Review of The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman

The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman


During an annual visit to Bridewell with her father, Alexa Daley witnesses the death of the town leader, Thomas Warvold. Thrown into a mystery about Warvold’s life work—the walls enclosing their cities—Alexa searches for clues left behind that might lead to her own life’s work and maybe to the world beyond.

It made sense that he would be the keeper of a hidden key. He was the keeper of so much of our history and so many of our deepest secrets.


The Dark Hills Divide is the first book in The Land of Elyon series. I was immediately pulled in by the masterful storytelling and unique mashup of genres this book offers. There are elements of adventure, fantasy, mystery, talking animals, magical objects, political drama, puzzles, and plenty of other stuff on top of that. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, which made it a worthwhile read that surprised me in many ways.

“The size of your body is just right, Alexa. The only question
is whether you’re big enough inside.”

The Dark Hills Divide starts fairly slow, but the tension builds steadily right to the end. I felt at home in Bridewell with the cozy nooks to explore, old man banter and dad jokes to lighten some of the serious moments a bit. The mystery elements were truly intriguing, and I learned something new, too. At the end, I’m left wondering if the continuing books in The Land of Elyon series show the same innovation that I fell in love with in this first book.

Read my review on GoodReads!

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