Friday, September 30, 2011

Blog Tour/Guest Review: The Hum and the Shiver

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe, 2011. 304 pages. Published by Tor Books. Source: PR by the Book/Publisher.

No one knows where the Tufa came from, or how they ended up in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, yet when the first Europeans arrived, they were already there. Dark-haired, enigmatic, and suspicious of outsiders, the Tufa live quiet lives in the hills and valleys of Cloud County. While their origins may be lost to history, there are clues in their music—hints of their true nature buried in the songs they have passed down for generations.

Private Bronwyn Hyatt returns from Iraq wounded in body and in spirit, only to face the very things that drove her away in the first place: her family, her obligations to the Tufa, and her dangerous ex-boyfriend. But more trouble lurks in the mountains and hollows of her childhood home. Cryptic omens warn of impending tragedy, and a restless “haint” lurks nearby, waiting to reveal Bronwyn’s darkest secrets. Worst of all, Bronwyn has lost touch with the music that was once a vital part of her identity.

With death stalking her family, Bronwyn will need to summon the strength to take her place among the true Tufa and once again fly on the night winds. . . .
First Sentence:

A screech owl stood on the porch rail, its tiny talons scratching against the wood.  

Note: First off I would like to thank my sister, Holland,  for reviewing The Hum and the Shiver for me.  I was unable to read when my allergies were acting up, yet didn't want to miss the review deadline, and she was kind enough to read and review this book for me.

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe (as reviewed by Holland):
While reading the Hum and the Shiver I couldn’t help but wonder why strong female characters tend to have characteristics and lifestyles one would not want to imitate. Bronwyn Hyatt of a very obscure Tennessee mountain people, the Tufa, comes home from Iraq with a shattered body and a broken spirit.  A twenty year old war hero, Bronwyn is known as the “Bronwynator” for more than just her Army exploits. Her past in the backwoods of Cloud County is saturated with promiscuity, drug-use, alcoholism, and lawbreaking. The lack of a moral compass seems to be prevalent among the Tufa, an almost Gypsy-like people, the Tufa have their own way of doing things. Among the Tufa, music is an almost spiritual experience, their songs are passed down from one generation to another and Bronwyn has lost her song.  Bronwyn must also battle with the demons of her past, an insane ex-boyfriend, her desire to not be like her mother, and her rightful place amongst the First Daughters of the Tufa, not to mention recovering physically from her injuries. 
  The scene that sticks out in my mind is when Bronwyn stops repeating her past, regarding a teenage boy who falls in love with her; instead of using another person for her own selfish desires, Bronwyn, for the first time,  thinks of the repercussions of her future actions.   Although, in the end, her choices regarding her personal life are definitely unique, a compromise only a true Tufa would make.
  The Hum and the Shiver is an intriguing story about a mysterious people, family drama, blended with the supernatural.
I would not recommend this book to teenagers or those who do not care to read books filled with coarse language, violence, sex, crude sexual innuendo, and female degradation.

The Hum and the Shiver earned 3 of 5 stars from Holland.

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