Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow
by The Miller Brother

The Miller Brothers’ Web site - http://www.codebearers.com/
the Miller Brothers’ blog - http://themillerbrothers.blogspot.com/
(Click book for Amazon link)

The Journey of Hunter Brown, or How He Learned to Fight the Shadow with his Mind and Spirit.
Hunter Brown begins the story with a small serving of spunk and daring, and ends with a heaping dose of courage and resourcefulness. Along the way he learns about the Author and about the Author's Writ, a book Hunter receives at an old bookstore that disappears when he and his friends return. The Author's Writ contains teachings of the Author which it seems everyone but Hunter know. The book has another trait. Hunter receives odd visions of another world as he reads book passages. Hunter first learns about the origin of the world's curse as he watches a boy his age steal a stone from the trunk of a giant tree.

Hunter is thrown from the vision into another vision of a zombie version of his school. His friends walk around with black, glassy-eyed stares. Later a black-eyed version of himself glares back from a foggy bathroom mirror. Some scenes with black blood and evil monsters killing the good guys might be a bit intense for younger readers, while older middle-school readers will enjoy the gross factor of working as leech bait for a swamp troll.

This is a new part of Hunter's growth. He learned humbleness and how to wield his Veritas sword at the Codebearer training grounds. When captured by a huge swamp troll and thrown into his dungeon, Hunter must learn hope through faith even in hopeless circumstances. A chance message reminds Hunter of a verse from the Author's Writ. But when he finds the goal, it doesn't make sense and he must act purely on faith to escape a monster closing in on Hunter's location. Each choice made lays the groundwork for future actions.

Hunter loses Stretch early in the story after crossing the portal. Stretch changes too, but he acts as a contrast to Hunter's growth. Stretch, the eternal optimist, becomes moody and defeated after the trauma he survives. Stretch just wants to eat normal food again and return home no matter what the cost. Hunter attempts to convince Stretch that all he has heard is a combination of lies and false promises. But Stretch tunes out all but what he longs to hear, whether it harms him or not. These are all strong marking points along Hunter's character growth path. There are more as Hunter learns he must put others' needs before his own if he is ever to defeat the Shadow and return home. If he fails to lead as the Chosen then all hope is lost, for his return home, and for this new world he inhabits. No Pressure.


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Great summary of the story, Tim.

I especially love this line from your post: Each choice made lays the groundwork for future actions. As far as I'm concerned, this is the secret ingredient to writing. This is what makes a story feel real versus one that an author patches together. The lessons Hunter learned were Hunter's because of this very point. If Christopher and Allan had failed here, then I think the story would have seemed preachy. It did not because the lessons were necessary for Hunter to move forward.


Fantasythyme said...

This book is meant for young adults and middle-school aged readers. Sometimes to get a point across to this group you need not so subtle hints.


Aviad1 said...

I really Loved Hunter brown! It was [in my opinion] the BEST BOOK EVER!