Darkmouth: Hero Rising by Shane Hegarty

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Darkmouth: Hero Rising by Shane Hegarty

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: A darker but still utterly thrilling battle, led once again by a boy barely into his teens, to stop the nastiest beasties imaginable from getting through to our world from the Infested Side. Definitely one to make you sneak a torch under the duvet to finish reading – and, for the more imaginative among us, so you can check there isn't something gross hiding in the wardrobe!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: June 2017
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780007545629

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Things seem as bad as they can get for Finn, trainee Hunter of all those nasty things that keep trying to get through to our world from the Infested Side. His dad has been sacked, leaving him practically alone to face the baddies, both monstrous and human, he has no weapons or back-up apart from his friend Emmie, and the family has even been kicked out of the house they've lived in for generations. Of course, in the way of the best stories, you only have to hint that things couldn't get worse for them to do exactly that. And any beastie that's got all the monsters from the other dimension scared is not going to be a doddle to fight. Far, far from it.

There was a light-heartedness to the earlier stories which was both funny and endearing. Poor old Finn was, to put it politely, utterly useless at the job of Hunting the creatures that came through from the other side, and he did more damage to people's cars and washing lines than he ever did to the Legends. At least his dad was always there to get him out of trouble and smooth things over with the irritated townsfolk. But Finn's been through a lot since then, and has learned that making mistakes is not an option: if he doesn't shape up, he and those close to him could die. So this story has a different feel. There are still moments to make you smile (watching the Orthus argue with itself is a delight) but the reader, like Finn, can never forget that he's been (quite unfairly) branded a traitor, and that some of the people who are supposed to help and support him are more dangerous and harmful than the monsters. And then one final person, the one he'd relied on more than any other, turns away from him. It's a balance between gripping, squeal-out-loud scenes of peril, and that drear sense of loneliness so many misunderstood heroes have to face. It's a lot to bear for a lad who's just turned thirteen, and it makes the book unforgettable.

There's a very good short summary of the story so far at the beginning of the book, but readers should, if they possibly can, read the whole thing through from the beginning: it's well worth it. Start with Darkmouth, move on to Darkmouth: Worlds Explode, then dive into the thrilling Darkmouth: Chaos Descends. And if you want another excellent series where our hero has to battle all manner of creatures – and worse – and in which it's not clear exactly who the bad guys are, try Piers Torday - The Last Wild, The Dark Wild and The Wild Beyond. Gripping stuff, with a serious environmental message underneath the perils and battles.

Buy Darkmouth: Hero Rising by Shane Hegarty at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Darkmouth: Hero Rising by Shane Hegarty at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Darkmouth: Hero Rising by Shane Hegarty at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Darkmouth: Hero Rising by Shane Hegarty at Amazon.com.


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