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The Streetlight Reader

Just another 23 year old from Toronto who enjoys reading Adult fiction, YA Fiction and Non-Fiction. Okay I read anything I think is worth reading :).

Book Review: The Flute Player by Shawn Mihalik

The Flute Player - Shawn Mihalik

Cover Gushing Worthiness: Even though the Beetle on the cover makes sense, I don't like it. I think this novella deserves a better cover because there’s much that can be captured about the world of Drommar. I do hope another edition of this book will have a different cover.

Review: Prior to reading The Flute Player I had never heard of it. I’m not really someone who reads Novellas, but I wanted to read this one after the publisher contacted me and gave me the synopsis of it. I’m so glad that I did because I enjoyed it immensely.

As I started to read this book, it reminded me so much of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust; a book that I was quite disappointed with. That being said, it is quite obvious from the Neil Gaiman quote at the beginning of The Flute Player that Shawn Mihalik is a massive Gaiman fan. In my opinion this novella is much better than Stardust.

First off I will say that those who didn't enjoy Stardust will most likely find a better story in The Flute Player. The plot is enjoyable and the pacing of the book is smooth and steady. I found myself in a state of inability to put the book down because I wanted to know what happens next. Without giving too much away I can say that I liked both worlds; Drommar and the other world Mihalik created. The landscape of Drommar is beautiful and I found the time period Mihalik chose for his other world interesting. Of course I appreciated the lack of romance and cookie cutter ending in this story. Instead of a romance, which would be present if this was another YA Novella or Novel , The Flute Player presents us with a boy and girl who are helping each other to find happiness in their realities for their own sake and sanity. Another aspect that I really liked in this story was the use of music. As an unofficial band geek, I know the power and emotion music can bring not only to an individual, but also to the greater community and I think the author captures the essence of music in this novel perfectly. I appreciated the importance of the Flute player’s presence in the community and not to sound cliché, but it showed that one person can make a difference in the lives of people.

Oliver and Alexandria are both great characters. There isn't a great deal of dialogue between the two, but they had some beautiful moments together. It was like they understood each other within the silence. I think it’s quite hard to convey that kind of understanding in literature and I thought Mihalik did a great job with it. Oliver in his own way represented what so many of want our lives to be: inspirational, meaningful and filled with human connections that matter. His strength in character came across during his confrontations with his father, an elder in the Village council and a position he earned thanks to Oliver being the flute player. Oliver’s strength in character was another indication that people must live their own lives that are not governed by other people’s terms. They must do what is best for themselves. In comparison to Oliver, Alexandria does not get much development which is understandable since this is a novella. She was not a flat character by any means, but I wish we could have gotten to know her a bit better. If not in Drommar,then in her own world.

I did wish this story would have gone on for longer because I enjoyed it so much. Nevertheless I do think that if Mihalik wanted to continue writing in YA Fantasy, Drommar is a great world to build future stories.

Overall I really enjoyed The Flute Player. As a Novella reading novice, I’m glad that I was given the opportunity to read and review this book. I found the world and the characters to be great and I enjoyed the storyline a lot. I’m looking forward to seeing what Mihalik comes up with next in his journey as a writer.

My Rating: 4/5

Would I recommend it? Yes

The Flute Player is published by Asymmetrical Press and is available for purchase in e-book format. A copy of this Novella was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank You Asymmetrical Press.