Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: FINN FINNEGAN by Darby Karchut

Finnegan MacCullen: 
a thirteen-year-old apprentice with the famous Irish temperament.
Gideon Lir: 
a legendary Celtic warrior with a bit of a temper of his own.

Secretly, these blue-collar warriors battle the hobgoblins infesting their suburban neighborhood...when they are not battling each other.

Finn (not bleedin' Finnegan) MacCullen is eager to begin his apprenticeship. He soon discovers the ups and downs of hunting monsters in a suburban neighborhood under the demanding tutelage of the Knight, Gideon Lir. Both master and apprentice are descendents of the Tuatha De Danaan, a magical race of warriors from Ireland. Scattered long ago to the four corners of the world, the De Danaan wage a two thousand year old clandestine battle with their ancient enemy, the Amandán, a breed of goblin-like creatures.

Now with the beasts concentrating their attacks on Finn, he and his master must race to locate the lost Spear of the Tuatha De Danaan, the only weapon that can destroy the Amandán, all the while hiding his true identity from his new friends, Rafe and Savannah, twins whose South African roots may hold a key to Finn's survival.

Armed with a bronze dagger, some ancient Celtic magic, and a hair-trigger temper, Finn is about to show his enemies the true meaning of "fighting Irish."

Image and description from GoodReads 

When I started FINN FINNEGAN, I immediately knew that I was going to love the characters even if I didn't know where they were going to take me. I even read through the characters lines using the same Irish accent. Finn (not Finnegan) is a quick-witted, temperamental thirteen year old. He has grown up with his aunt and uncle along with their many children and now he is finally the only child is a house with a Knight. Not exactly common for most thirteen year olds, but for his race of people, the Tuatha De Danaan's, that is something to which they look forward. For Finn, training with a Knight, especially one such as Gideon Lir, is going to change his life. Earning a torc, a sort of necklace that Knights wear, is somewhat of a coming of age experience. To earn his torc, Finn must face the Amandan, kill one, and survive.

Finn was a fun character to get to know and to follow in the story. His relationship with Gideon really isn't a master and his apprentice, but more of a father figure and and son. It's not only because of how much they care about each other but also because of the way they interact and are teaching each other (Gideon is certainly learning almost as much as Finn). The story was really emotional at times and I was experiencing the same feelings the characters were expressing.

I particularly enjoyed the journal writings by both Finn and Gideon because you got to see the differences and similarities in them and how they perceive each learning experience. It was also a chance to see them unguarded. The next book, GIDEON'S SPEAR, can not come out soon enough. I will just have to bide my time by re-reading FINN FINNEGAN. While this is a Middle-Grade novel and I typically read Young Adult, I still found it a great read with the interesting Celtic lore and the great writing by Darby Karchut.

-This review is based on the Advanced Copy and not the final published version.

Thank you, Spencer Hill Press, for the review copy!! =)

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