Monday, May 4, 2015

Review - Darkmouth: The Legends begin, by Shane Hegarty

Darkmouth #1: The Legends Begin

For generations, Finn's family has protected Darkmouth from the fierce magical creatures known as Legends. Now the Legends are plotting a major attack, and it's Finn's turn to defend his hometown. So it's too bad he's the worst Legend Hunter in history.

A good solid beginning to a new middle grade fantasy series, appealing to kids who like hefty books (the first title coming in at just over 400 pages) with reluctant heroes and plenty of action. Spies, clumsy heroes, traitors, coming of age, the risk of disappointing parents, sly humor, bullies, and a myriad of fantastical creatures and impressive weapons - it's all there. The slightly-alternate world is believable in its simplicity - our world, just with monsters. Finn's dad fights Legends, his mother is a dentist. The school bullies always sit near you, you immediately embarrass yourself in front of the new girl, and the townspeople are intensely critical of those trying to protect them (yes, I went there!)

I liked both Finn and Emmie, who were both well drawn. Some mysteries were solved, others are teased at, and the ending will have kids immediately asking when the next one comes out (no idea yet). I predict this will become one of the must-have series, so thank-you to Harper Collins for making sure we were in from the beginning!

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