Monday, April 29, 2013

[Review] The Flute Player by Shawn Mihalik + Giveaway

The Flute Player
by Shawn Mihalik
Young Adult Novella.
Published March 12th, 2013 from Asymmetrical Press

For nearly ten years, young Oliver has begrudgingly accepted his position as the flute player of the peaceful village of Drommar—a responsibility thrust upon him after the previous flute player, and Oliver’s best friend, drowned in a tragic childhood accident.

Now on the cusp of adulthood, a mysterious young woman enters Oliver’s life, and he begins to question the nature of his world and the importance of his place in it.

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I recieved a copy of this book from the author's publicist in exchange for an honest review

My thoughts
The Flute Player was a great surprise. When I first read the premise of this book I though it was okay, I mean, a little different from what I'm used to read, but it sounded fine nonetheless. Turns out it was a lot more than just "fine". It was pretty awesome I must say.

It is very difficult to review a book so short without giving too much away, but I'll try.

The story is divided in two worlds. The first one -where most of the events take place- is Drommar, a village hidden behind the mountains and surrounded by huge dangers which make it impossible for outsiders to get into the village. Here's where Oliver -our main character- lives, where he lost his bestfriend ten years ago and where now he has the great responsability of being the flute player. 

In Drommar, being the flute player is huge, because music is the only way people can deal with their problems and it is Oliver's responsability to keep them happy with his music. The problem is, how can you make people happy with what you do if you're not happy with it yourself? That's what happens to Oliver, he's not happy with the way everyone is expecting so much from him, including his selfish and awful father. That's the thing I liked the most about this novella. You can find a lot of topics and existencial questions if you look deep enough, but at the same time if you just read to have fun, you can enjoy the story without having to question much. It's interesting how the author manages to write a story as deep as you want it to be.

The second world is the "real" world. It's 1943 in Nantes, France, and we're in the middle of World War II. Here's where Alexandria lived before she mysteriously popped up in the forrest near Drommar, where Oliver finds her. Now they must find out which world is the real one and figure out a way to send Alexandria back home.

The story is beautiful written, with just the right amount of details allowing you to picture everything perfectly without boring you to death with descriptions. The narration alternates the two worlds making everything much more interesting and well built. The characters are complex and developed and even in the short amount of pages you get to feel related to them and want them to end up happy.

Overall, I think The Flute Player is a great discovery and I'm looking forward to read the next works of Shawn Mihalik.


About the author

Shawn was born in San Diego, California, in 1990, where he lived until he was seven.
In high school, he won several awards both as a writer for and editor-in-chief of his student newspaper, The Talon, prompting him to study journalism at Youngstown State University before deciding that his passion for writing was better directed at fiction. He then spent several years in Pittsburgh, learning American Sign Language and working with the deaf and hard of hearing.
Shawn currently lives in Youngstown, Ohio, where he writes novels, poetry, and short stories and explores the characteristics of different varieties of wine. His works include The Final Days of Poetry, a poetry collection; The Flute Player, a novella; and Brand-Changing Day, a novel.
Shawn loves to climb things, especially large things like rocks and cliffs and mountains. He also still reads comic books.

And here are a few places you can hang out with him!: 
                           Facebook | Twitter | Website


The author's publicist was kind enough to provide an e-copy of The Flute Player for a giveaway. You must be at least 13 years old to enter this giveaway. The giveaway is international. To enter just fill the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

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  1. This sounds like a fascinating story. I like the idea of these two worlds colliding because of Oliver's meeting with Alexandria.

    1. It's a great story, it's really well written and the world switching back and forth make it just more interesting!
      Thanks for stopping by :)