The Land of OCKT and the Adventures of Peeje, the Kat Herder

Rated 4.00/5 based on 2 reviews
In the majickal Land of OCKT, weazels are the only peoples who are clever and fast enough to herd katz. But Peeje, the wily and white, gets into all kinds of trouble when he takes his entire mischievous, flame-hawking kat herd with him on the road to track down a missing baby princess. Story and illustrations by award-winning author/illustrator, M. O. Muriel. More

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About M. O. Muriel

M. O. Muriel is the winner of the L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future 2012. She is also the winner of the Illustrators of the Future 2011, making her the first woman to win both contests since their inception, and the first to do it in back-to-back years. With a B. A. in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico, which she earned with High Honors, cum laude (May 2004), she has sold both short stories and illustrations to speculative fiction e-zines such as AlienSkin and NewMyths.

Fulltime, Muriel is mother. For 11 years she was a Marine spouse and, after an inter-service transfer, a 1st Cav Army wife. Part time, she can be found illustrating her novels, composing their soundtracks, watching Red vs. Blue, and studying both canonical and non-canonical biblical prophecy. Currently, Muriel resides near Syracuse, NY. When she's not busy herding kids and ferrets, and generally holding down the fort, she's trying to squeeze in a moment or two for writing and illustration—forget the katz!

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Reviews

Review by: Scott T. Barnes on Jan. 27, 2012 :
While there are about 30 slow pages in the middle, all in all I really enjoyed the read. It should appeal to both adults and children from middle grade on.

The Land of OCKT begins on a delightfully funny note as the weasel Kat Herder Peeje gets summoned by the governing body of OCKT, the Council of Indecision (COIN), to solve a mystery: Where has the heir to OCKT, the young Princess Rosepetals, disappeared to? It is the first decision the COIN has made in 1,000 years, and Peeje is rightfully proud.
The COIN assumes the Princess has been kidnapped by OCKT's enemies in distant Wan-Wan Land, and off Peeje goes to find the mystical land of baddies. Unfortunately, no one knows how to get there.

Right away I got a The King of Elfland's Daughter vibe from The Land of OCKT. Illustrated by M.O. Muriel and written by M.O. and J.L. Muriel, The Land of OCKT offers wonder, delight, and laughs a 'plenty. Some of the humor is silly and some intellectual, word play being the preferred modus operandi, followed by satire. M.O.'s illustrations had me laughing out loud.

Peeje the weasel's much-maligned katz are supernatural beings that blink in and out of visibility and yack up flaming hairballs. They like nothing more than creating mischief...and pilfering whatever they can. Their antics get the weasel into plenty of trouble, although their mutual love is apparent.

Peeje gets tired of the Council of Indecision (a bunch of self-indulging slugs that preside over a round table...facing outwards) and heads out on his own. But he has no idea where to go. After some wandering, he gets a clue that the Land's official road builder, an ogre, might know the way to Wan-Wan Land.

After the compelling debut, The Land of OCKT wanders a little aimlessly for thirty or so pages. Reading the back cover, this seemed wholly appropriate. The book came about from Marine Captain J.L. Muriel's experiences as a Military Combat Advisor in Iraq. In fact, inspiration struck as Captain Muriel participated in a council of sheikhs who could never seem to get anything done. (In case you are wondering, the Iraqis inspired the flaming hairball-yacking katz, the Marine Combat Advisors the Kat Herders.) This middle section, like post-combat operations in Iraq, felt like jogging in soft sand--Peeje doesn't seem to get anywhere. The katz don't have much individual personality, even their chief Handjive, and I found myself wishing Peeje had a sidekick.

However, the book soon finds its groove. Once Peeje begins his journey in the land of the Shirpees I couldn't put it down.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Scott T. Barnes on Jan. 27, 2012 : (no rating)
While there are about 30 slow pages in the middle, all in all I really enjoyed this book.

The Land of OCKT begins on a delightfully funny note as the weasel Kat Herder Peeje gets summoned by the governing body of OCKT, the Council of Indecision (COIN), to solve a mystery: Where has the heir to OCKT, the young Princess Rosepetals, disappeared to? It is the first decision the COIN has made in 1,000 years, and Peeje is rightfully proud.

The COIN assumes the Princess has been kidnapped by OCKT's enemies in distant Wan-Wan Land, and off Peeje goes to find the mystical land of baddies. Unfortunately, no one knows how to get there.

Right away I got a The King of Elfland's Daughter vibe from The Land of OCKT. (And if you haven't read that classic by Lord Dunsany, run off and buy it today.) Illustrated by M.O. Muriel and written by M.O. and J.L. Muriel, The Land of OCKT offers wonder, delight, and laughs a 'plenty. Some of the humor is silly and some intellectual, word play being the preferred modus operandi, followed by satire. M.O.'s illustrations had me laughing out loud.

Peeje the weasel's much-maligned katz are supernatural beings that blink in and out of visibility and yack up flaming hairballs. They like nothing more than creating mischief...and pilfering whatever they can. Their antics get the weasel into plenty of trouble, although their mutual love is apparent.

Peeje gets tired of the Council of Indecision (a bunch of self-indulging slugs that preside over a round table...facing outwards) and heads out on his own. But he has no idea where to go. After some wandering, he gets a clue that the Land's official road builder, an ogre, might know the way to Wan-Wan Land.

After the compelling debut, The Land of OCKT wanders a little aimlessly for thirty or so pages. Reading the back cover, this seemed wholly appropriate. The book came about from Marine Captain J.L. Muriel's experiences as a Military Combat Advisor in Iraq. In fact, inspiration struck as Captain Muriel participated in a council of sheikhs who could never seem to get anything done. (In case you are wondering, the Iraqis inspired the flaming hairball-yacking katz, the Marine Combat Advisors the Kat Herders.) This middle section, like post-combat operations in Iraq, felt like jogging in soft sand--Peeje doesn't seem to get anywhere. The katz don't have much individual personality, even their chief Handjive, and I found myself wishing Peeje had a sidekick.

You can read the full review at NewMyths.com.
(reviewed long after purchase)

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