Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows
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.

Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows Details

TitleThomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 2nd, 2019
PublisherElandrian Press
ISBN-139781732457805
Rating
GenreFantasy, Childrens, Middle Grade, Fiction

Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows Review

  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real. Thomas has not seen his father in seven years but has not forgotten the above words that his father said to him. Thomas is turning thirteen and his interest in magic has not wavered. One day he sees an old book shop on his way home from his Kung Fu lesson and ventures inside. Thomas is looking for books on magic - real magic. He is intrigued with the book shop that he has never seen before and its large dusty book Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real. Thomas has not seen his father in seven years but has not forgotten the above words that his father said to him. Thomas is turning thirteen and his interest in magic has not wavered. One day he sees an old book shop on his way home from his Kung Fu lesson and ventures inside. Thomas is looking for books on magic - real magic. He is intrigued with the book shop that he has never seen before and its large dusty books. After meeting the owner, he is offered “The book of Shadows”. An ancient book that comes with a set of instructions. He agrees to follow the instructions and soon learns that there is more to this book than meets the eye. There is also more to Thomas than meets the eye.Soon Thomas is approached by people who are looking out for him. He feels as if he is being followed and his father's friend even comes to visit. This is only the beginning as Thomas learns that magic is real, his family's history, and what lies ahead for him.This creative and imaginative book is geared for the middle school reader and it does not disappoint. Thomas lives in the modern world yet is dealing with ancient magic. Magic aside, Thomas is a likable and relate-able character. The book is entertaining and has enough action to keep readers of all ages interested and invested in learning what happens to the characters. Interesting story which leaves the reader wondering what is next for Thomas.I received a copy of this book from Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Montzalee Wittmann
    January 1, 1970
    Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen is a book I requested from NetGalley and a book I won but haven't received yet. The books from NetGalley only stay active for a short period of time so I am glad I won so I can have my grand daughters read this book! A magic book, a strange book store , kidnapping, magic powers, evil super being, excitement, suspense, mystery, and more! Everything a middle grade fantasy reader would want!
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  • Veronica ⭐️
    January 1, 1970
    *https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogsp...I’ve read a few Middle grade books with the theme of magical crystals and I’m always amazed how authors can write such diverse stories with the same basic theme; our protagonist must get to the crystals before the antagonist and thus save the world. Bergen has come up with an original take on this tried and true theme.Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a magical story filled with peril and friendship.Thomas is an ordinary twelve year old who loves t *https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogsp...I’ve read a few Middle grade books with the theme of magical crystals and I’m always amazed how authors can write such diverse stories with the same basic theme; our protagonist must get to the crystals before the antagonist and thus save the world. Bergen has come up with an original take on this tried and true theme.Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a magical story filled with peril and friendship.Thomas is an ordinary twelve year old who loves to read books about magic until one day he is given not a book about magic but a magical book. His father’s parting words ring in his ears “Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real.”The story starts with the everyday life of Thomas Wildus. He goes to school, hangs out with best friend Enrique, has problems with the school bully and has a crush on a pretty girl in his grade.After Thomas receives the book the story changes to one of mystery, danger and suspense.There is a slow build up to the main revelations about Tomas and his mission. The explanation of the magic and quantum physics was a bit long however the story kept my interest.Overall Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows was a good read filled with danger, suspense and magic. Thomas was a modest hero and a good role model.Content: Scenes of mild peril Words ‘bloody hell’ and ‘evil bastard’ are used sparingly.Age: 8 – 12 years*I received an ecopy through Book Publicity Services
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  • Alex
    January 1, 1970
    Hello I’m 11 and just want to share this review with you.I loved this book and honestly think it could be the next Harry Potter. My favorite things about this book was that it had so much diversity, it had the problems of a 12 year old boy and the problems of a magician, I also loved how he could do all these different types of magic and how some of the book was history but felt so modern.
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  • Lauren Stoolfire
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M Bergen is an awesome MG fantasy series opener. I'm so happy I agreed to try this novel because it's a real gem. I couldn't help but become attached to Thomas and the rest of the diverse cast and the author's world-building is perfect for the story. It certainly kept me turning the pages because I just couldn't wait to see what was coming. It doesn't hurt that the story tak I received an ARC from Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M Bergen is an awesome MG fantasy series opener. I'm so happy I agreed to try this novel because it's a real gem. I couldn't help but become attached to Thomas and the rest of the diverse cast and the author's world-building is perfect for the story. It certainly kept me turning the pages because I just couldn't wait to see what was coming. It doesn't hurt that the story takes moves at a good pace and features a great adventure and an engaging mystery. I have to admit I love just how important books and reading are to magic. My only issue is with the dialogue because at times it's a little too stilted, awkward, and dated. Overall, though, Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a wonderful story that would be perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.
