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."
"Son of a goat!" The boy swore and jumped back.
I was a little nervous about reading Finn Finnegan. Not because it didn't sound good, but because it was the first middle grade book to be published by Spencer Hill Press (I love their YA by the way) and I was unsure.
Nerves aside, Darby Kerchut's Finn Finnegan was such an enjoyable read. I loved the way she mixed Irish mythology with a modern setting. Her writing, characters, and just general knock out job she did made for a truly enjoyable read.
Now I love book that have deep roots in mythology, especially when the author does their homework and can create a story that not only leaps off the page but the visuals of the setting stick in your mind. I found it really interesting to see how the author would incorporate the two sides of the theme of the book-mythology and modernity. I thought she did an amazing job of keeping a balance between both.
So, why did I love Finn Finnegan as much as I did, well, there are many, many reasons. I felt that Ms Karchut brought an interesting and new story to the table. One that was action packed, funny, and filled with characters that while rough around the edges at first grown on you as the story progresses. In short, it was a very promising beginning to a series that I am eager to follow where the next volume leads.
Finn MacCullen, while he may have been your typical redheaded Irish boy with a fiery temper, I still found him to be such a fun character to read about because you never knew just what he would do. What I really ended up liking about him was his loyalty to Gideon, and how even when he was giving him trouble you could tell that he really looked up to and wanted the approval of Gideon. I just enjoyed reading about the way those two played off of each other and how close they became in a short time.
What I really enjoyed about Darby Karchut's debut would have to be that back story behind the Tuatha De Danaan and the war between them and the Amandán because it brought the whole story line to life. I also enjoyed the way she portrayed the ups and downs between Finn and Gideon because
Finn Finnegan was a great read, but I was extremely surprised that there was swearing in this book because you don't really come across that in middle grade books. While the swearing was shocking and a little unexpected since you know its' a middle grade book, it does not happen all that much. It's just surprising when it does.
Final Verdict: Finn Finnegan an ancient battle between Celtic warriors and Amandán in a riveting tale, yes, please!
Finn Finnegan earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.