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The Hidden Land (2003)

The Hidden Land (2003)
3.77 of 5 Votes: 2
0142501433 (ISBN13: 9780142501436)
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The Hidden Land (2003)
The Hidden Land (2003)

About book: The Hidden Land takes the premise of the first book, and makes everything bigger, the way a good sequel should. The stakes were higher, and the children were thrown entirely out of their elements - Ruth and Ted especially.All of them are so completely in over their heads that their main goal is no longer to go along for the ride, but to get out of the Secret Country as soon as humanly possible. The game kind of loses its charm when it ceases to be a game.Where the first book focused more on the children, this book focused more on the world itself. Out of necessity, perhaps, but it was nice to finally know roughly what was going on. I didn't end up feeling nearly as lost in this book as I did in the first one. Although, as I said in my review of the first one, that may be because the story eventually puts the reader on the same knowledge level as the kids, so events actually get explained.And while I won't go into it - much as I would like to - to avoid spoilers, I will say that the ending came out of absolutely nowhere.(view spoiler)[I retract my statement about the books not breaking the fourth wall. (hide spoiler)]

Oh good—I liked this more than The Secret Country, which gives me hope that I'll like The Whim of the Dragon even more. The plot is tighter in this book and moves along at a better pace (well, a pace I liked better, anyway). We "know" the world now, so Dean can focus on the intrigue. In a way, there aren't that many surprises, since the children have been playing this story out for years before the start of the series, and they've been discussing what comes next all along. Still, watching them try to change parts of the plot and try to figure out the new bits is intriguing. I just wish this world felt more three-dimensional...or is that deliberate, reinforcing the fact that in many ways it was just a children's game?
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This is the second of three books, and if you don't read them in order you're likely to get extremely lost. Five American cousins find their make-believe game is startlingly real as they find themselves living out their fantasy, but their true names, ages, and familial relationships are not the only things switched around in the Hidden Land. The confusion of symbols and un-plumbed layers from the first novel are fleshed out and more fully revealed as the kids gain a better understanding of how their well-loved game fits into their new reality--and what it means when reality doesn't match the game. This second book advances the plot and character development, and sets up the reader to anticipate the third novel.
Cara M
"That talent of mine that in my country turns to sorcery, in yours turns to this making up." (italics mine).Essentially, this and the Secret Country should have been one book. I would have still been furious with it for being desperately and deliciously subtle, but the jarring feeling of the beginning where the pov is a little less coherent wouldn't have happened. Also, they are entirely unsatisfying apart. Not that they are entirely satisfying together. But a lot of that has to do with, well, the reality of it, where a bitterly real world is regardless tempting to stay in. And closed worlds, where you grow up twice and never get to go back, are the worst and the best of them all.Like Narnia. Without gods or second chances. And with so many disappointments... I want a sequel for each of the characters. I want to know what happens next, and what happened there, and what the ceremonies of the green caves were like, and what Ellen felt, and I want to be with Patrick as he works out the answers to all his questions - because I'm Patrick. It is not nearly enough. And yet there is so much already.
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