Friday, September 30, 2011



The Hum and The Shiver is an atmospheric read that tumbles back and forth between the magical and musical world of the Tufa and the contemporary reality of life in a small community in East Tennessee. We begin with Bronwyn's return home. A soldier in Iraq she has survived a horrible attack with extreme injuries to her leg. The PR machine of the military is working overtime with commendations and press opportunities. For Bronwyn the return is bittersweet. She has been known in the community for her promiscuous behavior and wild actions before she broke from the community to explore the world.

Bronwyn is an interesting character. I really didn't like her. It's obvious that her family is at the center of a coming storm. The signs from the natural world are sending them messages and their is even a spirit or Haint that has been waiting at her home to speak to her. I know she had been through a lot but Bledsoe clearly outlines the nature and responsibilities of the Tufa race and Bronwyn's continued stubbornness in refusing to solvethe issues despite the threat to her family, really annoyed me.  I guess that's a testament to Alex's writing talent that I had such a strong reaction to her.

The other main character in this story is reporter Don Swayback. He is a part Tufa reporter who has been ordered by his editor to get an exclusive interview with her. I was immediately drawn to Don's character and his journey in this novel. It's quite a transformation as he traces his familial connection to the Tufa and begins to grow into his heritage.

The paths of this two characters and a local Revered all collide as the book builds to its finale.

I really loved learning about the Tufa culture Alex has created. Their connection to music and view of the world is fascinating. However this story dragged a lot for me and there were various scenes that jarred me out of the smooth narrative of the majority of the story, mostly centered around local lawman Bob Pafford. Bledsoe did a great job descriptively with Pafford .The reader instantly knows the quality of this man. I did find his dialogue extremely off putting and stereotypical. The hate filled dialogue from this character took me out of an otherwise enjoyable work. I often struggle with this in books. Yes logically I know these type of people exist but I often wonder if its necessary for the author to give their hate filled thoughts a voice.

Definitely enjoyable parts but also a few bumps in the road towards the conclusion I expect readers will have a myriad of reactions. Over all though I enjoyed it.

Thanks to TOR for the opportunity to review this book.

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