Hegarty, Shane. Darkmouth: The Legend Begins, illustrations by James de la Rue. Harper, 2015. $16.99. 403 Pages. Violence: PG. Language: G (1 swear). Sexual content: G.
Darkmouth is the last blighted village where legends (monsters) still enter the mortal world and attack people. Twelve-year-old Finn’s family has been legend hunters for generations, keeping the village safe. His dad is a legendary hunter and everyone expects Finn to take over the family business. Except, Finn is the worst legend hunter ever and deep down he doesn’t even want to be a legend hunter. Finn doesn’t have any friends and until Emmie, a new girl arrives. A legend arrives, a hogboon, named Broonie who tells Finn that he is a part of a prophecy, “The Legends are rising, the boy shall fall.” Emmie isn’t who he thinks she is and a close family friend betrays them. Finn must find his courage to save not only his family, but maybe the world. This first book in the series starts strong. Finn is a likeable character who feels forced into a life path he doesn’t want and doesn’t quite fit in. The town and its history are both intriguing; as well as, the nefarious legends. The plot moves quickly with lots of action which is sure to appeal to both boys and girls. The black and white illustrations are perfectly monstrous and help create the tone of the story. "Darkmouth" is a new and promising modern fantasy series.
EL-ADVISABLE. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.