Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hunter Brown Day 2

What is Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow actually about?
Strange visions...hideous monsters...startling revelations...Hunter Brown never expected a summer like this, and it's only getting started! After one of his infamous pranks backfires, Hunter unexpectedly finds himself in possession of an ancient book and key. Little does he know the mysterious book is a gateway to Solandria, a supernatural realm held captive by the Shadow.

In Solandria, Hunter joins forces with the Codebearers, a band of highly trained warriors who form the Resistance to the Shadow. But before he can complete his training in the Code of Life, Hunter is sent on a mission far more dangerous than he ever bargained for. Now with his life in peril and the future of Solandria hanging in the balance, Hunter is headed for a showdown with the Shadow and a battle to save his soul from a fate worse than death!

Is Hunter's knowledge of the Code deep enough to uncover the secret of the Shadow, or will the truth be more than he can bear?

If I were a kid in the target age for Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow, I think I'd love the website that the authors, The Miller Brothers, developed for the Codebearers series. Here things come to life, and I discover that The Miller Brothers are first and foremost animators, which explains the cover of the novel to a large degree. They designed it themselves, and it matches the website. Or vice versa.

Have a look at this great video imbedded on the main page:

There are games and forums and a whole great little world hidden away on this website. Check it out!

You can also read the entire novel online by clicking here. The animation involved in the turning pages is quite awesome!

Why would The Miller Brothers give away their novel? They're hoping (I'm guessing here!) to encourage folks to purchase this book for the kids in their life. You can buy autographed copies through the site. The bound novel has great *feel*, browned edged pages, brown on cream typeset. Besides, it's just fun to hold a novel in your hands. And rumor has it that there are clues in the book that help with the games on the website. Clever!!

Can you think of any reasons to give away novels online? I'm interested in any or all opinions on this matter.


Amydeanne said...

perhaps to hook them with the first book for the rest of the series??

nice review! :)

Jason said...

I agree. If you're a brand new novel and trying to hook people into a series, why not give them the introductory book and see who keeps on with it. The tease of having "clues" only in the print version would probably work to attract a few people.

Overall, I'm not inclined to read a book on the computer. Being able to preview the book at my leisure though, makes it more likely that I would check it out enough to buy it for my boys. I may still do this!

Rachel Starr Thomson said...

Hi Valerie,

I also give away my first fantasy novel (here: http://www.rachelstarrthomson.com/free-stuff/free-ebook-worlds/ ), and I do it for several reasons. Chief among these is that I'm an unknown (and an unknown who publishes her own work), so anyone who buys my books is taking even more a chance than usual. By giving "Worlds Unseen" away, I give them a chance to get to know my writing (and yes, hopefully hook them with the story, which is the first in a trilogy) so they can decide whether I'm an author worth investing in.

If they like the book, a free download also gives them a reason to spread the word -- and again, that can only help me. The more people who read my work, the less of an unknown I am.

Great question :).