Sunday, October 4, 2015

Book Review: The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman

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Title: The Dark Hills Divide

Author: Patrick Carman

Series: The Land of Elyon #1

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: Children

**5 stars**

What a delightful and charming tale! I can hardly believe I've been missing out on this splendid, little series all this time!

The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman brings us into the intriguing Land of Elyon, where we meet sweet Alexa Daley, who is quite smart and courageous. She's been trying for quite a while to learn of what lies beyond the walls that at times seem to imprison her. Meanwhile, her father and his fellow advisers and friends try to keep her out of trouble. But upon old Warvold's sudden death, a chance is opened up to Alexa to explore deep mysteries and dark places. What will she discover? Does danger await her?

I think only two of my friends on Goodreads, (that I've noticed), have read this book. They had nothing but good to say about it; and after surveying the intriguing and utterly charming cover, I had to add this book to my to-read list. Just in case. Recently, I scrolled through my TR list, looking for a book to read next ... and decided to try out The Dark Hills Divide. Am I ever glad I did! *smiles*

It's a short-ish, small book, perhaps geared toward a bit younger audience than myself, but nevermind! *grins* It has the potential to please many. I am thinking of recommending this book to my eleven-year-old brother, and twelve-year-old sister. I think my fourteen-year-old sister would enjoy it as well. And I loved it! I'm so excited to read the next stories in the series! It's just one of those timeless tales that for some reason or another absolutely enthralls you. Like The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Adventure. Brave children. Mystery. Fun. Sweetness. Magic. It a story that thrills the soul and tells one there's more to life than just purposeless, day-to-day, "going through the motions". There's meaning and lost magic, but you must go on an adventure to find it! **I hate using the word magic, because it can mean such a wide variety of things. But in this case, it all felt like Narnia "magic". Not really magic, just a world of things and possibilities you didn't think existed.**

It seems there could be some allegories going on here. Perhaps a Christian-allegory? I'm not sure. But it altogether quite simply a beautiful, though at times harsh, story. The epilogue promised much more to come, more mystery, and more discovery! I'm excited to continue this journey! ^_^

The Dark Hills Divide was written in first person, but had a little different feel than most books like that. It was more of a old-ish feel. Deep. A little slow at points; but all in all, very delicious! *grins* I'm not sure if I'm explaining it right ... but if everything turns out nicely in this series, I would absolutely adore to see it on my bookshelf!! It has a classical feel and a heart-warming story that just makes you want to give it a squeeze and recommend to fellow book-lovers!

Once again, very akin to Narnia. A lot of the feelings I got from reading this tale were kind of the same feelings I get from watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Classic!

There were a few scary or slightly violent moments. But not much at all. When you look at the cover, you might expect a darker tale, but it didn't turn out to be quite like that. It had a solemn tone at times, but a lot of fun and intrigue involved as well. That being said, there is one scene toward the end that might frighten younger readers ... so caution.

The animals. I'm not sure how much I should say ... trying to avoid being spoiler-ish ... but they were so much fun. *grins*

Ah. What else can I say? I enjoyed it thoroughly! I'm looking forward to reading more! I'm captivated! *huggles book* Fans of The Chronicles of Narnia, you definitely must give The Dark Hills Divide a try. Also, those who like adventure and intriguing worlds beyond the normal, you'll probably love this tale!

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