Series: The Elandrian Chronicles #1
Audience: Middle Grade
Length: 352 pages (paperback)
Date of Publication: 2nd February 2019 by Elandrian Press
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository I have no affiliation, links are there for ease if interested.
J.M.Bergen: Goodreads | Website |
Finished copy received by Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
Thomas thinks he’s an ordinary twelve year old, but when a strange little man with gold-flecked eyes gives him an ancient text called The Book of Sorrows, the world he knows is turned upside down. Suddenly he’s faced with a secret family legacy, powers he can hardly begin to understand, and an enemy bent on destroying everything he holds dear. The more he reads and discovers, the deeper the danger to himself and the people he loves. As the race to the final showdown unfolds, Thomas must turn to trusted friends and uncertain allies as he seeks to prevent destruction at an epic scale
Disclaimer: DNFed 40% of the way through the book so no star rating will be given as it wouldn’t be an accurate representation of the whole book.
From the offset, Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows has a lot to recommend it: a smart and courageous MC, supportive family and friends, short chapters for easy reading, magical tomes, mystery, intrigue and fun. It is everything I would usually enjoy in a story like this, no matter the book’s intended audience.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t pulled in by the story to enjoy it enough. The initial mix of contemporary life and small elements of magic didn’t mesh well for me and I felt as if I was constantly diving in and out of the book, losing my place and trying to jog my memory back a chapter to remember what was happening. It also felt rather repetitive, as if we had the constant cycle of ‘mundane life, book, talk to mother, bed…’ in most chapters and there was a lot of telling rather than showing, which is not my preferred style with magic, particularly with blossoming magic that hasn’t been seen before.
Nonetheless Thomas’ integration into a new secret world is intriguing and I liked researching and reading the Book of Sorrows alongside him, even if the Old English style of the excerpts was not always understandable.
In all honesty, this wasn’t the book I thought it would be and it wasn’t for me. However, I am still grateful for the opportunity to read and review it and I would still recommend it to its target audience as I think they would find it more fun, exciting and mysterious than I did.