Hidden Things: A Novel

Hidden Things: A Novel

4.6 5
by Doyce Testerman
     
 

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A phone call from a soon-to-be-deceased ex-boyfriend launches a young woman on a bizarre road trip to a dark supernatural world hidden beneath America’s heartland in this remarkably imaginative debut novel from an electrifying new voice in contemporary fantasy. With Hidden Things, author Doyce Testerman immediately takes his place alongside Neil Gaiman

Overview

A phone call from a soon-to-be-deceased ex-boyfriend launches a young woman on a bizarre road trip to a dark supernatural world hidden beneath America’s heartland in this remarkably imaginative debut novel from an electrifying new voice in contemporary fantasy. With Hidden Things, author Doyce Testerman immediately takes his place alongside Neil Gaiman, Kim Harrison, and Melissa Marr by viewing modern-day America through a glass darkly and transforming our mundane world into a place where unseen monsters and paranormal beings have long inhabited the shadows. Among the Hidden Things in Testerman’s exceptional first novel are goblins, dragons, a road-weary clown, and creatures that have never been categorized, joining a smart, tough, courageous female protagonist on a wild cross-country thrill ride that readers will never forget.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sometimes, you can go home again, albeit taking a few supernatural shortcuts on the way. Calliope Jenkins, singer turned PI, heads back to Iowa to find her missing business partner, Josh White, who keeps leaving messages for her after his reported death. Following Josh’s trail takes Calliope into the Hidden Lands, an alternate Midwest where legendary creatures roam. Provoked by a guide and a goad, Calli learns to confront her own fears of making a life for herself and of losing her best friend. Debut novelist Testerman provides a satisfying blend of noir and magic, and if the bantering dialogue keeps covering the same ground, at least the story keeps moving, with sweet revelations such as a mundane piece of tire tread turning out to be a lilac-scented dragon scale. (Sept.)
Locus
“Although this has many of the trappings of a detective story, drawing noticeably on The Maltese Falcon, Calliope’s search ends up more of a quest in contemporary fantasy form . . . An entertaining read and a very solid first novel.”
Charles de Lint
“The real deal when it comes to North American fantasy (or as I like to call it, mythic fiction).
Maureen Johnson
“Hidden Things reveals the America I want to believe in—dragons on highways, trolls in the hills, motels that lead to new dimensions. I’ll never look at a rest stop the same way again.”
Chuck Wendig
“This world of wizened wizard-men and demon clowns will lure you into the shadows, and once you meet the characters who live in those dark strange places you’ll never want to leave. The magic matters here, but it’s the human touch that really brings the book to life.”
Kirkus Reviews
Supernatural detective yarn: blogger Testerman's first novel. In California, Calliope Jenkins of White Investigations receives a phone call from her partner, Josh White, who's pursuing a case in Iowa, although he's explained nothing of what the case involves. The following day, Detective Darryl Johnson and Special Agent Walker show up at her office with the news that Josh has been murdered. However, on the answering machine is another message from Josh, mysteriously warning Calliope to watch out for the "hidden things" and, according to the time stamp, left several hours after Josh was killed. There's no question that Josh is dead. Walker doesn't believe that Calliope knows nothing and insists on raiding the files. Outside, Calliope notices she's being followed by a homeless bum wearing a hoodie and clown makeup; being a martial arts expert, albeit with anger management issues, she clobbers the unfortunate creature and thinks nothing more of it. However, Vikous proves tougher than he looks, and very persistent. Finally he persuades Calliope to listen: He is, in fact, one of the "hidden things," a bogeyman, and the clown makeup isn't makeup, it's his real face. Clearly a road trip to Iowa is in order, where Calliope grew up and her estranged family still lives. But Vikous isn't the only supernatural operator in the game, and the opposition proves treacherous, powerful and cunning, with motives that Calliope won't understand until much later. Along with the clever, determined, dauntless protagonist, Testerman brings an impressive dark energy to the scenario and plotting, even though, despite the profanities and sexual situations, the characters dwell rather YA-ishly long on working through prior issues and hang-ups. Agreeably creepy, with original flourishes and flashes of dark humor.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062108111
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/21/2012
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
797,099
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Maureen Johnson
“Hidden Things reveals the America I want to believe in—dragons on highways, trolls in the hills, motels that lead to new dimensions. I’ll never look at a rest stop the same way again.”
Chuck Wendig
“This world of wizened wizard-men and demon clowns will lure you into the shadows, and once you meet the characters who live in those dark strange places you’ll never want to leave. The magic matters here, but it’s the human touch that really brings the book to life.”
Charles de Lint
“Apparently this is Testerman’s first novel. You’d never know it from his assured writing style and his ability to tell a story...He is helping to build a uniquely North American mythology that still has its roots in older traditions.”

Meet the Author

Doyce Testerman was born and raised in the wilds of South Dakota, where he began a lifelong love affair with the written word. He moved to Denver in 1995, and has since steadily ceded control of his weekends to two dogs, a brilliant wife, and two astounding children.

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Hidden Things: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really love noir and fairytales so both is amazing.
LunDONE More than 1 year ago
Very unique, unlike anything I've ever read. Definitely recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Satisfying story, both as mystery and fantasy
SmokeDancer More than 1 year ago
See my previous review, for some reason the star rating I chose did not appear. Great read.