The Dark Hills Divide (The Land of Elyon, #1)
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The Dark Hills Divide (The Land of Elyon #1)

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  13,317 ratings  ·  660 reviews
A 12-year-old girl learns of her magical destiny in Patrick Carman's first absorbing episode of the Land of Elyon trilogy. Originally self-published to local acclaim and now available on a national scale, Carman's 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...more
Hardcover, First Scholastic Edition, 272 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Scholastic (first published August 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ann
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 more I read the more 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,...more
Kit
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 in...more
Meghan
Ugh. I really, really wanted to love this. It's middle grade fantasy from the POV of the female protagonist. There are talking animals, puzzles, secret passageways, and political conspiracies. Even the idea behind the story is interesting. So what's not to like, right?

Unfortunately, the writing just doesn't live up to the rest of the story. I finished this a couple weeks ago, and the more I think about it, the most frustrated I become. This book desperately needed more editing--or, frankly, a st...more
D.M. Dutcher (Sword Cross Rocket)
Odd book about a girl named Alexa in a city entirely walled off from a forest down to the roads coming in and going out. The convicts who built the city and are abandoned outside are falling under the sway of a person named Sebastian, and plan to invade. It's up to Alexa and some talking animals to stop them.

There's just too many odd decisions and twists to make sense. They mentioned building the walls to stave off some evil, but what evil and why are the convicts immune to it? Why does Alexa ne...more
Becky
This book left nearly no impression on me. I read it a couple of months ago and forgot about it entirely until I just glanced at my booklist, and realized that a) I never reviewed it, and b) I can’t actually find my copy of it. But here goes what little I remember.

The world building of the book is a little strange. World building seems to be a favorite thing of writer Patrick Carman, as Jess noted it was a major part of Atherton: The House of Power (another Carman work) when she reviewed it (lin...more
Bix
Alexa, a spirited, independent twelve-year-old growing up in a complex of walled villages, longs for adventure and a chance to see what lies beyond the walls' boundaries. When she discovers a secret passage, she gets her wish, and more adventure than she bargained for in the process. For Alexa has been chosen to save her home from dark forces which seek its destruction, and she must act quickly to unravel the mystery that lurks inside the walls and threatens everything she holds dear. This first...more
Despair Speaking
The Dark Hills Divide is a simple fantasy book directed to children that has captivated my heart in more 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...more
Sierrah O
I really like this book because it is fantasy. I really don't know why i like fantasy. This book was really good because Alexa trys to save as many people as she can. She also is just a very caring person like me. The author really didn't explain much about it or what is happening in some parts. Like she told us who she was saving but like not how she saved them. Thats what I don't like about this book. I also like this book because she meets a lot of people who are like monsters but not exactly...more
Amalia
The Dark Hills Divide takes us on an exciting and mysterious adventure as we explore the many walls within our lives. Some of these boundaries we impose upon ourselves, some are put upon us by the society in which we live; some are physical, and some are emotional.

The Land of Elyon is divided into four walled and gated cities joined to each other by walled roads. Every gate in every city is guarded. As far as everyone knows, there is no way to the "other" side of the wall.

Every summer, the leade...more
Larissa
Oct 31, 2010 Larissa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Twelve year old Alexa has spent her whole life confined within the city walls of Bridewell longing to see more, longing to explore a world beyond the walls. But the walls were built to protect those living in the city, they were built to keep the dangers out and it was against the law to leave. But what if the real danger was not outside the walls but within?

Alexa would spend her days in the city playing as a spy, hiding in the shadows. Then when she discovered a key, a secret passageway and a m...more
Jess
Mar 20, 2009 Jess rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jess by: 6th grade girl
Shelves: z_09, fantasy, juniors
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jerome
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...more
Amy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Jo.
May 16, 2010 Sarah Jo. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Shelves: 2010, magic
The Walls are what has kept Bridewell safe.
The Walls keep the unknowns away.
...But the walls will destroy them all.



Alexa is a twelve year old girl from the town of Lathbury in the Land of Elyon. Alexa and her father travel to Eloyn's capitol, Bridewell, for the summer holiday when an old magic deep inside the kingdom's history come to play once more. With the asistence of this old magic Alexa must find who is not who they seem. The very people surronding her are the people she cares about, love...more
Robert Gilbert
My son picked the first two books of this series out from our favorite used book store because he is looking for inspiration for the latest scary game that he is working on in Roblox. The idea of dark hills intrigued him, but he could not finish reading this story. One of the girls from the neighborhood told me she had read it last year, and her review was pretty much “meh” as well. So I picked it up to see what it was like. At first I was intrigued because the author wrote these stories to read...more
Tamara
Apparently my daughter has designated herself as my personal book picker. She brought this one home from the library, thinking I might like to read it... It wasn't bad. It held my interest for a weekend in a hotel, but I'm not planning to read the rest of the series. Good for the age group it's actually targeted for. ;)
Helen
One of the places that I love to go to for books is a little second hand bookstore which is across from the mall. They sell all kinds of books for decent prices, but don't normally get in a lot of the more well known YA series. What they do get is some amazing collections of middlegrade books.

