Thunder: The Shadows Are Stirring (Thunder Stories Book 1) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-08-13 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 23 user ratings

"I will start this review a bit backwords. Whom I'd recommend this book - definitely to fans of Narnia, Neverending story and Peter Pan, and to readers in the age gap spmewhere between 11 and 17 years old. Not that other readers would not enjoy the book, but I am pretty sure that those particular groups will love it.
I am pointing this out first, because when I had to rate the book and decide whether to give it 4 stars or 5, I pondered a lot. As I read it now, I really enjoyed it, liked it enough to give 4 well deserved stars, even with a bit more on top. But then I thought of how much I would have loved this book, if I was to read as a kid, I'd been head over heels in love with the story.

Thunder follows the adventures of Olivia, Sam, Jamie and their friend Ethan and for most of the book splits in two separate storylines. Each chapter is from a different character's point of vue, which allows us readers to follow the adventures. I really enjoyed how I could guess who was speaking even withouth checking the name under the chapter title. The voices of the Livs, Sam and Ethan were nicely defined and very recogisable. I was never a huge fan of the first person narrative, but with time and different books I was able to get used to it, and now I can say I fully enjoy it, especially if it's in its place. Here the first person worked well for me, but the presen tense not so much. I've always deemed first person + present tense a dangerous combo, as it is quite... confining. We are supposed to see only what the character sees and in the exact moment. So in times the narration sounded too unnatural, as there were long description in places where it seemed weird for me that the character would actually have the time to notice all that detail.

The characters themselves I found easy to like and care about. I liked how they didn't really have super powers of sort, but rather traits and roles they will have to full fill - like Seeker, Leader and so on. This is another part of the book I now experience differently than how I would have as a kid. The story manages to get through some lessons, without being too obvious or annoying (because I simply hate when I book told me how I am suppose to act or think). Here the characters were used for examples and the lessons were left to sink in. I particularly liked the idea that just by being kind, you can bring change to the world. It was good to see that sometimes characters where scared, weak, and doubtfull, and that they admitted it and still stood their ground in the end. There are many other subjects like the importance of guidence, the weight not to be able to complete a task and let other go; the value of goodness and kindness and if it changes its value if it's unconditional and so on.
Another thing I found very curious was the time flow - how it overlapped, how it was mirrored in Livs and Jamie's dreams and how they were somewhat able to control what was happening through their stories and positive thinking. It was subtle, and I loved it.

There were things I didn't enjoy much in the book, but still I can't exactly name them as flaws, as I know they wouldn't have mattered to the mini-me, I would have even loved them. The beginning was slow to me now, as for the first few chapters I couldn't picture where things were going and why it was taking so much time. My brain decided to act adult for a change and voiced out - "Why yes, this is a bunch of few hundred starved almost to death rats. Whistle and throw them an apple or two, and they are totally just going to lick clean your mate, not continue chewing on him" or " Muffins and board games? Woo-hoo, that's one hell of a prison!" and " But of course evetyone they meet is going to be nice and friendly!" Eek, when did I start to doubt every character! XD For most of the book the things were too black and white for me, even if this changed a bit towards the end.

In the end, I , bigger-me, liked this book because of how dreams and reality interwined together, of the subtle lessons and the power of kindness. 4 stars

I, mini-me, liked the fantasy world that was built (goat battle! Def my favourite! Goats in the air!), tha characters and the magic. The mini-me didn't care about psychology, or writing style, and was even okay with the rat's behaviour. 5 stars/

And overall, 4.5 stars :)
" said.

"I will start first by saying I truly enjoyed the world Hannah Sullivan created. I did have a hard time with the structure of the book. It took me a while to get into the reading groove. The first 20% was a little awkward and left me feeling incomplete an apathetic towards some characters. I will promise, however, that if you stick with the whole book, the story is well worth reading.

The fantasy world and characters are wonderfully descripted and brought to life. While some parts had too much detail and others not enough I believe this will be cured as the series continues. This is definitely a series to which younger audiences will relate better but anyone who enjoys fantasy will enjoy this read.