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  • Jill Steeley
    January 1, 1970
    J. M. Bergen has spun an engaging tale of Thomas, who encountered a mysterious stranger and an intriguing book shop on his way home from his Kung Fu lesson. He entered the book shop in search of book of magic, real magic. He remembered the last thing his father had told him seven years ago before he disappeared. "Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real." The shop keeper entrusted Thomas with a box containing an ancient tome, The Book of Sorrows, with str J. M. Bergen has spun an engaging tale of Thomas, who encountered a mysterious stranger and an intriguing book shop on his way home from his Kung Fu lesson. He entered the book shop in search of book of magic, real magic. He remembered the last thing his father had told him seven years ago before he disappeared. "Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real." The shop keeper entrusted Thomas with a box containing an ancient tome, The Book of Sorrows, with strict rules of secrecy and for the reading of it. Thus began an incredible new chapter of his life that included more mysterious and sometimes sinister people, an abduction, magic lessons, and learning about his amazing family and his own destiny.The book draws the reader from chapter to chapter see what happens next. The end leaves the reading wanting to dive into the next volume. It's an entertaining read!
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  • Catie
    January 1, 1970
    Magic, mystery, and adventure, all wrapped in a fun story with relatable characters and worthwhile messages. I'm a high school English teacher, and I absolutely recommend this book. Its target audience is probably the preteen through early high school age group, but it's whole-family fun and I enjoyed it too.
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  • Christine,
    January 1, 1970
    Thomas is your everyday comic book loving kid with a crush on a cute girl and a best friend who enjoys beating him at doodling wars. With the mysterious death of his father at a young age, Thomas remains fascinated by magic. His father always told him, “Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real.”Just in case there is any doubt, Thomas receives his first dose of sorcery nearing his 13th birthday. Strange music, a new used bookstore in town, and two eccentri Thomas is your everyday comic book loving kid with a crush on a cute girl and a best friend who enjoys beating him at doodling wars. With the mysterious death of his father at a young age, Thomas remains fascinated by magic. His father always told him, “Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real.”Just in case there is any doubt, Thomas receives his first dose of sorcery nearing his 13th birthday. Strange music, a new used bookstore in town, and two eccentric bookkeepers hand him the enchanted Book of Sorrows along with a lengthy list of rules. Why is this book so special? And why the secrecy?From strange kidnappers to a transforming and hungry looking book cover, Thomas’ life is about to go from average to fantastical, taking him to China and Mexico via plane…and other wizardly ways. His mission? To save the world from evil powers, of course. On the hunt for the last of three powerful crystals and one bad guy, Thomas learns more about his family history and his own innate magic. Similar to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, Bergen takes readers on a unique journey that transcends the magical and global world. With multicultural elements, this older elementary school aged read to middle grade story should keep readers up all night waiting to see if Thomas succeeds in stopping the bad guys. He learns quite a bit about himself along the way too. I cannot wait for Book Two.While I absolutely loved this title (and 200% recommend it)—and appreciate its uniqueness separate from HP and Percy—my only small criticism is perpetuating Asian stereotypes. Aside from Thomas learning Kung Fu, Ling Sun, the housekeeper in China, speaks in broken English. Having lived in parts of Asia as an ESL teacher, most students truly don’t speak like this movie screen cliche. People in and from other countries from all types of backgrounds can speak multiple languages fluently or at least not like this. As someone who studied multiculturalism in both undergrad and grad school, I did appreciate the diversity of characters, feel that other characters’ cultures and traditions were more adequately explained and portrayed, and definitely don’t think this was a large distraction (after a cringe or two). I rarely give 5-star reviews, but Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows deserves high praise. Fast-paced, imaginative, unique in its fantasy world, I love the community, friends, and values set forth. Well written, readers will find a coming of age story about friendship, family, and heritage. Plus, you know, there are bookstores, books, and comics. Definitely not a book to miss in 2019.I would like to thank Book Publicity Services and the author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you!
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  • Jessica | Booked J
    January 1, 1970
    As a note, a copy of this novel was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way. Review also found here at Booked J. Perfect for fans of The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken! Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows brings a little magic to our lives. Unique and enthralling, the story opens with what seems to be an ordinary child. Like all good middle grade stories, we're quickly proven wrong, and set off on adventure As a note, a copy of this novel was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way. Review also found here at Booked J. Perfect for fans of The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken! Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows brings a little magic to our lives. Unique and enthralling, the story opens with what seems to be an ordinary child. Like all good middle grade stories, we're quickly proven wrong, and set off on adventure of the ages with Thomas Wildus and the following words: Magic is real.Magic.Is.Real. If you aren't hooked based on those three simple words, I genuinely have questions for you? This is ABSOLUTELY the type of book that I'd have devoured in under a day as a kid. As an adult, it's still as brilliantly captivating, so I can honestly say that readers of all ages will enjoy J.M. Bergen's particular brand of magic and wit. It doesn't matter if you're a new reader or an older one, this book WILL hook you.Young boy finds a mysterious bookshop and book? Echoes of his long-lost father's belief in magic at the center of his mind? A completely magical thrill ride promises to follow? Friendship? Mystery? Possible kidnapping? A LOT OF MORALLY GRAY CHARACTERS? Plot twists? SIGN. ME. UP.Truly, I had this compulsive need to finish it in one sitting because it's impossible to look away. As I was reading it, I was like, "This feels like a bedtime story." so it makes sense that it did start out that way: J.M. Bergen crafted this tale as a bedtime story for his son and that is, perhaps, one of the best things about Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows. It will transport readers to the feelings we all associate with childhood.I will say that I enjoyed the first 25% of the book, but it was also the slowest part of it. This isn't a bad thing, but I do feel like I have to put it out there that the tension and worldbuilding takes place throughout the beginning; clicking the adventurous tone into place soon after. Ultimately, there's something so beautifully charming about Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows. Bergen creates something purely magical and vivid with his characters, worldbuilding and plotlines.I cannot wait to (throw this book at everyone) read more of the adventures of Thomas Wildus. Bergen is only just beginning.
