Tuesday, 30 June 2015
'Darkmouth' by Shane Hegarty
'Darkmouth' by Shane Hegarty is funny, monstrous and refreshingly different. It whips along at a cracking pace. There are unusual guns, bombs, vortexes, other-worlds, weird characters, lovable characters, twists and turns and of course... monsters! I love reading children's books, as much as adult ones, but 'Darkmouth' made me feel especially like a child again. It is just simply exciting and imaginatively stimulating.
Darkmouth is a small remote village in Ireland. It is also the last village on Earth, it seems, to continue to suffer monster attacks. Every so often monsters, or Legends as they are called, arrive through vortexes from another world, ready to cause havoc. Only Legend Hunters (a position decreed by birthright) can stop these monsters. And a twelve year old boy called Finn is the next in line to become a Legend Hunter... but he's a bit useless. He wants to be a vet.
There is enough mystery and excitement to entertain but I am hoping the next in the series will deepen its emotional pull and become far darker. It is perhaps an error to compare any new series to Harry Potter, but there is enough interesting back stories, potential back stories and mythology to warrant the comparison here. Personally, I would like it develop in a similar manner; to probe harder into the psychology of Finn and to expand its universe and themes in grander fashion. Perhaps it will.
Otherwise, 'Darkmouth' is just simply fun, and sometimes that is all that matters. Plus, the illustrations are fantastic and compliment the text perfectly.
Bursting with ideas, adrenaline and big teeth, 'Darkmouth' is a riveting new series. Let's hope the sequels can match it!