ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Dark Hills Divide (Land of Elyon, Book 1) by Patrick Carman

Updated on November 17, 2016

Before Reading

Well, I'm using a relatively loose definition of “reading.” You see, I've never read a physical version of this book. My now-ex and I got an audiobook version of this through Cracker Barrel's Books-on-Audio program. I loved it (I'm not sure if he was so enthusiastic). When I went to buy a copy of the book, I found that the hard copy version (Carman was still working on the series, so for the most recent book (I think it was The Tenth City?)) had a deckle edge, which is where the edge of the book is uneven. I thought that this would not be a positive tactile experience for me, so, despite the paperback versions having an even edge, I continued to get the books in audio format. I now have the first four (of five) books set in the Elyon universe in audio format, and once I'm pretty close to the end of that fourth book I'll buy the final book. When I say “final,” by the way, I'm not reading them chronologically or in release order. I'm doing the four books about Alexa first and will do Into the Mist, which is about two characters in the series when they were children, after that.

After Reading

Alexa Daley lives in a quite literally circumscribed world. Most of the time when they say that a word is circumscribed, they mean that her family and/or school are keeping her options limited. That's not true of Alexa. She has a pretty good history of freedom and of exploring her world. Her world, which is surrounded by walls.

Before Alexa was born, Thomas Warvold was given a fortune that said that danger lurked in the woods surrounding his village, Bridewell. So, Warvold rented some prisoners from the nearby city of Ainsworth to build a wall around Bridewell. Bridewell began to outgrow its boundaries during this time, and so three other cities, Lathbury, Turlock, and Lunenberg, grew up around Bridewell. All four cities are surrounded by walls themselves and are connected to each other by walled roads.

Alexa's father, James, is the mayor of Lathbury and every summer, Alexa and her father travel to Bridewell, where they stay at Renny Lodge (which was named for Warvold's late wife), which is the old prison. During the summer that Alexa was 12 years old, Thomas Warvold takes her out to see the wall, and then he dies. Alexa takes a key from a locket around Warvold's neck. A key that turns out to be fairly important.

Alexa finds out that Renny Warvold used to make jewels with cunning designs carved into them, called Jocastas. Later, she uses the key to open a door in the library and escapes into the woods beyond the walls, where she finds that Renny Warvold's Jocastas were based on some gems that can be found in the woods (and whose provenance is at this point unknown), which can tell the future of their owners and which can give their owners the ability to speak to animals.

Armed with her Jocasta, Alexa, a small man named Yipes (who also has a Jocasta) and an assortment of animal companions work together to get to the bottom of the threat that is hanging over the heads of all four of Warvold's cities.

I've listened to this book maybe three or four times now and never get tired of it (a while back I said that the Floors series was disappointing because I normally like Carman's books so much, and now I get to tell you which books I like and why). And the very best thing about it is something that I can't tell you about because it would be a spoiler.

Well, maybe I'll add a spoiler capsule to a later version of the review. I'll think about it.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)