Book Reviews, Middle Grade Book Reviews

Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen – ARC Review

My Rating ~ Three and a half stars



Format: Paperback

Pages: 352

Source:  Received from Book Publicity Services



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.




Thankyou to Book Publicity Services for providing me with a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

Thomas is just a normal kid, getting though school, hanging out with his best friend and hoping THAT girl might finally notice him, when he stumbles across a strange bookstore.  The last words Thomas’s dad spoke to him before he disappeared, told him to always remember magic was real.  Ever since then, Thomas has scoured bookstores, trying to find books on real magic.   The bookstore owner gives Thomas a special book with a very specific set of instructions.  As he reads through the book, strange things start to happen and he finds himself caught up in more magic than he ever dreamed was possible.

Thomas Wildus and the Book of Shadows was a fun and adventurous middle grade read.  I particularly loved the fact that Thomas and his best friend both had loving mothers, and very different family lives.  Thomas is an only child and Enrique has multiple siblings.  I’m always on the lookout for middle grade books that highlight both of these types of family dynamics, as my daughter is an only child, and I’d like her to have books to read as she grows up where she can relate to the main character (without the only child always being an orphan!)

We are given chapters from The Book of Shadows throughout the book and they are a little hard to read.  They’re written in a very ancient, formal sounding language that made them a bit confusing and slow going.  Thomas does give a small summary afterwards though, which did make it easier.

I really enjoyed the magical aspect of the story and the banter between Thomas and Enrique.  Although some of the story was fairly predictable, due to a familiar fantasy plot line, it was well done and unique enough to keep me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next!




Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl

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