Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow. I don’t know if I could say it is my favorite book, though it does have a lot to like. The storyline is pretty well told, not exceedingly confusing, with subtle clues placed in at proper places. This is well done. I wasn’t however completely surprised at the ending. The big climatic revelation had already been overly hinted at throughout the book and was removed of it’s power to surprise and significantly provoke any particular feeling or passion within me. However, despite also being telegraphed in advance, another event happens in the same scene that provokes those feelings. It is unfortunate that the main storyline didn’t work as well. There are a few other things that just didn’t feel right about it. It felt overly allegorical in places, like the story was getting lost in this guy equals that guy and this place equals that, etc. Nothing wrong with allegorical storytelling, but when you start to become suspicious of ever new character and place you meet as being equal to something else the story itself begins to lose its power, which indeed proves to be an unfortunate fault of this book.
Regardless, the story is well told once you get past the few things that just don’t work quite so well. I am very impressed with some of the questions that are brought up in the story. Extremely thought provoking ones like: “Why is there suffering and if God is all powerful, why doesn’t he stop it?” and other such questions. Excellent, excellent, stuff. Few authors are brave enough to ask the questions asked in this story, even fewer are brave enough to attempt to answer them. And while at times Hunter Brown an the Secret of Shadow doesn’t answer a question fully enough or answer as many aspects of the questions as much as I’d like, it does attempt to answer them. Definitely something to applaud.
The writing style is about average, not as poetic as Mr. Jeffrey Overstreet’s Auralia Thread perhaps, but still quite sufficient, particularly for the age group the book is targeted for. There is nothing wrong about it being such, Lewis’s Narnia isn’t the most poetical book either, and linguistically can’t hold a candle to Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. This book gravitates closer to Lewis then Tolkien in terms of language. But it is not poor writing and despite having two authors it is difficult for me to distinguish differences between them, the similarity in style is well established.
All in all this is an excellent first book for the Miller brothers. I would read it again and recommend it to someone desiring a good story, thoughtfully told, with a good message, and some exceedingly good questions.
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