Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut from Spencer Hill Press - Review and Giveaway

Title: Finn Finnegan
Author: Darby Karchut
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
Publisher:  Spencer Hill Press
Suggested age range: 10 and up
BISAC Category: Juvenile Fiction (Fantasy and Magic)
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1937053321

Finnegan MacCullen: a thirteen-year-old apprentice with the famous Irish temperament.

Gideon Lir: a legendary Celtic warrior with a bit of a temper of his own.

Secretly, these blue-collar warriors battle the hobgoblins infesting their suburban neighborhood...when they are not battling each other.

Finn (not bleedin' Finnegan) MacCullen is eager to begin his apprenticeship. He soon discovers the ups and downs of hunting monsters in a suburban neighborhood under the demanding tutelage of the Knight, Gideon Lir. Both master and apprentice are descendents of the Tuatha De Danaan, a magical race of warriors from Ireland. Scattered long ago to the four corners of the world, the De Danaan wage a two thousand year old clandestine battle with their ancient enemy, the Amandán, a breed of goblin-like creatures.

Now with the beasts concentrating their attacks on Finn, he and his master must race to locate the lost Spear of the Tuatha De Danaan, the only weapon that can destroy the Amandán, all the while hiding his true identity from his new friends, Rafe and Savannah, twins whose South African roots may hold a key to Finn's survival. 

Armed with a bronze dagger, some ancient Celtic magic, and a hair-trigger temper, Finn is about to show his enemies the true meaning of "fighting Irish."

My Thoughts:  Finn Finnegan is an outstanding middle grade novel which is the beginning of a magical series filled with Celtic mythology, adventure, knights, warriors, Amandan, and more.  In this urban fantasy Finnegan MacCullen is a 13-year-old boy who also is the descendant an ancient magical race of Irish warriors called Tuatha De Dannan.  He is beginning his apprenticeship with Knight Gideon Lir, training to fight in the 2000 year old battle with the Tuatha De Dannan's enemy, the Amadan, which are goblin like creatures that can take on the appearance of a person or object in order to get closer their prey before killing them.  The Amandan believe that if the kill all the Dannan's, they can return home to Ireland and reclaim it.  As Finn trains under his master, Gideon Lir, he learns how to fight the Amandan monsters in suburban neighborhoods, all the while trying to keep his identity a secret, especially from his friends Savannah and Rafe, who may just play a bigger part in Finn's life than he knows.  Finn definitely has an Irish temperament, and that combined with the Celtic magic, creates an exciting read that younger readers will thoroughly enjoy.  Gideon Lir is Finn's trainer or master, but also a father figure to him.  He has that Irish temperament, as does Quinn, so they tend to butt heads, which makes for some "hot-tempered" situations that are really entertaining.  

The novel also contains journal entries from both Finn and Gideon, which add a lot to the story and help you get to know the characters better, and also are quite humorous at times.  Finn Finnegan is an excellent beginning to a magical series centering around Celtic lore in a modern day urban setting.  I think this is a book that middle grade students will absolutely love, as well as those who are young at heart.  I look forward to seeing what Darby Karchut has in store for Finn in future installments.  


The Journal of Finnegan MacCullen:  May 22
This is so lame!!! And I hope Gideon reads this so he knows I think this is totally unfair and stupid!! And lame!!  Guys don't do journals.  It's girly!  What does a warrior need a journal for, anyway?  Gideon told, wait......ordered me to write down what I learn each day.  He said starting it on my thirteenth birthday would mean a lot to me when I got older.  And then he told me that he still keeps one.  Wow, like that's something to brag about?

Darby Karchut
All her life, the archetypal hero and his journey have enthralled Darby Karchut. A native of New Mexico, Darby grew up in a family that venerated books and she spent her childhood devouring one fantasy novel after another. Fascinated by mythologies from around the world, she attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a degree in anthropology. After moving to Colorado, she then earned a Master’s in education and became a social studies teacher.
Drawing from her extensive knowledge of world cultures, she blends ancient myths with modern urban life to write stories that relate to young teens today.
Darby is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Pikes Peak Writers Guild. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, where she still teaches at a local junior high school. She enjoys running, biking, and skiing the Rocky Mountains in all types of weather.

Griffin Rising is her first novel. She is currently working on the next books in the series, Griffin's Fire (April 2012) and Griffin's Storm(December 2012). Her middle grade novel, Finn Finnegan, will be released March 2013 from Spencer Hill Press. The next book in the Finnegan series, Gideon's Spear, will be released from Spencer Hill Press in February 2014.

Spencer Hill Press is offering a prize package to ONE winner throughout the tour that includes a copy of the book, a $25 Amazon gift card and Finn Finnegan themed temp tattoos.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks, Ellen, for the wonderful review and helping spread the word about Finn and Gideon. Your blog is delightful!

    1. Thanks you. I really enjoyed it.

  2. Replies
    1. It is, and the book is really good to.

  3. I like a good MG book occasionally. I really like stories that include journal entries. Glad you liked this, Ellen!

    1. I don't read many, but I have a couple of nephews that are that age so I like to keep my eye out for things for them.

  4. This is MG? I would never have guessed! The cover makes it look like a YA fantasy. I'm not big on MG but when I find one I enjoy I really do enjoy it! Like Liesl & po and well, HP (duh). Sounds like this one is pretty good though lots going on and I love it when we get journal entries in a novel it really puts you in the head of the characters and is a great way to build up characters and plot if used well, too! Great review, dollface!

  5. Someone else I know recently read and reviewed this and enjoyed it as well. It sounds like a fun read.

  6. I really love fantasy and anything Irish or Celtic. This sounds like one I might really like!

    1. I think you would enjoy it, especially since you read and review a lot of MG books.


Thanks for your comments. I love hearing from you!

Entangled Teen Weekly

What Kind of Reviewer are You? Click on the banner to visit Ashley @ the Book Nook to find out.