The Hidden Way

Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
348 Pages
Reviewed on 04/15/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

A graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design, Harrison Love is a painter, author, and illustrator. An American artist born in New York growing up in Brussels Belgium, Harrison started his arts education early in European schools and under the tutelage of his artistic family. 
As a young adult having lived and worked in places as diverse as New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, Peru, Colombia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, the nomadic life and influences of Harrison Love are not neatly categorized. 
The style of Harrison’s work is derived from the art of calligraphy in combination with the modern stylings of contemporary American Graffiti. Harrison has created murals for Google, The City of Detroit, and for The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. His work has been shown around the world and is a part of the artists collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
In 2021 Harrison Love’s illustrated novel, “The Hidden Way,” was published and has received acclaim from known writers and critics. The illustrated novel explores the amazing and boundless universe of Amazonian Myths and Folklore. All of the research for the book was derived from his first hand expeditions into the Amazon from 2008-2010. “The Hidden Way,” is available at Barnes & Noble and also at the Stonington Free Library.

Harrison currently lives and works from his studio in Brooklyn NY, where he continues to produce paintings and writing, as well as organize exhibitions and fundraisers.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The Hidden Way by Harrison M. Love is a young adult fantasy novel inspired by Amazonian folklore and mythology. Told through a non-linear timeline narrative to respect the original method of storytelling amongst ancient Amazonian tribes, the book follows one of the last remnants of the ten tribes that fled the fall of an old Amazonian empire. With a few remaining families, the tribe moves from its original habitat in Pilar to Rio de Almas. Rikoj, the village Shaman, desperately wants to instill his beliefs of Pachamama in his young granddaughter, Khay, who he prepares to take over his mantle. But the unexpected arrival of Kalkus -- the bird that devours the world -- forces Khay and Rikoj to travel through the hidden way beyond which lies the mysterious city where Khay may yet find a future.

Author Harrison M. Love takes readers on a fantastical odyssey through a surreal and magical world that leaves you with a sense of wonder and awe. Akin to Alice in Wonderland, The Hidden Way is a young girl's coming-of-age adventure tale set amidst the vibrant jungles of the Amazon full of lurking dangers and unbelievable wonders. In terms of the narrative, Love draws heavily from the storytelling style of native Amazonian tribes who pass on their knowledge and wisdom to the next generation through campfire stories doused in myth and legend. Khay's evolving relationship with her grandfather enables her growth as a character as she learns to perceive his wisdom and flaws. Overall, a fascinating glimpse into the rich culture and heritage of the Amazon tribes that I will gladly recommend to fantasy lovers.

Delene Vrey

Of all indigenous peoples in the world, the Incas and the tribes found in the Amazon jungle are those whose culture and history have not been preserved much in written texts. Much of their history was lost with the conquistadores and the slaughter of a great many people. The Hidden way by Harrison M Love artfully takes the loose myths and legends of the peoples around the Amazon as told by a Yuyachij (a rememberer of the people of the Amazon), weaving them into a powerful tale of coming of age. Khay is a young girl and the granddaughter of a Shaman. After having survived one tragedy already, when an ominous sign appears in the image of the Kalkus, Khay and her grandfather leave to find the hidden way to the city in the middle of the jungle that has kept their culture safe from the outside world. On their journey, Khay's grandfather starts to teach her the Shaman's way, although it is not allowed. Khay is strong and wants to learn, but she suffers a significant loss when she finds what they are looking for. She has to decide which direction her road will lead and what she can offer the world.

The Hidden way by Harrison M Love is a work of art. Telling the story of a journey through the different landscapes found in the Amazon, highlighting the many different animals and plant life, and then adding the myths and legends together with the metaphysical aspects is a brilliant concept. With the beautiful images that complement the chapters, the book takes the reader into another world where myths and the spiritual world are found in abundance. The end reconnects with the beginning, where the rememberer describes what the position of rememberer entails and means. I love the illustrations that give the reader a visual idea of what the story wants to convey. This is a must-read for anyone enthralled by indigenous myths and legends. But be warned that as you embark on this adventure through the jungle, you will learn many things, supported by the writing style and word choice.

Foluso Falaye

The Ruña tribe faces an influx of devil birds, which causes crop depletion and, potentially, starvation. As a result, Khay and her grandfather Rikoj, a Shaman, set out on a journey to find the Malka Maya land, which many in the tribe believe to be a lost cause. Khay, who is about to enter womanhood, has always stood out from the other children in the village because she is being raised by a Shaman. As one of the ten lost tribes who fled the fall of the old Empire, the Ruña tribe sought refuge in a remote jungle, cut off from the rest of the world. Will Rikoj and Khay's departure alienate them further from the Ruña tribe? Harrison M. Love's The Hidden Way follows a gifted girl and a driven Shaman from a lost tribe as they seek answers and a connection to the rest of the world.

The Hidden Way transports you from the hectic modern world to the peaceful ancient world of the jungle. It is a magical story with profound messages about respecting nature and remembering the wisdom of the past. Harrison M. Love's book is full of cultural and spiritual themes and goes into great detail about them. Nature lovers and activists will enjoy this book because it contains several wise lessons about living sustainably with nature, such as Rikoj's advice to Khay to only take fish that they can eat and to take a diverse lot rather than only the big ones. The clever inclusion of customs inspired by those embraced by authentic indigenous people makes the book both entertaining and educational. Books like this should be read by everyone, especially in these times when money is everything.

K.C. Finn

The Hidden Way is a work of fiction in the fantasy and adventure subgenres. It is best suited to young adult readers and was penned by Harrison M Love. In this fascinating and action-packed tale based on Amazonian myth and folklore, we discover a world of hidden secrets, buried ancient history, and powerful pathways to harmony and personal freedom. As Khay, our central protagonist is taught the ancient ways by her grandfather, the landscape of the Amazon comes to life in an array of amazing illustrations based on indigenous art. What results is a soul-searching tale in which Khay gains greater insight into the choices she must make in her own life as well as learning about her heritage.

This book is a visual feast to be enjoyed by readers of all ages, and the illustrations and decorated pages by author and artist Harrison M Love constantly elevate the work from being a simple book to a full-on literary experience. There are also so many other little details that I adored. For example, I particularly loved the use of simple, direct footnotes to add clarity to many of the authentic terms used that will be new to an audience. The emotional sensitivity to Khay’s storyline and her concerns go hand in hand with the due respect and reverence given to the heritage of the Inca and other Amazonian tribespeople, making a cyclical narrative that is sure to swell any reader’s heart. I would highly recommend The Hidden Way for anyone and everyone who wants to learn more about Amazonian heritage and also be thoroughly entertained and swept away by a great story.