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  • WyrmbergSabrina
    January 1, 1970
    Very much Percy Jackson but with magic.I was sent an Arc of Thomas Wildus and the Book of Shadows.A very enjoyable, solid tale that has likeable lead characters, a secret group of people and magic, and a villain who has good intentions but the wrong method of doing things.My biggest drawback to this is how the villain is only talked about and doesn't make a show until the end. I would have liked more interactions with them and Thomas, but the way the story pans out, that would not work out. And Very much Percy Jackson but with magic.I was sent an Arc of Thomas Wildus and the Book of Shadows.A very enjoyable, solid tale that has likeable lead characters, a secret group of people and magic, and a villain who has good intentions but the wrong method of doing things.My biggest drawback to this is how the villain is only talked about and doesn't make a show until the end. I would have liked more interactions with them and Thomas, but the way the story pans out, that would not work out. And I feel this is for younger teenagers; Thomas is almost 13 is this tale, and we follow his experience, his discovery of magic and it's rather nice.The beginning had a good mix of The NeverEnding Story with shadowy figures and I was really looking forward to more set up in that in environment. And then it jumps forward a gear and it felt a little rushed.Thomas and his best friend Enrique, are an enjoyable pair, bouncing off each other very naturally. I did like their doodle battles.Certainly a fun read. Give it a go.
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  • Cassandra
    January 1, 1970
    I received a complimentary not for sale copy.The writing style is great and the story glides along in a way that makes it easy to read through in a few short hours. The character choices are very easy to enjoy. I would think that middle grade or even a little younger might really enjoy the magical imagination from this author.
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  • Sha
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of J.M. Bergen through Book Publicity Services. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows surprised me in many different ways. The first is completely on me—I read “sorrows” and subconsciously convinced myself this middle-grade novel would have a somber tone. Yeah, not ex Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of J.M. Bergen through Book Publicity Services. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows surprised me in many different ways. The first is completely on me—I read “sorrows” and subconsciously convinced myself this middle-grade novel would have a somber tone. Yeah, not exactly. Thomas is almost thirteen. He loves in sunny California, has doodle wars with his best friend Enrique, is crushing on a girl at school, helps his overworked professor mom around the house, and is coming into his magical powers.Oh. Should I backtrack on that last one? Yes, Thomas stumbles across a old bookstore one day where the owner insists he take home and read something called The Book of Sorrows. Thomas feels an irresistible pull to book, something almost magic, and leaves along with a few instructions from the owner:Only read the book when you’re aloneDon’t tell anyone about the bookIn exchange for the book, come to the bookstore to work for five hours a weekOnly read one chapter each weekThe first 200 pages of Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows cover Thomas reading the book, as well as describe his home/school life. Bergen’s writing comes to life with Thomas’ chats with Enrique, his interactions with the school bully, and attempts to befriend a new kid at school. Thomas is a perfect protagonist for middle grade readers, emphasizing the values of friendship, family, and responsibility. For a book geared towards fantasy, I will say *this* part of the book lacks a lot of action. It was much more the day-to-day life of a pre-teen.The excerpts from the The Book of Sorrows included in Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows were dry (and a bit hard to follow, since they were written in a form of Middle English). I wish they were just summarized. There aren’t many, but the ones included did pull me out of my reading. I also do want to point out, as a reader in her twenties, I still don’t understand the entire history of The Book of Sorrows and its various creators (as was explained to Thomas at one point) so I do think this will be especially confusing to younger readers.After the 200 page point, the fantasy side of the book truly kicks into gear. Thomas’ magic training was funny and well setup, and the lead in to the final battle at the end was nicely done. Thomas has people to train him in his magic skills, and he learns more about his own past. His mentors are likeable, and establish a trust bond with his mom so it’s not actually a “young child goes missing to train with strange adults” situation. In fact, Thomas’ mom is super looped in to his life, which I adored in this book.There is a lot of room for this to grow into a series. I look forwards to seeing more from Thomas and his trustworthy bestie, Enrique, not to mention learn more about his past … and what his future holds.4 crowns. I would recommend for readers aged 12 to 15, particularly those with stronger skills in reading/vocabulary.
