2 out of 4 stars
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Who doesn’t like Batman, Superman, and Star Wars? The Secret of Horn Hill: Behind the Veil is book one of a science fiction fantasy trilogy by Gary Holsapple. When reading The Secret of Horn Hill, I couldn’t help but make references to some of these themes and powers of famous superheroes that are all rolled into one book. Yet, it has its own story to tell.
Josh seems to have his life foretold, as Ben from another planet starts revealing the plan for Josh’s life. Josh is to be trained as a keeper and protector of a portal entry in Maine. Tia protects another portal entry found on Earth, in Alaska. These two portal entries are the only ones found on Earth and must be guarded to protect against the evil powers of Damor, a reddish mist of an unformed being. Damor craves a physical body and the riches of planets. Damor uses mind control to build an alien army to invade planets until the planets are destroyed and then moves on to another.
Josh and Tia find out that they are soul mates and get to know each other as they explore another planet, Kantor, together. They discover, develop, and use their powers on the planet Kantor, as well as meet different beings on the planet. After learning more about their powers, they return to Earth more prepared to meet Damor’s forces head-on. You will need to read the book to find out about the attempts of Glazrod and Gandrel, two of Damor’s leaders, to invade Earth and the power struggles that Josh, Tia, Ben, and others had to face.
I like the creative and imaginative way Josh, Tia, Ben, Ken, and others can travel to other places on Earth, as well as to other planets the most. It was fast and simple for them to get around easily. I enjoyed reading about Josh and Tia on the planet Kantor, as they discovered and used some of their powers. I liked the beings found there. One being was Brasson, who helped them get around. I also liked the plan that the portal keepers had to protect Earth.
I did not particularly like the slow first half of the book, as it seemed to drag and had details of Josh building his house. At first, it did not really get into much of Josh’s training, which I think could have added some action to the story. I least liked that the book had missing letters or wrong words scattered throughout, making it hard to focus on the content rather than the grammar. For example, using “ware” instead of “we are” or “thire” instead of “their”.
If you do not mind a slow beginning that builds up the background and characters but ends in a lot of action and conflicts, then this book may appeal the most to you if you like science fiction. If you like the characters to travel to other planets and the theme is to save the Earth from invasion, then this book is for you. The book is “safe” for young teens to read, as it does not have any explicit sex scenes or vulgar language.
I rate The Secret of Horn Hill 2 out of 4 stars. The more than ten misspelled and/or missing words and the slow start of the book brought my rating down from a 3 to a 2 star. I think the book has the potential of getting a higher rating if the grammar issues were fixed and if the beginning of the book could include some more action to hold readers’ interest. The last half of the book had more action and was more interesting to rate the book a 2 and not a 1 star. I have a feeling that book two of the series will have more action, as Josh and Tia ramp up their powers, and Damor, in his fury, will retaliate with wrath.
The Secret of Horn Hill
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