Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review: Finn Finnegan (Karchut)

AUTHOR: Darby Karchut
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Spencer Hill Press
PUBLICATION DATE: March 12, 2013
ISBN: 9781937053321
PAGES: 200
SOURCE: publisher's ARC
GENRE: fantasy, action-adventure
GIVE IT TO: middle school boys
SUMMARY: 13-year old Finnegan MacCullen works as an apprentice to Gideon Lir, a Celtic warrior who secretly battles the Amandan, goblin-like creatures living among humans in the Colorado suburbs.

ROMANTIC HEAT: Pretty chilly. There is no romance or kissing. A couple of hints at potential romances are misunderstood by the young characters and never acted upon.

REVIEW: Though I am definitely not the target audience for Finn Finnegan (alas, it has no romance), I know that my middle school students--particularly the boys--will eat this book up. Finn has plenty of action, fighting, and mythical beasties, all of which will appeal to the massive Lightning Thief crowd. I laughed out loud often when Finnegan and Gideon butt heads. I love the inclusion of Gideon's and Finn's journal entries, which comically demonstrate how alike master and apprentice really are. I often read excerpts aloud during book talks, and the journal entries would make some excellent read-alouds.

THE BOTTOM LINE: If you prefer books with at least some romance, this may not be your book. But if you want lots of fight scenes, physical training, legendary beasties, and well-placed humor, I wholeheartedly recommend Finn Finnegan.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I will absolutely be getting this book! It will be an easy "sell" in book talks and would make a fun addition to booktalks circa St. Patrick's Day. I may even invest in 2-3 copies.

READALIKES: The Lightning Thief (Riordan); The Magnificent 12 series (Grant), Janitors (Whitesides)

  • Overall: 4/5
  • Creativity: 4/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Engrossing: 3/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

  • Language: mild; a few a**
  • Sexuality: none
  • Violence: mild-medium; lots of sword- and knife-fighting scenes with monsters
  • Drugs/Alcohol: none

Like this blog? Get updates in your inbox whenever I post new content! Subscribe by clicking the green envelope below:


  1. Thank you for such an awesome review. I had so much fun researching and writing this book. :-)
    (I am also a middle school teacher: 7th grade social studies. Best age group evah!)

    I hope your students enjoy Finn's adventures. Many more to come.

  2. @Darby--Congratulations on your book! I know it will be successful at my school. And I agree with you about teaching 7th grade--that was my group when I taught, and they really are my favorite!


Let's start a conversation! All commenting on Mrs. ReaderPants is moderated and CAPTCHA-free! Please submit your comment only once--it will appear shortly.