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Hidden Things [Kindle Edition]

Doyce Testerman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

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.

Product Description


“Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s dark fantasies and the early books of Stephen King.” (Library Journal)

“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.” (Locus)

“I loved this book from start to finish. It’s strange, weird and down to earth, all at the same time; chock full of fascinating characters, dark dreams and fantasy elements that deliver a real sense of wonder. What’s not to love?” (Charles de Lint)

“Along with the clever, determined, dauntless protagonist, Testerman brings an impressive dark energy to the scenario and plotting . . . Agreeably creepy, with original flourishes and flashes of dark humor.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A satisfying blend of noir and magic.” (Publishers Weekly)

“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.” (Maureen Johnson, author of the Shades of London series)

“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.” (Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds and Irregular Creatures)

“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.” (Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction)

“The real deal when it comes to North American fantasy (or as I like to call it, mythic fiction). (Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction)

From the Back Cover

Watch out for the hidden things . . . That's the last thing Calliope Jenkins's best friend says to her before ending a two a.m. phone call from Iowa, where he's working a case she knows little about. Seven hours later, she gets a visit from the police. Josh has been found dead, and foul play is suspected. Calliope is stunned. Especially since Josh left a message on her phone an hour after his body was found. Spurred by grief and suspicion, Calli heads to Iowa herself, accompanied by a stranger who claims to know something about what happened to Josh and who can— maybe—help her get him back. But the road home is not quite the straight shot she imagined . . .

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 488 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Original edition (21 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007ED2XX8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #320,798 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Emmster TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is difficult novel to categorise - part mystery, thriller, fantasy... there's a lot going on. The protagonist - Calliope Jenkins is a skiptracer and has something of a colourful past. The book starts with the death of her boss (her best friend and previously her lover) and quickly becomes a quest to find him or what has happened to him. She is assisted in the process by her guide - the 'clown' Vikous. Along the way her eyes are opened to the truth of the 'hidden things' and how perhaps she could get her boss back.

The Calliope character is massive, and her guide is equally well drawn. The way they play off each other in the first few chapters is great. The journey they take truly is fantastical and filled with weird and not-so-wonderful characters.

The final chapters were great in the way they explain a lot of the hinted-at problems faced by Calliope in her past and built the tension for the final scenes.

A great read - I'd thoroughly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wish it was longer 14 Sept. 2012
I read this in a single sitting, staying up until 4am to do so. I was utterly absorbed in the book. The characters are rare, if not unique, and fit perfectly with the story. HIDDEN THINGS is a refreshing kick to urban fantasy. It is in a new setting, and doesn't have vampires, or even vampyres, which was a pleasant surprise considering they seem to be everywhere.

The story is engaging, seriously engaging. I read it for 8 straight hours, and then some more. Its dark, creepy and absolutely wonderful, a fairytale for the modern day. It made me happy and sad and angry at different points, often within the same chapter. Its about life, love, family and choices, the last most of all.

In short, HIDDEN THINGS is an amazing, engaging read absolutely worth buying. If you like urban fantasy or mystery novels, or even any fantasy at all, you'll like this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Keep an eye on this author! 27 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you enjoyed American Gods, Neverwhere, Stephen Kings Dark Tower series, or any book where fantasy and reality meet and blur, or are just looking for something a little different, you really must read this. I chanced upon it only after wading through the reams of derivative young adult crap and low rent erotic fiction for bored housewives that now make a mockery of any search for a decent book. So a big nod of thanks to the reviewer and the site where it was recommended.
There will inevitably be comparisons to Neil Gaiman (as I have done) because American Gods is the closest in tone, and, like Gaiman, Testerman has used the weird and wonderful to lift a book completely above the mainstream dross. What also comes across clearly is a sense this book was written for people who enjoy a good read, not written to turn into a film or make a quick buck plagiarising popular nonsense. As soon as I finished Hidden Things I was immediately back online checking what else Doyce Testerman had written. This is his first novel, disappointing because I would have purchased everything else he has published immediately. On the plus side, he is definitely another writer to scan new releases for when you are desperate for a great read. Particularly if you again have lobbed in the bin after nine pages the first book of the latest trilogy of whatever crap keeps endlessly replacing the ones about the sexless vampires...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly Delicious 27 Aug. 2012
By Edi G. - Published on
I won't waste your time with a synopsis; you can find that elsewhere. Instead, I'll just say that I like Hidden Things so much that I've already read it twice. It's creepy in the dark, delicious way that old-fashioned fairy tales are creepy and yet it also touches just about every emotion I have. It's a story about love and family and making the right choices just as much as it is a story about goblins and dragons and scary-clown-faced guardian angel... things.