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  • TheBookbubble
    January 1, 1970
    I love the way this book weaves magic in a modern day setting with a real villain, but also with real life problems children can identify with. Thomas is a likeable character who has the admirable quality of standing up for others and a great imagination. The action is fast paced and keeps you wanting to find out what happens next, and there are some surprising turns in the plot, including a strange encounter with snakes. If there is one small problem with the book, and it is only really small, I love the way this book weaves magic in a modern day setting with a real villain, but also with real life problems children can identify with. Thomas is a likeable character who has the admirable quality of standing up for others and a great imagination. The action is fast paced and keeps you wanting to find out what happens next, and there are some surprising turns in the plot, including a strange encounter with snakes. If there is one small problem with the book, and it is only really small, there are a couple of sections where I was unsure as to how much time had passed between scenes, but this did not detract from the story over-all.Read the full review at https://thebookbubble.com/2018/11/rev...
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  • AlessaReads
    January 1, 1970
    12 year-old Thomas Wildus hasn't seen his father in 7 years. His father had always told him that magic was real so Thomas is determined to find out when he embarks on an old mysterious book in a bookshop that reveals something magical. Thomas finds out that he isn't a typical preteen and his world will never be the same. This book was so much fun to read and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series!
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  • J Aislynn d'Merricksson
    January 1, 1970
    Move over Percy and Harry, Thomas Wildus is da house! Welcome to a new world of magic, mystery, and delight! Join Thomas Wildus, eponymous lead of Bergen's Thomas Wildus & the Book of Sorrows, as this young boy begins the adventure of a lifetime. And it all starts with a mysterious bookshop, of course! That, and the cryptic last words Thomas’ father ever said to him.Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that. Magic is real. ~John Wildus, Thomas Wildus & the Book Move over Percy and Harry, Thomas Wildus is da house! Welcome to a new world of magic, mystery, and delight! Join Thomas Wildus, eponymous lead of Bergen's Thomas Wildus & the Book of Sorrows, as this young boy begins the adventure of a lifetime. And it all starts with a mysterious bookshop, of course! That, and the cryptic last words Thomas’ father ever said to him.Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that. Magic is real. ~John Wildus, Thomas Wildus & the Book of SorrowsReturning home from school one day, Thomas stumbled across a bookshop he'd never seen before. H&A Booksellers, Purveyors of Fine Books and Rare Manuscripts. It is here that Thomas finally finds a real magic book. Huxley, the proprietor, loans Thomas the book- giving him several rules to follow with regard to being its custodian. In return, Thomas will donate 5 hrs of his time weekly, helping out in the bookstore, until he's finished with the book.Read it aloneKeep it secret (keep it safe, haha. True though)Read only one chapter at a time and never more than a chapter a day.Things begin changing almost immediately for Thomas- he gets learn real magick! At least, he hopes soIt also opens up a nice can of worms, as people begin stalking him. After confiding in his best friend, Enrique, about the book, Thomas finds himself kidnapped and whisked away. To China. Here he learns more about magick and his own family that he ever thought possible. Oh, but I loved this story! It was so much fun! There was a lot of snarky commentary, like the Percy Jackson books. The whole aspect of having the inner potential for magic awakened/ measured using a book that told of one of the first wizards was pretty cool. The more a person reads, and the greater the potential, the faster the cover becomes illuminated, as in an old manuscript's illumination. That kinda also reminded me of The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, both the illumination and the penchant for magic.Thomas’ best friend Enrique is hilarious! They have an ongoing 'doodle war’ at school, which often gets them in trouble. The goal is to create a drawing that makes other person laugh as quickly as possible. Enrique has a greater part to play and I'm really interested to see where his story goes. Thomas too. His last name, and its origin are pretty cool. So were the quantum physics notions underlying magic and how it works. Makes it almost seem that if we ourselves had a greater understanding of those mechanics, we might be able to do magic ourselves. Overall, a great read, perfect for fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and related series. Highly recommended! ***Many thanks to Netgalley and Elandrian Press for providing an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. Reviewed for the San Francisco Book Review.
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  • Jessika Santulli
    January 1, 1970
    Summary: In modern-day Southern California, Twelve-year-old Thomas Wildus stumbles upon mysterious bookstore owners, who confirm his suspicion that magic is real. He begins reading a magical book, and strange occurrences invade in his once-normal life.Thoughts: Thomas is a twelve-year old boy, and his language and interests completely reflect a real pre-teen. His relationship with best friend Enrique was comical and endearing. It was nice to see a strong bond of friendship among boys for a chang Summary: In modern-day Southern California, Twelve-year-old Thomas Wildus stumbles upon mysterious bookstore owners, who confirm his suspicion that magic is real. He begins reading a magical book, and strange occurrences invade in his once-normal life.Thoughts: Thomas is a twelve-year old boy, and his language and interests completely reflect a real pre-teen. His relationship with best friend Enrique was comical and endearing. It was nice to see a strong bond of friendship among boys for a change. Thomas’s friends add some diversity to the story to complement this adorable blond-haired blue eyed kid with a HUGE appetite. (I’ve heard that growing boys need nourishment, but seriously, this kid can EAT!) The adult characters were funny, especially the old chap Professor Reilly. I appreciated the methodical world-building of Thomas’s life, but the plot didn’t start thickening until past the halfway point. After that, I couldn’t put it down. Thomas’ story was engaging and creative, albeit a little creepy at first.Content Advisory: Profanity was limited to a few utterances of “hell” and “bloody hell” by a British guy. Violence was kept to a minimum. A few instances of harming someone with magic power. Death was mentioned briefly, but no killings were performed in the story. Our boys score with a few pecks on the lips, but that was the extent of sexual content. PG rating when this is made into a movie.Spiritual/Moral Lessons: There is no mention of Thomas’ religion. His associate, Professor Reilly, utters “Praise the Lord!” in a moment of relief. An alchemist in the story admits his belief that there is a greater force governing the universe. Throughout his magical journey, Thomas learns about perseverance, duty, loyalty, and forgiveness. He emerges a more virtuous and thoughtful person at the story’s end, which is what I like to see in a character.Impressions: Pre-teen and teenage boys will relish the intersection of a modern boy’s life with a fantastic magical destiny. Thomas is the epitome of a regular guy who stumbles upon a supernatural ability. I recommend this to boys and girls ages 8-15, depending on reading level. Boys will relate to the characters more and be invited to think about their own friendships and creative minds.I received an ARC of this novel from Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Kelsey and Mr. Bergen!
