Review of Hidden Falls by Olivia Newport: A Unique New Serial Style Novel

Leah Courtney
I was quite intrigued by the concept of the new Hidden Falls serial style novel by Olivia Newport. The story is going to be released in segments like a t.v. series. There are thirteen episodes with release beginning this past Friday, January 24th and continuing every week until April 11. The first episode can be "purchased" for free on Amazon. Consecutive releases will cost $1.99 or $2.99.

From the book's synopsis:

Thirty years of small-town secrets—now the key to the mystery is gone.  The small town of Hidden Falls is abuzz. Former students, friends, and loved ones are prepping for tonight's big event to honor Ted Quinn's many years of compassionate service.  Quinn is reluctant about a night in the spotlight--but is tenderly prodded by Sylvia, mayor of Hidden Falls and Quinn's dearest friend and confidante.

Ethan and Nicole won't let the shadows of their pasts stop them from returning to Hidden Falls--but only for Quinn--no matter how much it hurts.  Liam, a former student, and Jack, a town newcomer, are both hoping the night works toward their own gain--or, if they'll admit it, their chance for redemption.  Like Quinn, Dani and Lauren are mainstays in Hidden Falls. They keep close to home--and have secrets to keep close, too.

Now it's time. The guests are seated, introductions are made, the spotlight shines on center stage...and the unthinkable leaves the entire town scrambling for the truth.

I read the first free installment- available here on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Google.

I was drawn into the story instantly. This quick and easy to read installment sets up the story of the dinner honoring Quinn and introduces us to what I assume will be the main character line up- many of Quinn's former students and their families. The action moves quickly, and the characters and story line were very interesting. This installment ended- of course- with a cliff hanger, so it made me want to read the next installment.

Here's the catch. Episode 1 is free. Episode 2 is $1.99. Episodes 3-13 are $2.99 each. To throw out some quick math, that means that it will cost you $34.88 to read the entire novel. Most books sell for around $14 or less for Kindle as new releases. So to read this in episodes will cost you over 2x the cost of a regularly released novel.

No matter how interesting and exciting the episodes are, the fact that I have to wait for each episode (because I'm a quick reader and can easily finish one episode in a day or two) and the fact that I'm going to end up paying 2x the cost of a regular novel makes this unappealing.

If you like short, novella style reads or enjoy reading but don't have much time, this might really appeal to you. (I still wonder if it's worth the price!) You can definitely check out the first episode for free- unless you don't even want to risk getting "hooked"- on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Google.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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