The Dark Hills Divide Introduces Readers To Alexa Daley, Who Annually Visits The Town Of Bridewell Alexa Is Curious About What Lies Beyond The Massive Ramparts That Surround The City And The Walled Roads That Link Bridewell To Nearby Towns Soon After Town Leader Thomas Warvold Passes Away, Alexa Finds Herself Outside The Walls, Acquires A Stone With Remarkable Powers, And Discovers That She S Meant To Stop A Potential War From Occurring Author Notes In A Video Blog At About The Series Reading Order That The Books In The Original TrilogyThe Dark Divide , Beyond The Valley Of Thorns AndThe Tenth City Should Be Read In That Order And That Stargazer Read After The Original Trilogy Otherwise Is Up To Reader Preference Into The Mist, Is A Chronological Prequel To The Trilogy, But The Story Is Told By Characters On The Boat Where The Tenth City Left Off It Can Be Read Before Or After The Original Trilogy

10 thoughts on “The Dark Hills Divide

  1. says:

    The Land of Elyon in the series title is a small nation of fearful settlements, surrounded by a wall Of the settlements, Bridewell is the closest to the Dark Hills outside the wall, which the settlers speculate are full of criminals and monsters Precocious twelve year old Alexa Daley is the daughter of the mayor of another settlement Every summer her father goes to Bridewell to consult with the other mayors, and she tags along to scrounge the library for information on the outside world.When she s not reading, Alexa pretends to be an explorer or detective She won t need to pretend this year.Content Advisory Violence A man plans a violent uprising which culminates in a siege, albeit with a low body count The same man menaces a kid and tries to stab her with a poker A brave squirrel is almost killed by two evil cats view spoiler The cats eventually get squished by a falling bookshelf They had it coming, but violence against ANY animals is a no go for some youngsters Know your kids hide spoiler

  2. says:

    I wasn t able to read this book every day like I usually do with novels, so for a long time I attributed my lack of interest in it s characters, and my confusion regarding the plot, to the fact that I wasn t able to keep the flow But the I read the confused I got I was actually intrigued at the beginning and the end left me scratching my head wondering what the point of the story was.Like I said, the beginning was intriguing, governmental type meeting, a suspicious death, a riddle, a walled city, and the world beyond that our twelve year old girl protagonist, Alexa, is very curious about But honestly, the details of the plot are so hard for me to even summarize because I don t really know what all happened I think the basic plot is that the walled city faces dangers from the outside, and Alexa must find out who the spy within the city is There are talking animals a very entertaining squirrel included who ve been separated by the wall quite sad, and again, Alexa must help , and there s a fantastic library, and of course, the enjoyment of trying to figure out who the spy is But the problem is, it s no fun if the author never gives you any clues to figure it out for yourself or try to, even if you ultimately want to be surprised unless I can connect the dots after the fact, the ta da isn t very exciting Instead of showing how a character is guilty or not, I felt that the reader was told, without really explaining why Alexa has very little introspection that we re privy to, so it s that Alexa feels so and so isn t the spy and thus we must accept it Why did Alexa trust or not certain people And even after Alexa figures something out, the author won t tell the reader but drags it out to the last possible second for the wow factor I m guessing but by that point I ve lost interest and feel, in a way, cheated I want to see how Alexa arrives at her decisions, not just be told that she s decided.I wanted to like this book but sadly it felt like a chore to read At least for me I see the book has mixed reviews, so I ll have to read some of the favorable ones to see what others found enjoyable Obviously the book resonates with some since this is part of a series.

  3. says:

    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 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 to come, mystery, and 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 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 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

  4. says:

    So, my relationship with this book is weird I was in fourth grade when it first came out, living in the same town as Patrick Carman, and in that small community it was a big deal to have a local author, especially when he got picked up by Scholastic My teacher actually read this book aloud to the class though I think it was actually the independent edition, in which Chapter 18 includes a bizarre detour into the world of dentistry You think I m kidding I still own that book, and I checked, just to make sure my memory wasn t malfunctioning Anyhow I ve got a signed indie printing copy, a signed poster, and the first three books in Scholastic hardback, and I found out as I prepared to write this review that Carman and I also share an alma mater but I m not in fourth grade any, and this book didn t stand up to the test of time even with such a heavy nostalgia factor personal connection.A grain of salt as Carman mentions in the afterword to this volume, the story was originally created to entertain his two young daughters, so a certain degree of absurdity or lack of coherence is understandable or it was, until he got picked up by a Big 6 publisher.I think that s the thing that it all comes down to, in the end Independently published, this book would be a solid entry on the low end of middle grade age ranges, with an adventurous young heroine who I can vouch from personal experience young girls can get behind But as a book from a major house, there are just too many weaknesses For one, the connection between the Land of Elyon and the world we know is vague , but clearly there one of the characters is named after a Hindu god For another, the plot essentially relies on a whole lot of Idiot Ball passing happening for years before the book takes place, as characters apparently knew who the Big Bad was, but did nothing to hinder his plans, and other characters ignored the warnings of those who had it all figured out It s a tidy set up for Alexa to come in and save the day, but it s not very plausible.There are, however, some really neatly done aspects In particular, the conclusion has a bittersweet tinge to it, as characters make choices sacrifices that force them to grow beyond safe, understandable worlds There s a sense of the regret and the wonder that come with leaving childhood behind, and in that way you can really see the impact of Carman s original audience on the way the story was crafted, in the best possible way.Two star rating aside, I do think this is a book I would recommend to kids It doesn t meet my standards as an adult reader, but it also doesn t bother me even on a religious front I m an atheist and the book has some overtones of Christian allegory nothing is pervasive enough to be a problem , and at the end of the day it s a fun adventure story that I know full well kids will enjoy This may well be addressed in one of the later books in the series I ve never read past 3, which is actually the reason for rereading now.

