Friday, March 6, 2015

Cricket's Song, by Michael Hooten

5.0 out of 5 stars
“But you created it. It has to obey you.” “You obviously don’t have children.
Cricket's Song
March 6, 2015
By Pat Patterson (Woodstock, Georgia, USA)
This review is from: Cricket's Song (Kindle Edition)

This is a collection of all three Cricket books in one package, One of the differences between reading ebooks and reading dead tree books is that you can't tell by looking how big the book is; I was wondering why it was taking me so long to read Cricket's Song, but it turns out (I just checked) that it's approximately 356 pages. That is a lot of WONDERFUL STORYTELLING!!!!!!
You know the Jerry McGuire quote "You had me at hello?" Well, Cricket's Song had me in the very first scene. Cricket is an orphan, being raised by a small village. He has lots of questions, but nobody has much time to answer them, because they are farmers, and farmers work hard. The one person Cricket can count on to answer is an old man called Harper, who shows up in the village once a year. When he is six, Harper tells him a little about his mother and father, who died when he was born. Cricket cries, asking if he is truly alone.
The old man gathered the child in his arms and rocked him. “You’re not alone, Cricket. You have the whole dun for your family.” “It’s not the same ,” Cricket sobbed. “I want a mother and father of my own.”
“I know,” Harper said. “I understand.” Cricket sat silently, thinking hard. “My parents loved me, didn’t they?” he asked finally. “More than anything.” Cricket cried for a while then, the soft sobs of a child who hurts without quite understanding why. Harper rocked the boy, singing a lullaby from another, more distant childhood until he quieted. The old man thought he had fallen asleep, but the boy stirred and sai
d, “I love them, too.” Harper smiled in his beard, and kept up his rocking until the boy was truly asleep.
(Hooten, Michael A. (2014-09-24). Cricket's Song (Kindle Locations 45-53). . Kindle Edition. )

Is that not truly excellent story telling?
Cricket grows, and learns, and encounters official and unofficial hostility in his desire to become first a crossain and then a bard. He is drawn into discovering the magic behind the music, and maintains a pure spirit, even when the persecution includes a demonic attack on his life. He finds friendship and love, and experiences loneliness and heartbreak. In the end, his purity of heart wins him powerful allies, and ...
...This is sounding rather corny, isn't it? Well, it doesn't READ that way. The descriptions of Cricket's experiences, his encounters with the Faerie, are nothing but great narrative. Now, if you are looking for dark despair, and plots that end with the bad guys biting off the heads of children, you aren't going to find it here. This is a story of hope and maintaining loyalty to a code, even when others don't. If you have read "The Silver Chair" in the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, you will recognize Puddleglum's determination to live as a true Narnian, even if there isn't a Narnia, in Cricket's choice to live by the Bardic Code.
How good is this book? Well, it's good enough that I enjoyed it, even though I am more a Monster Hunter kind of guy.
And it's got it's funny spots, too, as my headline suggests.

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