Deshawn Dale and the Hidden World

Deshawn Dale and the Hidden World

by Ben Arisson

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity

Deshawn Dale (DD) is your average 16-year-old, nerdy black teen. He likes comics, anime, girls, sports, and school - in that order, of course. DD's life takes a drastic turn when he receives a mysterious gift from his older brother - a black half mask. Unfortunately, he has no time to be confused as suddenly he is hunted by shadows, inducted into a secret hidden animal-themed organization, and tasked with saving the world from an ancient evil. DD must learn to accept his new life quickly if he doesn't want to lose everything - which really sucks because all he wanted was to have a lazy and carefree existence. 

Release schedule: Saturdays @ 12pm CT.

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I'm not a good reviewer so I will be brief.

D.D. and The Hidden World

It's good. Ben definitely has a plan for this and isn't struggling with the first person writing style as much as I would have.  The formatting is wonderful and dialogue is easy to follow. 

However, it is in first person POV which can be a deal breaker for some people. The grammar is good with hardly any errors, but there are a few that only stand out if you look for them. 

If you like young adult fantasy, and a coming of age story, you will probably want ti give this a go. I'm interested to see where Ben takes this story.




Deshawn Dale reminds me of those classic YA novels that I grew up on. The Percy Jackson's and Harry Potter's and such. But funnier and with familiar faces that make me want to root for the success of the story. It's nice to see more and more representation in stories and that's my favorite part, DD feels like a friend I grew up with. I look forward to getting to read more and diving deeper into the Hidden World. It's a really fun read with a charismatic, goofy MC who you can't help but root for. I have high expectations for DD and the world the author is building. 

Character & Story:

DD is quite the character. It's refreshing to have an MC who doesn't take themselves too seriously and is the comedic relief. While the supporting cast is being filled out, DD easily carries the story with his wit and charisma. Quincy, his older brother, is also an enigmatic figure who I hope gets some page time. The hint of story we get is scintillating. I feel the author has dropped some smart foreshadowing that has me, as a reader, looking forward to how they handle the reveals. I hope DD goes through some character development but not too much. At least, I hope he stays true to his goofy self that we currently have. I look forward to seeing how the cast of characters is filled out. 

Style & Grammar:

Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of reading 1st person, present tense. But this was handled beautifully and I feel it enhances our enjoyment of DD and the world around him, at least what little we know so far. I noticed a few instances where deeper edits could have helped shore up some of the grammatical problems and redundancies but it wasn't anything that was completely immersion breaking. That is the only thing I'd suggest, really, is maybe getting another writer friend to take a look and do some light proofreading to catch some of the mistakes that fall through the cracks. Other than that, I think the style was well handled and the grammar and language used was light enough to warrant this story being classified as a YA fiction. The prose isn't too heavy or too beige, it all flows well and is easy to grasp and understand.  

I enjoyed what I read and will definitely be checking back in when I have a larger backlog to read. The author is crafting an interesting world where, I'm assuming here, people with powers reside. The MC oozes personality and is a welcome breath of fresh air with how funny he is. He doesn't take himself too seriously and even seems to bumble his way through from one situation to another. And I like it a lot. 


I hate to say it, but I'm hooked! There may be a few minor mistakes here and there, but it's nothing that can't be forgiven. Overall, this is a really interesting story, and I can't wait to see how it goes from here.

I also am a big fan of the little breadcrumbs scrattered about. I can tell they are leading up to something major. I can't wait to see how Quincy is tied into all of this.


Ellen Taylor

What a fun read so far! I rather enjoyed the first few chapters. I thought it was a great introduction to what seems like a fun but (probably) action packed adventure story. 

I didn't notice too many grammar mistakes, so that's always a good thing. Though, grammar usually doesn't bother me unless it's super bad, or a slight word error changes the complete meaning of the phrase, but I didn't see any of that here. 

The story so far is a lot of fun. There's enough mystery to draw me in, and enough fun that I had no problem moving to the next chapter. The style was interesting, where it felt more like a teen opening his awkward journal and reading it to the audience, but I don't mind those kind of stories. I find them a nice break from the super serious stories I sometimes find.

The characters were great. Deshawn was relatable, and his sense of humor kept me smiling. I'm very interested to see where he ends up. The other characters besides the love interest didn't seem too developed to me, but there is plenty of story left to develop them, should they appear again.  