The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman was one of the many amazing middlegrade books which this store has housed over the last few months. They had it on display in the window, and as soon as I saw it, I...more
Bryan Fries
These books, for whatever reason, haven't been turned into a movie yet. They are incredibly entertaining. This is the biggest series Ive read, (Most books/pages) and they're also the quickest books Ive ever read. Id recommend these to anyone who enjoys intense adventure fantasy books.
Havityia
Alexa Dayley, a witty twelve-year-old, travels with her father through the walled-in paths to Bridewell, a city founded by an adventuring Warvold. But when Warvold dies, things start to spin out of control. Then, Alexa finds a secret passageway that goes under the walls and into the curious world surrounding. There, she is given a special power and the knowledge that she needs to save her beloved city.


I had no idea who the author was as I was reading. I looked at his website later and found out...more
Marienna of Wingéd Bay
There is something indescribably enjoyable about this book that transports you to the pages and sinks you in to Elyon.
Amazing book. Period.
Aly
These books are amazing. I love the squirrel!! He neeeds to calm down, though... :D
Sammi
AWESOME BOOK!
I AM CURRENTLY READING THIS ONE
N CANT WAIT TILL I READ THE 2ND BOOK
Sissy
this book is amazing 3 towns are traped in walls and no way out so far...
Arwen
I'm going to group my thoughts on this trilogy into one entry. Wow! What an introduction to Patrick Carman. This series is fantastic. A fantasy story about a young girl (I know, I know some of you signed just then because every other YA fantasy story is a about a young girl who finds herself with some special power to save her world.) And yes this one is starts out just the same. Alexa Daley is given a special stone and thrust into a world she doesn't know beyond the safe walls of her city with...more
Rachel
Alexa Daley travels to Bridewell with her father,Bridewell has many rooms,secrets,and mysteries.Alexa doesnt discover this till her good friend Thomas Warlvold dies vwhile she is spending time with him.She discovers a key after he dies and goes through room after room trying to find where the key fits.She unlocks a magical place called Elyon where she can talk to animals by a certain necklace/stone that she has.She makes alot of animal friends and discovers certain dangers in Elyon.I would say t...more
Janeen-san
Alexa is a 12-year-old girl, who lives in the walled sea-side city of Lathubury. Alexa and her father are traveling on their annul trip from Lathbury to Bridewell. Bridwell is the "spoke of the wheel"; three other cities branch out from it, and all of them are surrounded by 48-feet high stone walls, which the legendary traveler Warvold built, long ago in his youth, to protect those he loved from the terrors of the wild.

The real story--and danger--begins with the sudden death of Warvold, setting...more
Askaniblue
The book takes place in an interesting world where everyone lives in walled cities connected by walled roads. No one goes beyond the walls ever, though the main character (a young girl) yearns to explore outside the walls. She soon has to venture out when the leader of their cities dies with a warning of a hidden danger. An interesting premise, I grant you, and I have to say the first half of the book was very entertaining. The girl is engaging and you like her immediately. Unfortunately, the mo...more
Blythe
I read this book once when I was in sixth grade and absolutely adored it, so when I saw it at the library I checked it out in a fit of curiosity, unable to remember exactly what it was about or why I had liked it so much.

I read it in one day--compelled both by the quick-thinking, adventurous heroine, and the mystery behind those huge walls and their creator. The characters were indeed very likable. Alexa, the main character, is delightfully quick-witted but does get into plenty of scrapes with...more
Jennifer
A wonderfully written fantasy for children. Imagine your life, your home, being surrounded by walls...walls that were built to protect against "evil forces" from the outside realms. We meet Alexa, a young curious girl of 12 who is determined to find out what is beyond the wall barrier and what exactly is terrifying the people who live within the wall boundaries. We go on an adventure with Alexa through a series of events that lead her outside the wall. She is lead on a journey, and with the disc...more
Allison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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46474
I have been a lifelong writer and storyteller. Salem, Oregon is where I spent my formative years and I graduated from Willamette University. After college, I spent a decade living in Portland, Oregon where I worked in advertising, game design, and technology.

I've written young adult and children's books for Scholastic, Little Brown Books For Young Readers and Katherine Tegen Books/ HarperCollins P...more
More about Patrick Carman...
The Black Circle (The 39 Clues, #5) Beyond the Valley of Thorns (The Land of Elyon, #2) The Tenth City (The Land of Elyon, #3) Skeleton Creek (Skeleton Creek, #1) Stargazer (The Land of Elyon #4)

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“If bringing down the wall would require you to fly, you must believe you can fly. Otherwise, when the decisive moment comes, you will surely discover you ahve no wings.” 50 likes
“The size of your body is just right. The only question is whether you're big enough inside.” 35 likes
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