Overall I thought the buildup in this book was fantastic and I grew to sincerely feel for the characters and their pain, triumphs and adventures. I look forward to reading Book 2.
" said.

"I was very taken in, absorbed, by this book. The author's imagination kept surprising me. The story is magical and packed with adventure. The children are wise and strong and thoughtful. They bounce back over and over again and persevere through every unique obstacle. I agree with other reviewers that the book is captivating and full of surprises. Riveting! I loved the story." said.

"I started reading Thunder having no idea what was in store, but when I came to the first unexpected fantastical occurrence, I realized I had to open my mind to the world of this story. We were not in Kansas, or anyplace else of this world anymore. Anything could and did happen. The story of these children's adventures as they did what they had to do to deal with what they encountered was always surprising and creative. I was transfixed to the end.

I had a little trouble when there were references to people or creatures from earlier in the book, and I had to search back a few times through the chapters to refresh my memory of these characters, but I'm a grandpa now and refreshing my memory does have to be done sometimes.

The tale was so unique I could never foresee anything that was to happen. There was more blood than I expected, but there were always the healing remedies. Of course the book is reminiscent of the nature of fantasy worlds of C. S. Lewis in the Narnia Tales. And it did bring back memories of when I read that series to my own young children, one of whom, as it turns out, is now the author of Thunder.
" said.

"This book was great read! I had a very hard time stopping once I would start reading. The rich description and attention to detail suck you right into the story with the characters. I bought the kindle version as well as a hard copy for each of my daughters. I look forward to seeing what exciting adventures the Williams trio encounter as the series continues!" said.

"This book gets your attention right from the beginning! Action packed! Loved the characters, especially Ethan and Olivia! Right from the start, the book cover draws you in and captivates you. Well done! Can't wait for more!" said.

"Finishing this beautiful book was so bittersweet, because I did not want it to end. Never mind Thunder being for teenagers, EVERYONE should read this. Hannah Sullivan is one powerful writer, capable of moulding fascinating and creative thoughts and ideas into the most amazing story, Hannah successfully created just the right level of gorgeous detail in every description. The pacing was perfect and the characters so beautifully and lovingly crafted. Wow. I didn't lose track or patience at any point, which is saying something for me. If I'm not captured by a book, I really do struggle through it. But Thunder was a pure joy to read. I was gripped from the first page. Thunder has the full of my heart. Olivia is such a lovable lead, yet every single character has something unique and special to offer. The writing is so rich and delicious, the messages deep and thought-provoking. This author's descriptions made me smile and continue to feel warm inside through every page. Capturing the delicate balance between characterisation and adventure can be hard to do, but Ms Sullivan has accomplished this with beauty and ease. If you do not read this book, you're missing out on something truly special." said.

"This is not the first book I read by this author, I also enjoyed reading her other book: a touching journal called Five Weeks: a Lifetime. I have to say that "Thunder: I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. The Shadows are Stirring" is absolutely brilliant. I enjoyed the elevated writing style which kept me glued from the beginning until I finished reading the whole book. The book is split into thirty-eight chapters with a different "voice" for each. This is a bit uncommon and it can take a bit of time to get used to. I really took pleasure in reading some funny parts or sentences which made me laugh out loud; I already started imagining a " family of cheerful looking, cored apple heads", dancing around the dinner table. The writer is very talented and has a very entrancing writing style.
The atmosphere of the book and some parts reminded me of Neverending story, which is one of my favorites. The story line, though different from Neverending one is very original and it follows the adventures of Olivia, her brothers: Sam and Jamie and their friend and Guardian: Ethan. All characters are beautifully constructed. Along the way they reveal that they posses a lot of positive qualities such as courage, kindness, trust, intelligence etc. The book is full of adventures, the battle between the good and the evil, value of friendship, bravery, independence and humor. I would recommend it to readers of all ages, it will satisfy your craving for reading a brilliant book and keep you glued until the end.
I can't wait for the next Hannah Sullivan book with a similar plot written in her wonderful way!
" said.

November 2017 New Book:

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