Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow — "Codebearers" Series
Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow by the Miller Brothers has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is first book in the "Codebearers" series.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Hunter Brown, a ninth-grade boy at Destiny Hills High School, is unsure of who he is. His sister is smart and popular; Hunter is not. Hunter physically resembles his dad, who left the family three years earlier and has not been heard from since. He knows that he does not fit in and accepts this as his lot in life. Hunter finishes his school year by pulling a prank on the school's bully. To avoid getting caught in the consequences of the prank, Hunter and his friends go on an errand for a new janitor and retrieve a book. Because of this Book, Hunter is able to watch stories unfold, see spiritual creatures, travel to another land and learn about the Author. In the new land, Solandria, Hunter's friends are the Codebearers for the Author, and they teach Hunter how to prepare for the battle that is to come between the Author and Sceleris. Venator is a follower of Sceleris and seems to have a special connection to Hunter. When Hunter is sent on a secret mission to take the half bloodstone from Venator, he soon realizes that he and Venator are the same person and that he needs to choose whom he will follow, the Author or Sceleris. Hunter chooses the Author and dies to himself. He wakes up to find the Author writing a new story for him and begins to live the adventure in his own city of Destiny.
In the world of Solandria, there is a group called the Resistance that is fighting the Shadow. A person fighting for the Resistance is called a Codebearer. The Shadow blinds men to the truth of the Code; it is the job of the Codebearer to make sure the Code is not forgotten. The Codebearers know that they can only do the will of the Author and the Author will never give them anything they cannot handle. Hunter is encouraged to join the Resistance and learn more about the Author through the Author's Writ (the Book). Aviad is the Author's Son, and Hunter needs to meet Him. Hunter must make the trip to Aviad alone. The Veritas sword, used by the Codebearers, is the only weapon that can defeat the Shadow. The Author made it, and the blade carries the Code of Life. The Author created everything, is always in control and knows what is best no matter the circumstances. He shows people how to find Him.
Sceleris was once a friend of the Author, but decided that he wanted to become the Author. The Author sent him away, and Sceleris no longer has access to the Author. Instead, his hatred for the Author increases as he continues to convince others that the Author does not exist.
There is a spiritual battle going on over Hunter's life. Hunter is encouraged to memorize Book passages. Evil spirits speak doubt and fear to Hunter and do not want him to read the Author's Writ; they want him to destroy it. Hunter learns that he can only succeed in his tasks when he asks the Author for help. He can't succeed in his own strength. Aviad tells Hunter that he is never alone and that for the Shadow to not have power, Hunter must die by giving Aviad his heart, that is, his bloodstone. The Author can then write him a new story in which the Shadow and his curse are not a part.
Eventually, Aviad takes both halves of the bloodstone and puts them together in His own chest, finishing the curse forever.
The city of Destiny, where Hunter lives with his family, is an illusion that the Shadow keeps up. Real life is in Solandria, where good and evil spirits can be seen.
Other Belief Systems
In Destiny, Hunter is taught the theory of evolution in school. In Solandria, the evil spirits believe that they are in charge of their own destinies. If they follow their own beliefs then they are truly free. Belac wants nothing to do with the Author or Sceleris. He only does what he wants. He believes that as long as he accepts no higher power into his life he is truly free.
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Readability Age Range
9 to 12
The Miller Brothers
2009 Moonbeam Children's Book Bronze Medal Award; Pre-teen Fiction-Fantasy