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    It's been years since Thomas last saw his father, but he hasn't forgotten the last words his father said to him, "magic is real." Since then, Thomas has been holding on to those words while looking for someone to take him seriously in his quest to learn magic. He's not interested in the kind of magic tricks that magicians perform, he wants to learn real magic. When Thomas makes a special trip to an old book shop, his father's words begin to have a new meaning. Thomas not only acquires an ancient It's been years since Thomas last saw his father, but he hasn't forgotten the last words his father said to him, "magic is real." Since then, Thomas has been holding on to those words while looking for someone to take him seriously in his quest to learn magic. He's not interested in the kind of magic tricks that magicians perform, he wants to learn real magic. When Thomas makes a special trip to an old book shop, his father's words begin to have a new meaning. Thomas not only acquires an ancient book called the Book of Sorrows from the kindly, but mysterious owner with gold-flecked eyes, he also learns there's more to his father's disappearance than he knew and that hidden within him are magical abilities that put him and his mother in potential danger. At first glance, Thomas may seem like an average kid. He loves to read, has been taking Kung Fu lessons for years and especially wants to learn how to perform real magic. Like your typical twelve-year-old, he hangs out with his best friend Enrique, together they have fun at school competing in their favorite game of doddle wars. Each time trying to one-up each other by making the other person laugh at their drawings. The story also contains a bully, but the plot doesn't center on him but rather how Thomas tries to befriend the boy being bullied and bring him into his fold of friends. It's so nice to see a story with a character who's not fighting or running from the bully but is actively trying to be there for the kid who's being bullied. In exchange for borrowing the book from Huxley, the bookseller, Thomas agrees to abide by certain rules to protect and maintain its secrecy. The Book of Sorrows is both magical and mysterious, with each chapter that Thomas reads, the cover seems to change adding new details and becomes more vivid in its coloring. Eventually illustrating how the title is fitting to the story it tells him of Isham the magician and the beast that he unleashes. It isn't long before Thomas encounters a threatening figure who at first stalks him in a van, lurking in his periphery as he's riding his bike. Then things begin to escalate when an attempt is made to kidnap Thomas. Fearful, Thomas turns to Huxley and Professor Reilly, a physicist who knew his father. Together they explain the links between the Book of Sorrows, magic, quantum physics and the magical crystals that they must recover to stop an evil maniac from reawakening the crystals power and destroying the world. Overall, I thought Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows was a fun story that included some nice messaging, had the right amount of suspense and danger and thought the inclusion of physics brought an interesting touch. * I received an ebook review copy from Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Stephanie Cover2CoverBlog
    January 1, 1970
    I am such a slacker and need to read faster! This book was recently release and I was hoping to have a review up for its release - alas life happens.Thomas Wildus is about a boy whose father is no longer around, but who instilled this belief in Thomas that magic is real. Thomas has been searching for evidence of this from bookshop to bookshop his whole 12 years, this year though, he stumbles upon a bookstore and a book that just might make his dreams come true.The book is the first in a series a I am such a slacker and need to read faster! This book was recently release and I was hoping to have a review up for its release - alas life happens.Thomas Wildus is about a boy whose father is no longer around, but who instilled this belief in Thomas that magic is real. Thomas has been searching for evidence of this from bookshop to bookshop his whole 12 years, this year though, he stumbles upon a bookstore and a book that just might make his dreams come true.The book is the first in a series about a world of magic and a struggle between good and evil forces, not unlike a lot of books on the market. However this one was still very fun and engaging. The first half of the plot was a build up, Thomas reading The Book of Sorrows and learning about magic and what was out there. The second half was more of the adventure you find in a fantasy novel. There was good build up in the first half though, questions with just enough of an answer to keep pushing the reader through. I really enjoyed this plot line and the fantasy parts of the book. The lead into the magic and fantasy aspects were very well done, there was just enough mystery to it to keep my attention. Thomas, the main character, was perfectly written for his age (and I have brothers this age so I have good case studies). He was realistic - he had school issues and fun, had an after school activity that he was involved in and he had to spend some time at home alone because a parent worked. It was all very real, except for the fantasy elements thrown in, so it really did well as a normal boys gains magic book.Overall, I enjoyed this book and the story was very interesting. While the boy meets magic theme is a common one, I think this book did very well with it and it adds another good story into the genre. This is also the start to what seems to be a new series, so if you are looking for a new MG/YA Fantasy series this may be a fun one to pick up.
