Darkmouth by Shane Hegarty – a review (Children’s)

Shane Hegarty’s debut novel is a treat for 9-12 year olds, and introduces a world full of possibility.

Finn (no surname) is the son of a Legend Hunter.   Legends are mythological creatures, who often open up a portal between our world and theirs, usually in Finn’s hometown of Darkmouth.   Finn’s dad is a legendary legend hunter, and that’s the point where I’ll try to say ‘legend’ less.   Or not.   Finn is hopeless when it comes to hunting, and he would prefer to be a vet.

With his new friend Emmie, he is thrown into a battle to keep Darkmouth legend-free and he uses his limited skills and knowledge to do this, as his father is otherwise occupied.

Darkmouth has a nice light tone to it, with great humour throughout, and the excellent illustrations are a great depiction of Hegarty’s writing.   Finn also makes for a good underdog character to get behind.   You can’t but love his bumbling efforts to save the world.

In Darkmouth, Shane Hegarty cleverly gives the reader enough of a flavour of the world in which the Legends come from, but as only a very small proportion of the book is actually set there, it creates a whole lot of potential to explore this other world in the coming sequel(s).

With not long to wait for a sequel (autumn 2015) and anticipation already rising, Hegarty is on to a winner.


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