Darkmouth #1: The Legends Begin
April 21, 2015
Discover a new middle grade series full of madcap adventure, mythological creatures, humor, and heart. The world's unlikeliest hero is also its only hope in this spirited tween fantasy debut, perfect for fans of How to Train Your Dragon and The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. For generations, Finn's family has protected Darkmouth from the fierce magical creatures known as Legends. Now the Legends are plotting a major attack, and it's Finn's turn to defend his hometown. So it's too bad he's the worst Legend Hunter in history.
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Because of his job, and his lack of ability in doing it, Finn has few friends at school. When Emmie moves to town and takes an interest in the Legends, Finn shares a little too much information with her, and discovers that her father is stalking his family! It turns out that he has been sent from the board of Legend Hunters to assess Finn's father, but it is nice to see Finn have someone who can share his interests and help him with his fighting skills. Finn also has some nice interaction with Broonie, and seeing the two of them help each other out even though they are on different sides on the conflict is heartening.
Darkmouth is a quaint, rainy, English village where people don't really want to be, and the descriptions of the town and the people give this book a very brooding atmosphere. There are chapters from A Concise Guide to the Legend Hunter World that give some of the back story without belaboring it.
What makes this a great middle grade fantasy is the description of monsters! A lot of readers are interested in reading about them, but there aren't a lot of books about them other than Lorey's Monster Academy or Gilman's Lovecraft Middle School, or the Scary School or Monsterific Tales series. Those books are a little sillier and for slightly younger readers; Darkmouth is fresh, solidly middle grade and filled with just the right amount of explosions and monster bashing.
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