Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut
Goodreads Summary: 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.”
FTC Disclosure: I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This is a hard review for me to write, simply because I don’t know where to begin and I really don’t want to gush, but there are so many reasons I love this book. I’ll be honest, I’m always anxious when I receive an ARC directly from the author. I pride myself on giving honest reviews, but I do know that when an author sends me a book they are sending me a part of themselves.
I had nothing to worry about this time around. There were several reasons I would have chosen to read this book even if the author had not sent me a copy. Even though it takes place in Colorado it has a delightful Irish/Celtic flavor. I love all things Celtic. The Colorado setting is another plus. As a transplanted Texan living in Colorado, I love stories set in Colorado.
What really makes the story a keeper (one I’ll put on my personal shelves, as well as recommend to my readers) is Karchut’s writing. She’s weaves an engaging tale with well developed, likable characters. I love Finn. He’s a great kid – not perfect, but he has lots of potential. I would like to know more about his backstory – about his parents and just how he ended up an orphan. It’s always a good sign when you want to learn more about a character.
And I think I might have a crush on Gideon. (She says with a fierce blush.) It’s probably his accent, but he’s a good strong role model, too. Just like Finn, I want to know about his backstory. Seriously, what is his deal with Iona? (Want to know who Iona is – read the book!)
I tend to pride myself on “figuring out twists” before the author reveals them, but I’m also pleased when an author stumps me. Karchut does just that in this story. There is a search for an important item. (I don’t want to give spoilers, so if you are intrigued by what this important item could be – read the book!) I was convinced I’d figured out the location, but Karchut got me! And I really liked her solution better than mine.
The blend of adventure, Celtic lore, and modern times make this an engaging choice for young and adult readers as well. The ending will leave readers wanting more. I can’t wait for the next installment.