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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles is an adventure novel written by Paul C.B. Twivy. Fourteen-year-old Joe Kaplan didn’t get all that excited when the first bout of severe turbulence nearly turned the plane and its inhabitants upside down. Joe was not the only teen to arrive in Namibia with his parents. Freddie Wilde was watching the chilly damp fog obscure his view as they approached the docks of Namibia. His father had just been appointed British High Commissioner to the country. Thirteen-year-old Hannah Chiang had mixed emotions as she toured The Augustineum, the boarding school she would be attending. Selima van Zyl was a local girl, whose father was a third-generation South African farmer. The Augustineum’s three newest students would quickly discover that they each had something that made a special friendship seem a real thing and help them adjust to their new surroundings. They would all meet Selima a little later on, and she fitted in just as perfectly as they had. And they even had a mystery to try to solve -- what was the purpose of the fairy circles and how had they gotten there?
I had no sooner been introduced to the four teens in Paul C.B. Twivy’s outstanding adventure novel, Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles, than I began smiling in anticipation of a good read. Twivy’s setting in Namibia is inspired, and I loved learning about the country and its history. His characters are flawlessly crafted -- and with a cast of 4 teens, their parents and one little sister for a start, that’s no mean feat. I am sometimes left with mild dread at the concept of a cast of thousands, but the author handles his cast with unerring skill. The mystery at the heart of this story is fascinating and seeing how Joe and his friends work together to unravel it is grand fun. Adventure, mystery, rocking companions and an amazing natural setting combine to make this easily one of the best books I’ve read this year. Suitable for adults and young adults alike, Hallowed Ground: The Mystery of the African Fairy Circles is most highly recommended.