As I said before, it was a fun read. 


Right from the beginning, I found myself being sucked into the story of DeShawn Dale, he is a very likeable and relatable character! 

Style: The author does a great job at keeping the style of the story consistent. The perspective does not change and we only see things from DeShawn's perspective which makes it easy to follow along with the story. There is also a good sense of chronological order, everything is happening one after the other and we can easily grasp the situations that are occurring. 

Grammar: For the most part, the grammar is fine. Sometimes the sentences are a bit awkward and I have to re-read something to fully understand it, this could be helped with the use of a few more commas or semicolons to split up sentences and better parse out what is being said or happening. Other than that, the writing is good! 

Story/Characters: A very cute and relatable story! We've all been in high school and had a crush on someone that we thought was out of our league. I like that DeShawn isn't too shy or awkward to actually speak to Heather and hang out with her. Throughout the story, we get a good sense of who DeShawn is and what type of person is he. The author does a good job at fleshing out all the characters and they are all very likeable and interesting! 

Overall, I give this story 4.5/5. It's a refreshing read and certainly an interesting premise! Just a few grammar mistakes, but with time and practice I'm sure this story will get even better! :) 


Avery Light

This is a light and joyful story for me. The kind like I enjoy a cold and sweet milkshake after a bath after a long day.

The style is unique. Sometimes I had the feeling it breaks into the 4th wall but it fits with the story so I ended up enjoying it. Grammar is good, and our MC with the initials DD, seems like your typical nerd becomes hero type of guy. I bet his love for the school madonna will have something to do with that.

I think the author has something in the works here. Need more chapters before we can know more but for the beginning? Nice work.

Xel Vi Coronata

Overall: 4.5/5

Deshawn Dale and the Hidden World is a prime example of a work that straddles amateur writing and decent writing. It is worth following, not just for the story and the interesting style, but also for the possibility of growth by the author. Don't believe me? Read on.

Style: 4/5
The work is set in first-person, and has a rather unique take on narration. It both breaks and leans on the fourth wall at times, but there are a few odd points that some may be able to notice.  Stylistic issues, as well as a very odd...flightiness, jump out at me, but I'm not about about you guys.

However, amateur or otherwise, the style this work is written in is interesting enough to hold my interest. Long walls of text, but the details are written in an enthralling enough manner that I follow without much issue. For the author, I suggest adding some...mental pauses in the text, to enhance readability and the experience.

Grammar: 4/5
Couple of hijinks here and there, plus sentence structures that may be a bit wonky. However, that's nothing a good edit can do; for those who are less sensitive to grammar, this will be of no issue at all. This is miles better than MTL and some of the less-edited works out there, so eh.

Story: 4.5/5
It's a high school action story. While there isn't much to follow right now, given the lack of content, the start is promising. Not much I can comment on right now.

Character(s): 4.5/5
The main character is fleshed out. It's not just how he interacts within the story; the way he recounts it to readers carries a certain flair. Granted, this is a first-person work, but it is still well done. Characterisation is carried out on two levels: how the MC views others, and how the story views others. The clash is quite interesting to perceive.



To be franc the mc and the way he talks to us is Interesting and all, but I have just one problem with the story, while the style and way everything is narated is unique it lacks something to get to perfection but I can't get my fingers on that one.


But anyways the story is not repetitive  and stay  interesting, so I kinda wanna see the next chapter after I finish one just that the start of the book is booooooring but that is more because of the way it is introduced and the way the paragraphs are shown.



If the story gets better a little in the next chapters this might become a 5 star review and if it stays the way it is I would say 4.5 stars but the way it is going I guess it can only get better?


The main character is fun, interesting, and, more importantly for me, likable. Supporting characters are solid ( although his brother clearly has some explaining to do).  I give the character score a 5.

It's still too early to judge the story, but the plot, which revolves around the main character obtaining a strange mask, can be predictable.  It'll be interesting to see if the author can keep the concept fresh and surprise us along the way.

Grammar appears fine. But I'm no editor, by any means, so don't take my word for it.

My only complaint is the length of the paragraphs. I would divide them in half or thirds to avoid the chapter looking too wall-of-text-ish. But that's just my personal preference.