Review: The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman

The Dark Hills Divide is a middle grade book about a girl named Alexa who lives in a world (city, really) encased by very high walls. All her life, Alexa has looked for ways outside of the walls, and finally she finds one.

I can already tell you that this won’t rank among my favorite reads for 2011. Actually, I’ve been reading this book for a long time. Put it down a lot, lost it a few times, got distracted with getting married last year, etc. Even so, I remained intrigued enough to keep truckin’ through the book.

It was extremely predictable. Now, to be fair, this is a middle-grade book. That said, I felt like all of Alexa’s little discoveries were made a little too conveniently. The one character whose flip was supposed to surprise you didn’t at all, and the one whose was supposed to be galling wasn’t—because we had no emotional tie to him.

Really the biggest problem I have with this book, though, is that I feel as though it may have shot itself in the foot so far as potential goes. There are several more books in the series, and I own three more of them myself, so I’ll keep reading, hoping that the magic that disappears in this book comes back at some point, but the fact that there was no reason for the magic to go away in the first place frustrates me.

The writing was alright, though, and like I said, I’ll keep reading the books. I’m intrigued by this world, and I like Alexa, which is always a plus.

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