Author: Ruth Hatfield
Publication: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (January 27, 2015)
Description: Eleven-year-old Danny O’Neill has never been what you’d call adventurous. But when he wakes the morning after a storm to find his house empty, his parents gone, and himself able to hear the thoughts of a dying tree, he has no choice but to set out to find answers. He soon learns that the enigmatic Book of Storms holds the key to what he seeks . . . but unraveling its mysteries won’t be easy. If he wants to find his family, he’ll have to face his worst fears and battle terrifyingly powerful enemies, including the demonic Sammael himself.
In the beautifully imagined landscape of Ruth Hatfield's The Book of Storms, magic seamlessly intertwines with the everyday, nothing is black and white, and Danny is in a race against time to rescue everything he holds dear.
My Thoughts: Eleven-year-old Danny O'Neill is forced to do all sorts of adventurous things when his parents disappear. They went out to watch a storm, as they often did, and didn't come back in the morning. Danny discovers that the sycamore tree in his backyard was struck by lightning. Danny finds a piece of undamaged wood and, the next thing he knows, trees and animals can talk to him. With the companionship of the cat next door, Danny sets off to find the mysterious Book of Storms and rescue his parents.
His opponent is Sammael a creature from the ether who has a plan to gather storms and wipe humans off the planet. What is saving humanity is that he can't directly kill anyone. However, he can certainly arrange accidents that cause deaths. Sammael needs the Book of Storms to complete his dastardly plans.
Meanwhile, Danny recruits his older cousin Tom to help him on his quest despite the fact that Tom doesn't believe any part of Danny's story. I did like how Tom wasn't going to abandon Danny despite his disbelief.
I think the character that I liked best was Sammael's dog Kalia who was loyal to Sammael despite the abuse that Sammael heaped on her.
The book was filled with action and adventure as the very reluctant hero had experiences way outside his comfort zone. I liked the way Danny grew and changed through the course of this book. There is even some hope for his relationship with his neglectful and obsessive parents.
He had cared about his family a long time ago, but something much bigger and better than mere humans had come along and gradually eaten him, bite by bite, until he belonged inside the belly of an obsession so strong that he could hardly breathe unless he was thinking about it. And this obsession was the study of storms.I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.