Official Review: The Secret of Horn Hill by Gary Holsapple

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Official Review: The Secret of Horn Hill by Gary Holsapple

Post by LV2R » 25 Nov 2018, 04:21

[Following is an official review of "The Secret of Horn Hill" by Gary Holsapple.]
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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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Post by Book Lover 35 » 26 Nov 2018, 00:59

I like that it is a fantasy with a little bit of romance. I also like that there is a little bit of paranormal to it to. I do wish the first half of the story was better. Thank you for the review.

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Post by Caylie_Cat » 26 Nov 2018, 22:19

The age-old story of good against evil, and people with unusual powers who do their best to protect the innocent. The theme is not new, but your well-written review makes me think this one is worth a look.

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Post by kandscreeley » 27 Nov 2018, 16:18

I'm not really sure I want to suffer through so much of Josh building his house. It does sound like his training would have added a bit more pizzazz to the story. I think I'll pass, but thanks for the information.
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Post by T_stone » 27 Nov 2018, 17:22

I don't think I'll like reading this one at all. I really don't fancy slow starts to a book. I might reconsider this, if the book is reedited for a better rating. Thanks for the honest review
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Post by Captain_Morgan23 » 01 Dec 2018, 15:16

A slow build up could be okay if it introduces characters and builds up the world in an interesting and meaningful way, but it doesn't sound like that based on your review. It's a shame that the book had a bunch of spelling mistakes.

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Post by Espie » 05 Dec 2018, 05:38

Who doesn’t like Batman, Superman, and Star Wars?
That definitely won't be me. With the huge amount of great books we've got in our club that ended up in my Want to Read list, I do hope this one gets to be fixed just as you said to make it through, too. Thank you for your honest review.
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Post by Cotwani » 05 Dec 2018, 13:55

The book has great potential. A shame about the slow start and grammar issues. Thanks for your thorough review!
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