Friday, July 29, 2016

Darkmouth #1: The Legend Begins by Shane Hegarty

My name us Finn, and my family has been hunting Legends for forty-two generations. I'd rather be a vet than desiccate minotaurs and other monsters, and I always manage to mess up when they're around. Only yesterday, I almost sank a ship! Darkmouth is the last place on earth with Legend attacks, and my dad and I have been finding blue crystals attached to the new Legends. The last Legend looked at me and said, "The boy shall fall", but my dad won't tell me what this prophecy means. He's working on a machine to desiccate all of the Legends in existence at once, but something's not right. The crystals, portals opening more frequently, and a mysterious human standing next to a recent opening make me feel like something bigger is going on. Little did I know at the time, but a huge Legend army in our world was ready to invade!

Here is another story of a reluctant hero, as he tries to develop his new abilities. However, Finn doesn't have any special powers, and his protective "armor" is bits of metal that have been pieced together. He tries to complete the training and Legend hunts, but he always manages to fail. You normally expect the main character to eventually "get it" and succeed, but Finn doesn't fit that mold. I've never seen a hero get bumped or tripped so many times just when he's about to make the shot. The plot includes a little mystique when a new girl at school actually wants to hang out with him; everyone else thinks he's creepy, and Finn must deal with the standard middle school bullies. Finn's normalness makes him engaging and identifiable, and he shows great perseverance. He has an internal conflict between empathy for living creatures and desiccating them. By the resolution, Finn realizes he needs to embrace the hunter mentality. This book is the start of a fun new series, and I've already gotten my hands on the sequel.

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