I would be remiss if I didn't admit that, as has been noted elsewhere, there are some "gaps" in the story that may frustrate some people. But according to the author (in various interviews), the gaps are intentional and the point is to accept magic and fantasy for what it is without needing a detailed explanation of every little thing. Personally, I can totally accept that and enjoy the story for what it is.

From the beautiful (and amazingly appropriate) front cover to the epilogue, I recommend Hidden Things to anyone who enjoys fantasy or mystery, or who simply wants to read a really good story.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch out 24 Aug. 2012
By V. Whetsel - Published on
If you have ever ridden through the rolling prairies of the Dakotas you begin to understand the reasoning behind this book. There has to be SOMETHING in all that expanse, and if it can hide there, maybe those hidden things can hide anywhere. This is a story that almost leaves the spellbinding discovery of those hidden things as an aside while the main character, Calliope, does some soul searching and discovery about herself. The dragons and other strange characters only add to the enchantment as we see a well wrought character come to grips with her past mistakes and the potential of her future. The relationships between Calliope, her (confusingly dead)Ex-boyfriend/business partner, her Ex's estranged widow, her "guide" Vikous, and her own family, make this a tender, funny and sometimes complicated storyline. Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere from a more rural standpoint, this is a novel from an up and coming writer who promises to bring more to the table in coming years. I hope Mr. Testerman keeps up the good work.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique urban fantasy 28 Aug. 2012
By David C. Hill - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a remarkable book. And, beyond remarkable, it's a *good* book.

I had a big review all written up full of glowing praise for marvelous world-building, and of admiration of the twisty-turny plotting and intricate scene-setting, and of deep satisfaction with the sheer, frustrating humanity of the protagonist -- but as I know the author, it seemed more than a bit over the top, even if all of it was sincerely felt.

So all I can say is that this is a deeply-crafted urban (or perhaps rural) fantasy that will carry you, like its protagonist, on a white water ride of discovery and drama and horror and hope. It was well worth reading, and will be well worth rereading multiple times in the future.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Things: magical nibbling on your heart 27 Aug. 2012
By dr susan - Published on
Hidden Things was a serendipitous read; I had not heard of it but thought it looked interesting. I have since read the reviews listing Hidden Things faults, but I am a lover of urban fantasy and this book, and it had no faults in my mind. In this world, magic is not warm fuzzies but creepy, wonderful shivers. At its heart, I believe this is a story of loss and surviving loss as best as one can. I wanted to read it again before I had finished it. Hidden Things is on my favorites list.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unpredictable and interesting 6 Sept. 2012
By Nicholas Fohl - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was a bit uncertain what I was buying when I hit the BUY NOW button on the Kindle edition. After reading the book over the weekend - I am still a bit uncertain regarding WHAT I bought - but not about what I think about it. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it.

I enjoyed several things in this book

1) the dry and sarcastic style deliverying on a very interesting idea
2) the author letting us fill in the gaps with our imagination by not over explaining things
3) the author explaining things enough so that I didn't feel like I needed to back track two chapters to figure what happened
4) an ending that was not telegraphed from the 3rd chapter. I was unsure of which way things would go pretty much till the end

What did I buy? It does not easily fit into a box or category- so I don't really know - this book is darkly funny, has bits of fantasy, a hint of urban detective and a bit of horror - all making something greater than the sum of the parts.

Man does it work out well!

Look at the publisher blurb and other reviews to get an idea of the cast of characters and plot - others have done that work better than I can. All I can say is that this is very intelligently done book and a good read.

Do yourself a favor and give this one a try. If you look at my profile, I rarely write a review. I only put in the effort when I feel the book really deserves it. This is one of those books.
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