Book Review: The Grotto Under the Tree by John A. Theo Jr.

October 7, 2013 Uncategorized 0

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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About the Book:

  • The Grotto Under the TreeThe Grotto Under the Tree Cover
  • by John A. Theo Jr.
  • Young Adult / Fantasy
  • Pages: 176
  • Publication: February 5th 2013
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
  • Received From: CBB Book Promotions
  • Rating: 4/5
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In a small New England seaside town there grew an ancient oak tree. It sat on a small hill behind a red brick elementary school. Legend has it the tree was planted by a wandering monk just after the town was founded in 1757. No one recalls his name, but they did say he was tall and thin with long brown hair, and was known for the hooded cloak he always wore. Some say the cloak was used to hide his pointed faerie ears.

Halloween night 1973, a New England nor’ easter sweeps in off the ocean and the ancient tree is blown down. In the small space exposed on the underside of the tree two children, Sebastian and Sara, discover something extraordinary. They find a perfectly carved stone staircase spiraling down into a secret tunnel. The tunnel leads them into an underground grotto where they discover a pod of Mer people (mermaids, mermen and mer-children). A short while later they come face to face with the person who planted the tree. They are astonished to find out that he is not really a man, but a magical elven lord named Capri.

For centuries Capri has searched for his lost tribe and his betrothed. He traveled the world planting these magical trees as beacons for his people. Capri leads the children on an adventure to the Arctic Circle in his flying galleon, Telestar. Upon reaching the far north they find the one human the elves have befriended. Someone who can help Capri find his tribe and his lost love. During their journey they are pursued by ghost-like creatures called The Kylo. These creatures prey upon the remaining magical creatures of the world. The elves are the last line of defense against the Kylo. If they fall then there is nothing to stop these creatures from hunting humans.


My Thoughts:

Although this is young adult I found myself thoroughly enjoying this story. Following the adventures of two young children, Sebastien and Sara, and it is very reminiscent of fabulous books like Alice in Wonderland and my favorite from Neil Gaimen, Star Dust.

Much like Star Dust I found myself totally involved in the story, while the children were soaring through water or the air I was soaring with them. It was such a fast and really fun read but it is definitely not only for children, this is a book that I think everyone will love.

I loved both of the children, Sebastian with his curiosity really reminded me that curiosity can kill the cat but it can also lead to fabulous things! And although Sara was a lot more cautious, she was just as much fun to read about as Sebastian was. And not only are the characters fabulous but the imagination of John A. Theo really pulled me in! I could see what I was reading as if I were watching a movie.

The only slight issue I had was with some of the dialogue. It seemed a bit forced but honestly it wasn’t enough to stray me from wanting to read more. Thoroughly enjoyable!


About the Author:

John Theo, Jr. has numerous published articles on arts, culture and sports figures. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. During the day John serves as Vice President of Operations for Blue Sky Holdings, which owns many commercial fitness clubs. John is also an adjunct professor at Endicott College in Beverly, MA, where he teaches screenwriting. John’s Book, The Grotto Under The Tree, has been released by Astraea Press.

Buy the book: Amazon | B&N

Find the author: Website

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