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The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield is a middle grade that I snagged when I was in a serious middle grade binge and was pumped for every middle grade with any fantasy in it at all ;-). I’m happy to finally have gotten a look at what kind of middle grade The Book of Storms is, but it turns out that it probably isn’t the kind I much like. It is based in the UK though, which is quite cool!

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Book of Storms from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield {Just Hatched}

The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on Jan. 27th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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.

How is the writing style?

The writing style came off in that middle grade style where it is trying to be intense, but doesn’t manage doing that along with still being appropriate for middle grade readers. The point of view was third person past tense but with at least two different points of view. Also since it is a UK original as far as I can tell, some things are called using words that I wasn’t all that familiar with such as lurcher for dog.

It looks like there will be chapter header illustrations, but my ARC doesn’t have them in yet so I can’t wax lyrical about the art unfortunately D:.

General tone of the beginning

The Book of Storms opens with a prologue of sorts taking place during a scary storm and referencing what the main character, Danny’s, parents tend to be doing during a storm, which is apparently storm chasing of some kind. It then jumps in with Danny’s chapter the morning after the storm when he discovers his parents are missing. This was an intriguing start (if a bit predictable) until a tree started magically talking to Danny and the wonderful line of something like “he didn’t know how he knew but he did!” was used, which generally has me rolling my eyes. This was when things were feeling a bit too childish to hold my interest. Not much whimsy sadly!

Setting, genre, etc?

The setting is definitely modern-ish day somewhere in the UK I suspect. Since there was a magic, talking tree and it seems like Danny’s parents are up to something magical, I feel confident saying The Book of Storms will fall in the fantasy category ;-). And I smell the beginnings of a grand quest to go rescue parents a’brewing!


  1. What are you talking about, I already finished it last night (~5 stars)
  2. Definitely going to be reading this next (~4 stars)
  3. Keeping and hoping to get back to (~3 stars)
  4. Probably not getting back to but someone else will like it (~2 stars)
  5. Don’t really want to push this copy on anyone else (~1 star)

The Book of Storms is going to be another two star equivalent for me, with the “someone” being a younger reader, particularly one who is into meteorology (I’m pretty sure those exist, they should!). The glimpse I took made it seem like it wouldn’t appeal as much to those of us adults who enjoy reading some middle grade unless you don’t mind the kind with more simplistic plots.

Have you read this one yet? Are you inclined to check it out?

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Your new feature is working great! As much as I love the cover (it’s awesome!) and the blurb, I doubt I’ll read it, because I don’t really enjoy simplistic plots. Middle grade is fine, but overly simplistic bores me a bit. I hope that you like the next book better!
    Hellen recently posted…Review/Reseña – The Anti-Hero – Stella DuffyMy Profile

    • Thanks :D. Yeah, I’m always on the hunt for middle grade that breaks the mold. I feel like I need to just read a bunch of the ones I have laying around and feature the ones that go above and beyond the typical!

  2. This new feature seems to working out well. It’s very insightful. I’m glad you’ve taken it on. Too bad this one didn’t grab you.

  3. I love the new feature! It seems like it could be very helpful in deciding what to read next.

    Sorry this one didn’t work for you but I totally understand how some middle-grade can be just a tad too childish. Though the storm chasing and talking tree thing definitely intrigue me because I mean, it’s a TALKING TREE. What does it even say? =)
    Shay @ The Story Goes… recently posted…Bookish Mind Control: Take 1My Profile

  4. I’m liking the just hatched idea! How is it working for you thus far? Sorry this book didn’t work – the blurb made it sound pretty intriguing…
    Stephanie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday – Book Related ProblemsMy Profile

    • I’m liking it a lot too though realizing that I don’t have enough days for all the books I was thinking of doing it for D:

  5. I love this new feature of yours! It so helps in figuring out what to read.

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