4 out of 5 stars
Share This Review
In A Summer with the Hermit King by William Todd, Augustus Albert Rose, called 'Auggie' by his friends, was set to change his fate. Auggie was an orphan whose small size made him subject to bullying at the orphanage. Unfortunately, he realized he had a slim chance of being adopted at sixteen. He planned and executed his escape from Saint Joseph's Orphan Asylum and made his way to Presque Isle. He intended to live in Presque Isle as a hermit but on his terms. However, his journey was interrupted by a strange encounter that threatened to derail his adventure and possibly end his life. He was determined to put the experience behind him. Still, the strange encounter was only the first of many; Auggie continued to find himself in undesirable situations. Would this be his new fate? Would there be another escape from these undesirable situations? Who was behind all these?
The author's narration was detailed and descriptive such that the reader could get a solid feel of the scenery of each setting. The story opened on an exciting note; Auggie's journey started at the beginning pages, leaving readers anticipating how his journey would unfold. The author's tone was neutral and gave nothing away about future events.
The story brought excitement and intrigue. A criminal was on the loose, and an unlikely team had been formed to expose the criminal, taking readers with them on their sometimes amusing investigative process. It would be difficult for readers to decipher who the criminal was as the clues were shrouded to keep readers guessing, albeit unsuccessfully. As a result, the story progressed on a suspenseful note.
However, the final revelation of the culprit made little impact on the story. Though the culprit's identity was unexpected, the author did not build a connection between the guilty character and the readers. Therefore readers might not be disappointed or deeply shocked at the discovery. The exposure of the guilty character would make no difference to the reader. I wouldn't say more to avoid giving away any spoilers.
The characters in the story made for fun reading. The dialogue between the trio of William, Auggie, and Maisy was laced with funny lines that added more excitement to the story. Auggie, as a character, could be described as adorable. His character was also didactic; he would show readers that strength was not in size but in the heart and mind. The character of Joe Root, the hermit that lived on Presque Isle, was used to showcase not only nature's beauty but also the importance of preserving nature in its original form. On the whole, many of the characters were broken people who needed to find healing through small acts of kindness or a genuine show of love.
A Summer with the Hermit King made for a good reading piece. It was entertaining, historically insightful, heartwarming, and flavored with light romance. It was also professionally edited. I'd recommend it to lovers of thrillers and crime stories. Due to the flatness of the final reveal, I'd rate A Summer with the Hermit King 4 out of 5 stars.
A Summer with the Hermit King
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon