Finished Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut. I received a copy from the publisher. Technically this comes out March 12, but Amazon is shipping the paperback now. So you should just get it now—and Goodreads is giving away two copies! So you should enter that, too. (Also, I should probably point out that I consider Darby a friend. She considers me on par with Annie Wilkes*.)
Summary (from Goodreads):
“Finnegan MacCullen: a thirteen-year-old apprentice with the famous Irish temperament.
Gideon Lir: a legendary Celtic warrior with a bit of a temper of his own.
Secretly, these blue-collar warriors battle the hobgoblins infesting their suburban neighborhood…when they are not battling each other.
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.’”
I’m going to be honest, I was a little nervous about this. I love her other series (about my beloved Griffin) so much that I worried that I wouldn’t connect with Finn or that I would resent this book a little bit because she was working on it instead of the fourth book in the Griffin series (which, incidentally, still doesn’t have a release date, DARBY).
But I am incredibly happy to point out that I was wrong. There are a lot of similarities to her other series in this (mentor takes on headstrong teenage boy so they can be a force for good in the world) but Finn is entirely his own person. His own incredibly surly person. But I’m pretty sure all the snark hides an incredibly huge heart. Don’t worry, Finn—I won’t tell anyone.
I love the world that’s created here. While it’s set in Colorado, it’s also steeped in Irish folklore. And it doesn’t hurt that Gideon’s Irish and I can totally hear his brogue in my head.
But even though this is paranormal YA (or technically, according to Darby’s website, middlegrade), it all feels very plausible. So plausible, in fact, that it worries me that there are things in this world that I’m not aware of.
The sequel doesn’t come out until next year, so be prepared for an unfortunate wait. On the plus side, though, after reading this, you can at least get your Darby Karchut fix with the first three books of the Griffin series. Win-win.
* = That’s a joke. I’m 95% certain Darby’s not afraid of me.