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

Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen
Series: The Elandrian Chronicles #1
Published by Elandrian Press on February 2, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Tween
Pages: 352
Format: eBook, Paperback
Source: Author, Purchased
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble
Add to: Goodreads

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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.


I want to start by explaining how this is both a personally purchased title, and a title I reviewed as a complimentary copy. I was meant to receive a physical copy of Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by JM Bergen in the mail, and when I didn’t, I purchased the kindle version as I still wanted to review the novel. The synopsis had be excited and I thought this might be something like Percy Jackson or Harry Potter. I understood it was middle school going in, but I’ve previously read and really enjoyed others in the same age-range. Unfortunately, about twenty percent into the novel, I had to stop as I knew I would not be able to provide an appropriate review.

There are some books and stories that, while meant for younger readers, can still appeal to older audiences. There are others that are so clearly written for an audience you are not part of that you immediately feel like an outsider looking in. I believe that is the case for me. I think this is something that middle and older elementary school children will enjoy, but something that from the onset, will not necessarily resonate with older audiences. Myself, as an adult, I found myself wanting to get straight into the magic part and not caring about the side trips to school, to friends, especially once the magic was established. I, as an adult, found myself wondering how is this kid not angry at his mother for forcing him to raise himself or prep food, how is he not angry at his father leaving since it never once sounded like he died. I, as an adult and former educator, found myself wondering how the mother found herself grading all her papers in a night when either it’s scantrons or essay format. Scantrons/Multiple choice, easy. Essay format, there is no way a person would be able to next day it. Additionally, universities (out here in ny anyway…) rarely have classes that meet two days in a row. Schedules typically are Mon/Weds or Tues/Thurs, meaning there would be numerous days between to grade. So either this mom was really bad at planning and managing time or I have no idea. These are things my adult brain questioned that a middle schooler wouldn’t even think to think about.

If you know a middle schooler into fantasy, then I think they would enjoy Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by JM Bergen. If you’re an adult, this is likely a hard pass. Can’t put a star rating because I am very clearly not the target audience and can’t judge it accurately.


Leave a Reply