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  • R. L. Carlo
    January 1, 1970
    Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen3.5/5 stars 🌟———————>>———————This is the story of the first stories, the start of wonders, the beginnings of sorrows.———————>>———————“Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that.”Thomas Wildus said goodbye to his father for the last time seven years ago and he’s never forgotten the final words his father spoke to him. Thomas is about to be 13 years old and his quest to uncover magic is truly about to give way Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen3.5/5 stars 🌟———————>>———————This is the story of the first stories, the start of wonders, the beginnings of sorrows.———————>>———————“Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that.”Thomas Wildus said goodbye to his father for the last time seven years ago and he’s never forgotten the final words his father spoke to him. Thomas is about to be 13 years old and his quest to uncover magic is truly about to give way thanks to a strange little man and a dusty bookstore. Thomas’s searching has bequeathed him with an ancient tomb called The Book of Sorrows. There’s a steep price and harsh rules, as there usually is with magic, but Thomas has been looking too long to let anything stop him.The Book of Sorrows reveals a strange new world encompassed with an extraordinary destiny for Thomas. But time is not his ally. He must work fast to discover the truth of his family history before enemies destroy his new power and all that he holds dear.Intrigued right from the start. Bergen captured me and pulled me right into his world. Elandrian Press provided me with a review copy of this book and I cannot deny I was thrilled and honored to read it in exchange for an honest review. The premise enchanted me as I’m a huge fan of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter (of course) so this sounded right up my alley.Thomas is such an amicable character. I adore him. He’s sweet and kind. He sticks up for kids who are being bullied. He is such a good son to his overworked mom. Super intelligent. Obsessed with magic. Strong-willed. Has a real fixation for food that I can totally relate to. Twelve year old me would have cherished having him as a friend. The doodle wars he plays with Enrique sound so fun. And his crush on Peggy is rather cute. ❤️Love the representation of Thomas’s best friend, Enrique and his Hispanic family. Also Akhil, Jameel, and Meng (sometimes Ming—not sure which one is the typo) who are Indian, African, and Chinese American respectively.The writing does have some issues. The dialogue is formally stiff and rather outdated for teenagers of nowadays. Multiple snippets of awkward phrasing. The word “felt” is used a little too prevalently for my taste. There’s a lot of over-explaining. Detailed descriptions of mundane moments that don’t need to be spelled out in steps from A-E, but could instead be left to our assumption. There’s a lot of telling. Like when Thomas and his mom go out for Chinese food and we have to read almost every little detail of it, internally I was screaming, GET BACK TO THE BOOK AND WHATEVER THE HECK IS GOING ON, please.Needless to say, happenings like this make the beginning slow. It’s not until midway through the story when things really start to pick up. Not to mention, once we finally receive certain information about what has been going on, some of it doesn’t add up leaving holes that I wish had been filled. Many questions left unanswered.The excerpts from The Book of Sorrows are hard to read. It’s supposed to be ancient, yes, of course, but dang is it confusing. All the -th and -st suffixes are distracting. I passed by on Thomas’s summaries.Also that climax. There was so much chatter. Talk, talk, talk. And got some serious Lion King vibes with all the shouting of “MURDERER.” You know who you are.The plot itself is really good. I love Thomas. I love his friendships. I love the magic. It’s not a perfect book but I enjoyed it. I think the series has a lot of potential to be amazing. And overall it was a very fast read. Super fun. Even though there were slow parts the pacing still kept me quickly turning to the next page. So many questions kept me fascinated with what would happen next. And my curiosity burned a tangible hole in me as my mind attempted to understand what was going on. Even as questions were answered, new ones manifested. I’m looking forward to the sequel.
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  • Cats of Ulthar March of Shoggoths
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully lyrical, engrossing contemporary fantasy, THOMAS WILDUS AND THE BOOK OF SORROWS is first in a new series (yay!) about a boy turning 13, raised by his mother since his father inexplicably disappeared one evening when Thomas was but five. His dad's last words told him "Magic Is Real." Thomas has always believed, and despite rejection and mockery, he has continued to search for the meaning of true magic. On his way to the bus stop from his Kung Fu lesson, a couple of odd events occur, t Beautifully lyrical, engrossing contemporary fantasy, THOMAS WILDUS AND THE BOOK OF SORROWS is first in a new series (yay!) about a boy turning 13, raised by his mother since his father inexplicably disappeared one evening when Thomas was but five. His dad's last words told him "Magic Is Real." Thomas has always believed, and despite rejection and mockery, he has continued to search for the meaning of true magic. On his way to the bus stop from his Kung Fu lesson, a couple of odd events occur, the second of which finds him in a bookstore he's never seen before, acquiring a book that will, literally, change his life. This novel is encormously entertaining and very well-written. I anticipate with glee the sequel.
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  • Dee ~ Proudest Nanna Of Newborn Millie ~
    January 1, 1970
    I was given this book to review honestly, by the author J. M.Bergen, through NetGalley. I am happy to offer my review here on Goodreads.In Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows, the author J.M. Bergen has written a wonderful fantasy/sci-fi story for children and teens. With all the qualities of a cross between Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson, I was instantly hooked. From the first page, I followed Thomas on his adventure, turning page after page, and not wanting to close the book till the end. M I was given this book to review honestly, by the author J. M.Bergen, through NetGalley. I am happy to offer my review here on Goodreads.In Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows, the author J.M. Bergen has written a wonderful fantasy/sci-fi story for children and teens. With all the qualities of a cross between Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson, I was instantly hooked. From the first page, I followed Thomas on his adventure, turning page after page, and not wanting to close the book till the end. Mr Bergen has created a real gem of a book, one that I know will delight children, teens, (and adults), of all ages. When the second book comes out, I will definitely be one of the first to buy it!
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  • K.S. Agustin
    January 1, 1970
    Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is an exciting young adult fantasy novel and the first book in the Elandrian Chronicles written by J. M. Bergen. Thomas Wildus is turning thirteen. He is a fine boy who loves books, chess, doodle-wars with his best friend Enrique, hanging out with his mother, and magic. It might sound stupid but Thomas believes magic is real. That’s what his father said anyway, before he disappeared seven years ago.So, when Thomas discovers a strange bookshop downtown, he is Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is an exciting young adult fantasy novel and the first book in the Elandrian Chronicles written by J. M. Bergen. Thomas Wildus is turning thirteen. He is a fine boy who loves books, chess, doodle-wars with his best friend Enrique, hanging out with his mother, and magic. It might sound stupid but Thomas believes magic is real. That’s what his father said anyway, before he disappeared seven years ago.So, when Thomas discovers a strange bookshop downtown, he is so thrilled to be offered an ancient and mysterious book, The Book of Sorrows, by an equally mysterious man. Borrowing the book, however, comes with a set of rules which include absolute secrecy. Consumed by an inexplicable desire to read the book, Thomas willingly agrees.As soon as he reads the book, however, strange things begin to happen. Thomas is pulled into a strange new world and learns something about his family. And this is just the beginning.I enjoyed this book immensely. It has interesting plot, exciting scenes, are endearing characters. Congratulations to JM Begen on such a great book!
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  • Shar
    January 1, 1970
    Advanced copy review: Magical mystery mixed with interior journey perfect for the thinking middle school audience
  • Bergen Junge
    January 1, 1970
    I got an advanced copy of this book and it is a fun read with or without children, I am ready to share it with my grandchildren now.
  • George Anders
    January 1, 1970
    This is great fun! The backbone of "Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows" is the classic tale of school-age heroes encountering magic for the first time -- and being swept into a thrilling, scary world where they need to summon their wits at every stage to stay ahead of trouble. But we're also graced with author J.M. Bergen's ability to pack each chapter with ingenious twists, which add just the right amount of unpredictability and wit to the story.We aren't in Harry Potter's brooding, misty En This is great fun! The backbone of "Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows" is the classic tale of school-age heroes encountering magic for the first time -- and being swept into a thrilling, scary world where they need to summon their wits at every stage to stay ahead of trouble. But we're also graced with author J.M. Bergen's ability to pack each chapter with ingenious twists, which add just the right amount of unpredictability and wit to the story.We aren't in Harry Potter's brooding, misty England, or Percy Jackson's upstate New York summer camp. We're in Los Angeles, where the beach is near, it's always sunny, and the cultural blurring between Anglo and Latinx is everywhere. Here, the literary version of magic embraces -- and battles -- everyday life's near=magic of smartphones, Google Earth and all the other technology of today. Our hero Thomas has just the right blend of ambition and vulnerability to get us deeply invested in his quest. Fellow adventurers Adelia and Enrique add a lot to the journey, too. In the final pages, we realize that what seemed like the resolution of the book's main adventure is really just a portal to a lot more adventures to come. A memorable new series has begun. Can't wait for Volume 2!
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Netgalley for the chance to review!I absolutely loved this book!! The storyline is so amazing. There is plenty of action and adventure to leave you on the edge of your seat. Thomas Wildus gets this book called the book of sorrows from a man named Huxley at this strange bookstore and it completely changes his life. I just finished this book and I am just in awe on how amazing it was. I would definitely recommend to a friend. I can't wait to read more books on Thomas and Enrique's advent Thank you Netgalley for the chance to review!I absolutely loved this book!! The storyline is so amazing. There is plenty of action and adventure to leave you on the edge of your seat. Thomas Wildus gets this book called the book of sorrows from a man named Huxley at this strange bookstore and it completely changes his life. I just finished this book and I am just in awe on how amazing it was. I would definitely recommend to a friend. I can't wait to read more books on Thomas and Enrique's adventures.
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  • Shelley Davis
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat right to the very end! A fun read for those who love magic and suspense. A great story of perseverance and friendship that would appeal to Harry Potter and Magisterium fans.
  • Francia
    January 1, 1970
    Really interesting book.. My two boys love it. One is 12 years old and the other one 8.. They was like Oh God this book is better than Harry Porter.. :). All they unexpected things that happen on the book that makes you want to read more.. This is the kind of books that we love to read. We highly recommend. We can't wait for book 2... Great Read!!!!! :)
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  • A Book
    January 1, 1970
    Read an advanced review copy and loved it. Fun, fast-paced, and super entertaining. It's a totally different take on magic, but fans of Harry Potter are going to love it.
  • Roger Hyttinen
    January 1, 1970
    A Boy and His MagicThomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a middle-grade fantasy that follows 13-year old Thomas Wildus whose father, shortly before disappearing when Thomas was 6, told Thomas:Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real.So now, seven years later, Thomas has neither forgotten nor has outgrown his interest — nor his belief — in magic. In the beginning pages, we see the kind of person Thomas is through his interactions with others: the affec A Boy and His MagicThomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a middle-grade fantasy that follows 13-year old Thomas Wildus whose father, shortly before disappearing when Thomas was 6, told Thomas:Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real.So now, seven years later, Thomas has neither forgotten nor has outgrown his interest — nor his belief — in magic. In the beginning pages, we see the kind of person Thomas is through his interactions with others: the affectionate teasing and joking with his mom (and her nickname for him of “sweet boy”), his stepping in to help when another kid is being bullied, his close friendship with Enrique and Enrique’s siblings, all of which leads us to the conclusion that Thomas is kind, helpful and empathetic towards others — he’s the kind of kid who steps in to do what is right.A Curious BookshopYoung Thomas’s life takes a dramatic turn one day when he sees a curious old bookshop that he’d never noticed before. Given that he’s always on the lookout for books about magic, he decides to go in and immediately gravitates to the magic section and goes through the shelves stocked with dusty old books. An odd little man approaches Thomas, the bookshop proprietor, and after Thomas asks for books on “real magic”, the man offers Thomas a tome called The Book of Sorrows. According to the man, the book is quite ancient and comes with a set of rigid instructions. The man will lend Thomas the book so as long Thomas promises to strictly adhere to the instructions, especially the stringent rule of secrecy. Thomas agrees and excitingly, takes the book home. Strange Things Begin to HappenThomas dives in what turns out to be a rather disturbing story. What’s really interesting here, is that strange things begin to occur once he starts reading the book. For one thing, the cover of the book slowly begins to change and it becomes clear to Thomas pretty quickly that there is definitely a paranormal aspect to the book.Things get even stranger when Thomas can’t shake the feeling that he’s being followed and then notices that he is in fact, being tailed and tracked by a menacing dark van. Then, an old professor friend of his father’s suddenly comes to visit offering to tutor Thomas in Physics and there are numerous strange people that Thomas keeps seeing around the bookstore, some of which have an unexplainably unsettling effect on him. Thomas Has MagicThomas figures out that it is his possession of the book that has caused so much attention and without even realizing it, he’s soon drawn into a world of mystery and magic. I enjoyed the slow revelations here as Thomas delves deeper into the book’s disturbing story with the book guiding him into a strange new world. Through the story and his interactions with the shopkeeper, it is slowly was revealed to Thomas that he himself has magical abilities just waiting to be discovered. Moreover, he learns that there is also a secret, a somewhat dark family history and a destiny awaiting him.
That is, if he can stop a powerful and dangerous magical enemy from arising and destroying everything he holds dear. A Couple of NigglesThough the story is interesting and action-packed, it does get bogged down at times by an excessive amount of detail. A good portion of the narrative is spent eating, walking up, visiting with friends, reading, sitting on the bus, playing basketball, and the like. While I do recognize the importance of world-building, I felt there were too many details that didn’t relate to the plot or add to the story. So bearing this in mind, the story does take a bit to get going.I also found the snippets from the Book of Sorrows difficult to read. I know the author was trying to convey the feeling of antiquity, but the “eth” and “est” suffixes rendered the text a tad challenging to comprehend. An example: *“Yet the tale endeth not, for in the eye of Isham’s mind, the beast emergeth, like unto life…”*This wasn’t that huge of an issue, however, because Thomas summarized each of the excerpts so the reader could bypass them if desired. VerdictThis was a wickedly fun and richly imaginative middle-grade urban fantasy with a compelling plot and endearing characters, who had quite interesting backstories. From the moment Thomas enters the bookstore I was hooked and couldn’t wait to find out the mysterious book’s secrets. This little gem of a story has magic, action, mystery, intrigue and rollicking adventure, and held my interest until the wild ending.
Initially, I was fearful that the book was going to end on a cliffhanger given that I was nearing the end and there was no resolution in sight. Luckily, I was wrong, and the story ended with a satisfying — and heart-stopping — conclusion.I understand that there are more adventures yet to come so I can’t wait to delve into the next book. Recommended!Also, I huge thank you to the author for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!This review originally appeared on my blog at  rogersreads.com
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