Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Ramblings on Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut

Finn Finnegan 
By: Darby Karchut
Release Date: March 2013
Author Website


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."
(from Goodreads)

My Ramblings:

I could keep this short and sweet and call it a day with one sentence. I could just say Darby writes another winner and leave the rest of you to ponder why this book is a winner. I won't do that, but I will try to keep it concise. This is another fabulous book by Darby Karchut, again set in Colorado and revolving around a young boy who is just beginning to find out who he is and what he can be. (side note- you've all read The Griffin books right? If not, get on that.)

****Warning: Spoilers Ahead****

The book starts with Finn arriving at Gideon's house somewhat unexpectedly, ready to start his training as a knight early. Finn and Gideon are both hot headed and they really do make a perfect pair. Gideon's attempts to quell Finn's rage while barely containing his own is something that I'm fairly certain every parent (and teacher) can probably relate to. As a young member of the Tuatha De Danaan Finn is being trained to fend off and hopefully destroy a race of goblins bent on destroying them. It's an epic battle that has raged for centuries and spread out across the entire world. It's ramping up and Finn finds himself right in the epicenter. 

Besides all the action and golblin killing Darby does what Darby does best. She writes the best relationships. Finn and Gideon have a complex relationship- they are something between teacher and student, and father and son with Gideon really wanting Finn to succeed and Finn wanting nothing more then for Gideon to be proud of him. My favorite relationships though are those with Finn's new friends Rafe and Savannah. There isn't a ton of development, but there is enough there that hints at what might be coming in books two that you really, really get invested in their friendship. Especially when you discover that they might hold the key to keeping Finn (and everyone else) alive. Even their parents are built into the story perfectly. They are wary or their kids new friend and his guardian, they give their kids some leeway, but are ready to ask questions at a moments notice when they feel something is out of sorts. We know what goes on behind closed doors at Finn's house, but they don't, and their concern, while it might be in error, is well intentioned. Frankly if they weren't asking questions they'd be horrible parents. They might cause some trouble for Finn, but at the same time they are looking out for not only their own kids, but for a kid they think might be in trouble. 

The big shocker for me in this book was that Karchut killed someone off. One of the good guys no less. I've been so used to the good guys getting beaten and bloody and bruised, but I anticipated that they would all pull through. I was wrong. I won't tell you who it was, but it surprised me, made me sad and then when I thought about it I realized that this person had to go in order to really move the story forward. 

I can't wait to see where this story goes next. Will we stay in Colorado or will we get to make a trek to South Africa to see how they deal with the Amandán there?

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