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By: Darby Karchut
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Format of Review Copy: Paperback
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Synopsis (from Amazon):
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 AmandÃ¡n, 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 AmandÃ¡n, 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.”
This is the story of a boy who is a “halfer”, meaning he is half human and half fey/hobgoblin-warrior. He leaves his aunt and uncle’s, where he was living as an orphan, to live with his “mentor”/”master”. Yes, that part is very Harry Pottery. And all hell breaks lose as he learns to hone his craft.
Story wise: I loved the idea behind this book/series. We don’t really get much by way of goblins in this vampire and werewolf world so it was really nice for a change of pace. I also enjoyed the mystery aspect of the story as it progresses. We know something is different about Finn but we don’t know what or why. The entire story was paced well.
Character wise: I enjoyed the dynamic of Finn & Gideon (apprentice/master). Finn’s character was a very believable adolescent. As much as I loved Gideon, something just felt off about him for me. Which I’ll explain here in a second.
Writing style/Delivery: I normally do not comment on this, but I almost have to for you to understand my thoughts on this book. For me the delivery of this story was a little “off”. It wasn’t bad! Don’t think I am saying that, because I am not. Truth is, I’m not sure HOW to say what I mean to. The book for me “read” like it was written by a teen, not an adult. I understand this was done on purpose, since it is a middle grade book, it needed to be attractive to middle graders. But I felt like the character development suffered a little for it. For example, Gideon’s character wasn’t portrayed how I feel Gideon would have been. He was more portrayed how a child would have seen him. If that makes sense. The book is written in third person, with additional journal entries by our characters. I feel like, man I don’t know how to say what I want. I guess the best way to put it would be, I don’t think a character should be “dumbed down” for younger readers to be able to connect to them. After all, we don’t dumb down for them IRL, if that makes sense at all.
Bah. I hope what I am trying to say is making sense. I don’t want anyone to think I am bashing the book or even that I didn’t like it. Because I *DID* like it!
I enjoyed the story. It’s weird. I would like to know what happens next in this series, BUT, its not really one I will be holding my breath for the next release. If that makes sense. *I definitely think this book will be a big winner with younger readers who are not quite ready for YA.
Contains mild/medium violence. Recommend for children 10+
Should also be mentioned that this book addresses the issue of racism & tolerance. Huge kudos to the author!
For Parents and Students:
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