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Reviewed by Carmen Tenorio for Readers' Favorite
Finding Fionn by M.J. Evans centers on the search for Fionn MacCool, a champion and renowned racehorse who became Ireland's national treasure. Fionn's elite position was also much a result of Patrick McCallin's abilities as the jockey who guided him to victory and success. One chilly February night, Fionn was suddenly taken hostage, and a hefty ransom was requested for his release. Sadly, his owner was unwilling to pay. The entire country was devastated, and the horse's heartbroken rider, Patrick, also began to worry about Fionn's safety. He set off on a mission to look for Fionn, along with the aid and encouragement of his close friends and schoolmates. Despite the news, hazards, and concerns associated with the risky scenario, they remained unwavering in believing they would eventually find Fionn alive and well. Will Patrick and his crew be able to unravel the mystery of Fionn's abduction, locate and free him from his captors?
Finding Fionn by M.J. Evans, based on the true-to-life circumstances of the champion Irish racehorse Shergar, is an organized and well-researched novel that leaves no stone unturned. Character development for main and supporting players is multidimensional, relatable, and memorable. Along with the author's skill in exploring details and possibilities in a scene, seeing the progressive changes in the characters and how they influence the plotline also adds to sustaining interest, excitement, and drama, which keeps the reader hooked. The pacing and story build-up are moderate, and the occasional parts with some action and cliffhanger suspense are not overwhelming. The chapters aren't too long, and the language level isn't complicated, making it appealing to young readers. The unexpected plot twist truly gives the reader the extent of the complexity of the scenario. M.J. Evans is a talented author who offers more than just a tale about a famous racehorse. She offers the reader a thorough and realistic impression of what Irish culture is. Recommended for young adult readers and mystery buffs.