Sunday, 8 March 2015

Darkmouth by Shane Hegarty

Darkmouth is the start of a really fantastic new series. It has cool tech, portals to another world, a house with secret passageways and hidden doorways, monsters with a serious plan (not to mention the humans), and secrets upon secrets. Oh, and a hero who’s, well, a bit accident prone…

Finn is the last in a long line of Legend Hunters. Before him came Sean the Brave, Aisling the Powerful, Conor Red Skull, to name but a few. His father Hugo was battling Legends when he was twelve years old, and now it’s Finn’s turn. This is Darkmouth, a tucked away little Irish town, the last of the Blighted Villages. The last place where the divide between our world and the world of the Legends – myths, fables – is breached.

Encountering a Minotaur on your way to the corner shop is a fairly normal sort of day in Darkmouth, though that doesn’t mean anyone likes it and the locals are getting edgy – why, after all, have all the gateways to the Infected side closed except in Darkmouth? Hugo isn’t revered so much anymore as blamed for the Legends and the trouble they cause. And soon it’s going to be up to Finn to keep these creatures – and villagers – at bay. There are lots of problems with this, as far as he’s concerned, one of which is probably the part where he’s really not very good at it.

Trying to balance his training with his schoolwork isn’t an easy task for Finn, especially when his dad can’t seem to understand that Finn really is trying to master the skills, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. And then the Hogboon arrives. He has a message for Finn, but what does it mean? Perhaps there is trouble brewing and perhaps, no matter how much he might wish, there is no escaping destiny for Finn.

Plus Emmie, the new girl at school, seems to have a particularly keen interest in the Legends and Finn’s family. Is she as innocent as she seems? What are the Legends on the Infected side planning? What is the purpose of the diamonds the Legends are sending through the gateways? Is there a traitor in their midst? Does Finn have it in him to be a Legend Hunter and can he get his dad to listen to him?

Shane Hegarty has created a fun and witty adventure with plenty to get your teeth into – or will it be getting its teeth into you? Tightly plotted, there’s lots of action, amusing repartee, and great characterization – of both the Legends and the humans! The Legend Hunter’s Council of Twelve reminded me of The Watcher’s Council from Buffy the Vampire Slayer – in other words, utterly useless, and with a pointless political agenda – while the characters twist and turn almost as much as the page-turning story does. Oh, and there are some really great illustrations too, with loads of detail and that bring the story even more fully to life. Ideal for readers of Skulduggery Pleasant or Percy Jackson, and I’m definitely looking forward to book two.

No comments:

Post a Comment