Darkmouth is the debut children’s novel by Shane Heggarty, sent to me by Harper Collins. With praise by Eoin Colfer (author of the wonderful Artemis Fowl series, amongst others) Shane is off to a great start.
The book that can’t wait to get its teeth into you, it’s about to get legendary.
So what’s it all about?
Legends (also known as terrifying, human-eating monsters) have invaded the town of Darkmouth and aim to conquer the world.
But don’t panic! The last remaining Legend Hunter – Finn – will protect us.
Finn: twelve-years-old, loves animals, not a natural fighter, but tries really, really hard, and we all know good intentions are the best weapons against a hungry Minotaur, right?
On second thoughts, panic.
If that’s not enough to make you want to grab it, then read on to find out what I thought.
What did I think?
Firstly the book itself is gorgeous, bright and brilliantly illustrated, the front cover is tactile with the Legends scales picked out, and makes you want to stroke it (maybe that’s just me!).
The mist covered town of Darkmouth rarely has visitors (unless they’re lost), which is rather unsurprising really, considering the continual invasion of Legends. Which is not quite as fun as it seems, think Minotaurs, Manticores and other fang-baring beasts, no sign of a friendly Pegasus here. It’s up to Finns Dad the resident Legend Hunter to vanquish (or rather desiccate) these beasts and keep the town safe. All whilst training his somewhat reluctant son to become the last ever Legend Hunter, no pressure then.
Finn is a funny and sympathetic main character, who has a wholly believable relationship with his father. Always in his well-meaning fathers shadow, Finn doesn’t particularly want to go chasing Legends. Danger, loss of limbs, impending doom, who can blame him? Secretly he wants to help people, like his mum (a dentist) and become a vet, just don’t tell his Dad.
When new girl Emmie (clever and brave) and her dad move to town, things seem to be looking up, well as much as they can be when you’re under constant threat from mythical beasts and keep tripping over your desiccator. At least Emmie likes him, but are her and her dad all that they seem?
Rather more importantly will Finn be able to save the day? Or at least work out why Darkmouth is the only village left with Legends? Whilst avoiding being scratched, beaten and breaking his bones, and that’s just at school. Maybe he had better start panicking.
I’ll be donating this to my friend the children’s librarian, I’m positive this will be a sure-fire hit, and look forward to the sequel, out in August.
I’m also rather interested in the audiobooks, as they will be read by the wonderful Andrew Scott (Moriarty).
You can check out the LEGENDary (get it?!) trailer here.
Click on this link for your chance to win a limited edition Darkmouth T-shirt!
If you like the sound of Darkmouth you purchase it from Amazon here.
Let me know what you think. Do you think it will be legendary? (I know, I’ll stop now!).