee and would best be described as rural fantasy. Owing to the less hectic feel of the backwater area, it comes off as much more intimate than most contemporary fantasy.
The Hum and the Shiver was an amazingly satisfying read. It was a subtle, eloquent and incredible treat which really showcased Bledsoe’s diversity as a writer. The characterization shines, the world is vibrant and well realized. Bledsoe deepens his characterization and expands his world with each page which makes Bledsoe’s Tennessee Mountains and the characters who live in them as real as the world around us. This isn’t a book that will satisfy everyone. Individuals who aren’t into sl...more
When Bronwyn Hyatt returns to Cloud County, Tennessee on medical leave, she trades the war zones of Iraq for a more personal kind of battle. In her home town of Needsville, they called her The Bronwynator long before her “heroic” action in a foreign land. But age and experience have changed her. Bronwyn is no longer a rebellious teen. She’s a determined young woman, hell-bent on choosing her own path in life, regardless of what her pa...more
Bronwyn Hiatt returns home a war hero – at least, the military says so – but she doesn’t remember much about her ordeal. Now she’s back in Needsville, TN, she has to deal with omens and portents to a death in her family. Nobody knows whose death, but so far the signs point to her mother....more
The protagonist, a twenty-year-old soldier of the US army Bronwyn, was injured in Iraq. She has returned home to recuperate, but her homecoming is not at all restful. In pain from her healing wounds, obviously suffering from PTSD and numb from painkillers, with her mind hazy and her spirits low, Bronwyn is tired and disoriented. She wants to find her unique ‘song’, b...more
For about the first half of the book I had no idea where the plot was going. It's not like I was bored.. It just seemed to be meandering around, going no where. And to be honest.. That...more
Well that's what reading The Hum and the Shiver is like, only its the Tufa who are the new friends and Needsville in the Tennessee mountains that's the party.
Prvt Bronwyn Hyatt is parade...more
Needless to say, complications, ensue.
This is a lovely book -- filled with music and joy and sorrow a...more
I was completely drawn into the story and I learned about Appalachian Tufa people! A mystical, musical people who are said to have been here before the first white settlers arrived. Bronwyn Hyatt the protagonist in the story is a returning war hero from Iraq. Her rescue after being captured brought to mind another heroic teenage soldier, Jessica Lynch, and I wondered if this could be where Alex got his inspiration for the character. Bronwyn is truly a badass and was known for her rebellious ways...more
When Bronwyn returns to her quiet family home there are those who think she'll return to her former ways and once again live up to her reputation as the "Bronwynator,"-- including her former boyfriend Dwayne. But...more
The whole reason I picked up this 2011 novel is because a sequel to it is just now being released, and I was so fascinated by the concept behind them that I thought the two books might make for a good double-review; that concept being, "What if some of the ancient clans from Scotland and Ireland who eventu...more
As an older male, I may not have the right viewpoint, but I am also an experienced reader of fantasy and this sort of semi-fantasy.
First, I see that many outlets are calling this a teen/YA story. For me, that's exactly the problem with it. It *feels* like one. What's wrong with that? Well, for starters, there are other teen/YA stories out there that just tell a story naturally, and you only realize later that it's aimed younger. T...more
This book features an insular clan of slightly askew folks whose talents for music dominate their lives. A mysterious clan that chooses to avoid society at large and has secrets that are never to be told.
Bronwyn Hyatt is a likeable rebel in this book. She tried to escape her fate and her family. Her unwillingness to accept authority resonated with me and I’m sure with many others. Her personal habits are meant to shock and yet if you flipped her gender her...more
There is an urban fantasy aspect of this book, except for the part about it being based in almost the opposite of a city - the hills and valleys of the Smoky Mountains. The Tufa are a people who had been living in this area long before any Europeans came to the country. Their origins are a mystery and this is...more
Now there is THE H...more
My latest Eddie LaCrosse novel, Wake of...more
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"I think I'm the one who's supposed to stop him. It has to be me because I've killed people before. It won't change my song like it would my daddy's, or Aiden's, or Terry Joe's."
"So you remembered what happened to you, then?"
"No. I know what happened, and that's enough. If I remembered what happened, then the next time I tried to do it, it'd get all tangled up with those memories." She recalled the cliff-top conversation with Bliss. "The night wind's been preparing me for this, Mandalay. There's a need out there, and I can fill it. But it'll be on my terms."
"And what're those?"
Bronwyn smiled coldly. "Whatever I say they are."
"And how's that different from how you used to be? The Bronwynator, doing whatever she wants?"
"Maybe the 'how' ain't any different. But the 'why' is. You and the First Daughters wanted me back, didn't you? Now you've got me. And if it means you got the hum you wanted but the shiver's different, well, that's tough.”