cover image The Hum and the Shiver

The Hum and the Shiver

Alex Bledsoe. Tor, $15.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2744-4

Bronwyn Hyatt is a young Iraq War veteran invalided out of the Army after she's wounded in the kind of close combat situation that earns men Purple Hearts. Reporters are shocked to find that "The Bronwynator" and her smalltown Tennessee neighbors, while polite, want no publicity. What the reporters don't know is that Bronwyn and her extended family are Tufa, an insular rural group who devote themselves to music, work magic, and fly on the wind. Bledsoe turns standard urban fantasy tropes on their head by reimagining modern elves as a tiny, isolated ethnic group unsure of their own origins, like the Lemkos of Poland or the Melungeons of the southern Appalachians. The plot is a bit thin, but the slowly unfolding mystery of the Tufa is a fascinating and absorbing masterpiece of world-building. (Oct.)