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The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman is a remarkable breakthrough in the world of imagination. This is the first in the Land of Elyon series. The main character, Alexa Daley, lives in a world where the outside world is walled up, literally. All the towns in the land of Elyon are surrounded by high walls, with narrow roads connecting the cities. During her visit to Bridewell, Alexa starts wondering what the walls are keeping out, but little does she know that soon the entire fate of Elyon will rest in her hands.

At the beginning of the book Alexa talks with her friend Warvold, and takes a small silver key from him. This key will unlock the secret to another world and to Elyon's fate. Alexa discovers several tunnels that lead under the wall and meets several creatures that will befriend her for life.

Outside the walls Alexa finds a glowing stone called a Jocasta. This gem allows her to speak with animals and will come in handy for days, and even years to come. Her new friends include Murphy (a squirrel) and Darius (a wolf). She also meet's Darius' friend Odessa, who plays a big role in later books. Alexa meets Yipes, a small man who also has the power to talk to animals.

Alexa found a clue to what the walls are keeping out. A man, Sebastion, is planning to lead an army of convicts into Bridewell. The true identity of Sebastion is unknown until the final scene of this book when Alexa is trapped in a tunnel with him with no way out and nothing to defend herself with.

To find out if Alexa defeats Sebastion and if the convicts take over Bridewell you have to read this book. The Land of Elyon series is full of unexpected twists and turns. Just when you absolutely know a certain thing is going to happen, the opposite occurs. I loved this book an hope they make more in the series.


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