This month’s CSFF Blog Tour selection, Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow, by Allan and Christopher Miller (“The Miller Brothers”), is one of those odd birds known as a “tweener.” Not quite a children’s story, not quite a teen/YA book, it aims at young folk on the cusp of becoming very, very annoying to their elders.
Confession time (it being Lent and all): I haven’t finished reading the book. Having long ago mastered that essential tweener skill, stalling for time, I’ll focus today’s post on the really keen (eww, did I just say ‘keen’?) website for the book, which you can find at www.codebearers.com.
A key feature of the website is a complete virtual copy of the book, which you can open and page through by mouse-clicking it. You can even jump directly to a specific page, so you can stop to eat or clean your room (yeah, right) and continue where you left off. The pages make a nifty papery sound as they turn, which was charming for about three pages, then I found myself looking for the mute key on my laptop.
But that is not all–oh, no, that is not all! This site is chock full of book-related activities, including:
- Watch videos!
- Join the Codebearer Resistance!
- Read reviews! Write your own!
- Learn more about The Miller Brothers!
- Browse pictures from the story!
- Prank your friends (under construction!)!
- Play games! High score wins a new gaming system (sorry, contest ended last December)!
- Network with other Codebearers!
- Trick out your desktop with HBSS wallpaper!
- Chat live with The Miller Brothers in 3-D (next session, November 10, 2008, must have a Google account, Linux/Mac users not eligible)!
- Buy stuff (medallions, t-shirts, skateboards)!
It’s a very appealing site. The Miller Brothers are into multimedia design and computer animation as well as writing, and it shows.
I didn’t test out any of the networking stuff because 1. a guy my age doing that would just be creepy, and 2. one of my life goals is to never meet an FBI agent. So, I’ve got no idea how much of an online fan community they’ve managed to build.
Reviews posted on the website were unanimously positive and enthusiastic, though I wouldn’t have expected them to post any negative reviews. My favorite:
“Like a mix between my two favorite series, Frank E. Peretti, and Narnia.”
Oy…I’m thinking this genre needs a lot more attention from Christian authors if a thirteen-year-old is turning to Frank Peretti for her recreational reading. (update: 26 March–See comments below. Someone reminded me that Mr. Peretti does in fact have some very fine YA books on the shelf. I hope those are the ones she’s reading. Here’s a link.)
The live chat with the authors feature looked pretty cool, but I was disappointed that it hadn’t been updated since last November. Likewise, the Codebearer Challenge prize game expired in December. It would be better to excise those items from the site if they’re through with them.
Tomorrow: Actual Book Review Commentary! Or Not!
For more discussion of Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow, please visit the other fine sites on this month’s tour:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Rachel Starr Thomson
Amazon link Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow