Shadowbloom: Rhyme of the Willow by the Sullivan Brothers

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Shadowbloom: Rhyme of the Willow

By: The Sullivan Brothers

Published by: Samuel & Justin Sullivan
Released On: 2011-12-06

ISBN: 0984764984
Pages: 292
Genre: Middle Grade

Author’s Website: 

Author’s Social:   Twitter  |  Facebook

Format of Review Copy: kindle
Source: purchase
Recommendable for people who enjoy:
middle grade, fantasy, adventure

Synopsis (from Amazon):
SHADOWBLOOM Rhyme of the Willow (Book One) When Axton and Aniva Rhyme were three years old, their parents disappeared. There were no letters, no bodies, no explanations of any kind – they had just vanished. All that remained was their car: a vehicle crashed against a willow tree. Now, thirteen years have passed, and with the appearance of a woman with lime-green eyes and emerald vines for hair, Axton and Aniva are drawn back to that same willow. A place awaits them through a veil of foliage, full of plant wonders unlike anything they have ever imagined. The twins will find a Garden full of thought-carrying Linkroots, bone-crushing Tanglervines, spore-filled Pumpershrooms, and berries from crimson Bloodvines . . . Berries that will change a human into a fearsome Wild with just a single drop of juice. Look for DARKROOT, Book Two, coming soon!


My Thoughts:

This book was just "ok" for me. Would be good for middle grade kids though, I think. 

My status updates from Goodreads:

02/18   6.0%
"From what I’ve read so far, this is going to be great. (I hope!)"

02/19   40.0%
"ok so far. Not as entertaining or exciting as 13 Curses or Spiderwick – but I think middle grade readers would probably like it. It’s kind of "dry" to me. Would have benefited from a good proofread pass or two for typos before being released."


The main characters weren’t that likable to me (typical tomboy angry older sister, nerdy quiet younger brother who has to save the day).  I just didn’t care about them, and felt like they were very “typical” characters.   I did enjoy Lighthaven and the people of Lighthaven.  Lotus reminded me of Alice from Twilight, she was fun. And I have to admit, I loved the character of Bluebeard.  I kept picturing him as of Gimli from LOTR, which made his rough and toughness just too loveable..

The world of “the Garden” was fantastic.  I loved the descriptions and new creatures, even the “rules” of living there.

The story line was ok. I just felt like I’d read it a thousand times in a thousand other books.  Of course, I’m a grown up and have read MANY books.  A middle grader will not have so many books to compare this to.  Think Spiderwick & 13 Treasures, only no where near as developed or good. Take the other stories and replace bad fairies with "plants", and you’ve got the idea.

Notes:  This book could use a re-edit. Several typos, and punctuation misses such as missing end quotes – etc.   I was really enjoying the story up until I started noticing typos.  After the second or third one my mind kind of got out of the “adventure” of it and just started looking for the next typo.  Typos have been story killers for me. 🙁


In Conclusion:

I think I liked the book overall (even with the typos) and would love to have the paperback version in my home library. Definitely plan to pick up Book 2 in the series once it is released, would love to see how the authors expand on the story.

Mom Notes:

A little dark.  I did find myself relating interesting “lessons” into the storyline, as we do with childrens books, in this case – loyalty and prejudice.  Overall good for ages say 8+

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