  5. says:

    Alexa is apparently the ONLY child in existence, not to mention the only FEMALE in existence, given that her mother is on the periphery, only communicating through a letter, and that Renny is dead Even Odessa, Darius wife, has no speaking part Alexa lives in a bizarre community of middle aged men which is a just plain weird Where are all the other children I thought this was a kids book Alexa is, especially in the first half, far too passive a character She is told what to do by adults or animals and then she goes ahead and does it There s little sense of adventure or danger in what she does and simply declaring her adventurous or heroic or frightened doesn t make her so The land outside the walls is covered pretty perfunctorily so it never really comes alive for us The same is true of the land inside the walls, where we meet relatively few people all of them seemingly old or middle aged men where are the women and children and get very little sense of culture.The plot is also problematic As mentioned above, there is little sense of danger or suspense for the first half of the book the arduous journey quest Alexa makes is mostly conveyed through telling us it s arduous and by describing her blisters.Re reading in high school after having read it in elementary school makes these things obvious, but for any elementary student, this is a great read.

  6. says:

    Re read January 2017The Bridewell library though 3

  7. says:

    I was hoping that this would be a series I could recommend to voracious middle grade fantasy readers, but no such luck There are the seeds of a good story here, with at least one good character and the possibility of a suspenseful plot As it stands, though, they are overwhelmed by vast info dump and the feeling that it doesn t matter if anything the characters do is something a real, sane person would do if the author needs it to happen, it s going to happen regardless of how many WTFs it induces.There are bad guys who are inexplicably and suddenly bad for no reason There s a traitor who seems for all practical purposes to be better off staying on the good side, if only for selfish gain, but who turns traitor anyway And in one small example of total huh, there s a library book about Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, the Spanish explorer, in an otherwise totally fictional world But a the story in the book has nothing to do with the real Cabeza de Vaca, and b throughout, the main character calls him Cabeza, as if that were his first name.I read it all the way through, mostly to see what on earth else could happen I hope Carman hits his stride in the other books in the series, and his ideas have a better chance to come out in the clear.

  8. says:

    The Dark Hills Divide is a simple fantasy book directed to children that has captivated my heart in ways than I imagined I do not know why I am so in love with this book it has the same basic elements of other fantastical children stories and it doesn t really deviate itself from the norm But the seaming of the lovable characters, the mysterious setting, and the adventure was so well done that it become a beautiful work.We see from the point of view of Alexa, a gusty and curious girl who wishes to venture out of the walls that surround Bridewell She had always wondered about what lies outside and her being close to Warvold, the founder of Bridewell and the greatest adventurer of all time, isn t helping at all.Warvold and Alexa were having one of their walks when Warvold suddenly tells her this strange poem about the Blind Men of Indostan She is bewildered by this but doesn t really ponder on the poem which is actually a clue to the identity of the antagonist as she later finds out Warvold then murmurs on whether the walls he built around Bridewell was to keep the monsters out or to keep them in before promptly dying Thus begins Alexa s tale filled with uncertain allies, talking animals, and dark secrets.

  9. says:

    4.25 Squirrels and Wolves and Bears, oh my.What an enjoyable book Lite kid s fantasy.12 year old heroine CheckLovable animals CheckQuestionable adults CheckAdventure sans adults CheckHeroine saving the day Nope sorry you have to read to find out.

  10. says:

    I still remember the moment I saw this bookThe cover caught my attention and felt like a great story to read To be honest, I got all first three books at a book bazaar, just because of the cover Now, I ve read the first book and I am beyond happy for my choice It s a bit middle grade ish but still, a great adventure of a little girl who never stops dreaming and living her life no matter what She is an amazing character Even though the book is written by a male author, the main character is female and fantastically written The story is like a fairytale Beautiful scenery, amazing heroes , plot twists and fun.I am a really slow reader but I read this in a day, because it was so well written and fast paced.Great for all ages, in my opinion.Can t wait to see how the story continues and how much Alexa evolves as a character.