Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.
I received this as an E-Book ARC at my request from Net Galley. I am receiving no monetary or other type of compensation for this review.
I must admit that I put off reading this book for awhile. I requested the e-book, but didn't think I'd like it so I thought I wouldn't read it. I didn't know what a Goblin was and didn't think I'd be interested in something about a monster. Boy was I wrong! I felt obligated since I'd requested the book and I'm so glad. It may be the best book I've read so far this year.
It starts with Teagan at her job at the zoo observing Cindy the chimp who has her sweater and won't give it back. She's in love with the doctor in charge of primate research at the zoo and she's jealous of Teagan. Teagan finally understands and using American Sign Language (ASL) tells her she's not in love with the doctor and Cindy gives the sweater back, but with a little present that Tegan is unaware of. She puts it on and due to allergies doesn't smell the present on the bus, but everyone else does and not until her friend Abby gets on the bus does she find out. But that's the least of her worries. Abby drags her to St. Drogan's and lights a candle for her soul b/c she had a dream about Tegan that monsters were after her. Tegan dismisses the idea.
When they get to her house, a social worker is there discussing Finn a long lost relative, the nephew of Tegan's mother. The social worker is a busy body and almost doesn't want to let Finn into their lives, but the Wylltston insist he's family and he will stay with them. He comes to stay the next day and sparks fly between Tegan and Finn. But she has no room in her life for boys and Abby is immediately against him. They fight constantly whenever he is around, but he doesn't stay long and Tegan is the only one to witness his departure.
One year later life has changed drastically for the Wylltstons and Finn appears again. They have to journey to a place called Mag Mell, the land between that is ruled by Fear Dorich because the goblins have taken their dad and they must get him back. Teagan learns a lot about herself, her mother and her heritage and just who Finn McCumhaill is and what he was born to do. Her mother always said, "The Irish don't have happy endings." For Tegan and Finn she could be right.
Teagan is a well developed character. She has a plan to finish school and go on to be a veterinarian or some time of behavior specialist. Her experience proves useful in their journeys. She's very protective of her brother and understands how his mind works. And she constantly reminds herself to act using her brains instead of using her emotions. Think instead of panic and just react. And she's very kind hearted despite what it may cost her.
Finn is also well developed. Although we don't know much about him in the beginning he shares more of himself as they travel, that he is a survivor and Mamieo, tells Teagan a lot about him. That he is The Mc Cumhaill born to fight the goblins. But there is also an explanation for his steering clear of his obvious attraction to Teagan.
Aiden, Tegan's little brother is an enigmatic character. He is afraid of the tooth fairy and Elvis impersonators. He spends hours setting up his toy army men for battle and listens to books in verse that his father reads that no child at five would ever listen to that I know of. And he makes everything a song and has a beautiful singing voice.
There are other characters as well and you can learn about them as well. I just think this author did a great job of developing the plot, the characters, the narration, the mythology everything. My only problem was how they left the bad guys in Mag Mell, but then there couldn't be another story if they'd done anything else, and I really want another story!! So, just as well.
This novel hooks you from the very beginning and although I got bogged down a little with the Irish mythology, it was repeated enough that I understood it well enough to understand the prejudices and allegiances. I will buy this when it comes out because I think it will be a classic. I only hope the second is as good as the first. It held my attention completely except when I was shooing kids out of the room and glaring at my husband when he turned the t.v. on while I was reading. This is a book for both boys and girls of all ages, though some of the monsters might scare younger readers.