Publication Date: February 9, 2014
Dr. David Christopher Meenins, Lady Drasher Elizabeth Tasgneganz, Dr. Virgil Augustus Grammario and the mysterious Linda Deemer are on a journey to the one place where an alien race called the Longists might reappear. Will this band of merry travelers find the answers they seek?
The author, Stella Atrium, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
There are strange trans-dimensional themes in Seven Beyond. The author states in the description intent to write a modern day Canterbury Tales and does so spectacularly. At the start, the novel is a jumble of confusion. There are a number of characters each with their own motivations and back stories that lean toward music, art, cult and possible intergalactic life. There’s seeming proof that the Longists exist if perhaps only in the mysterious Linda Deemer. Where the story lines come together is with their fascination with the legendary Longists, an ancient alien race. Dr. Meenins is haunted by David Shenklen who claims to have been kept in a zoo by these intergalactic beings.
In a lot of ways, Seven Beyond follows life as it happens. John, a merchant’s son, is brought into the fold as something of a musical apprentice and Felicity, an apprentice who gives lessons, has an overwhelming attraction to him. Atrium writes a romance that may be ill-fated but starts out quit courtly. There’s a firmly implied class structure that carries down from Lady Drasher to a merchant’s son. The structure of the world is mirrored in the characters, and while some of what is written seems to have a touch of the modern world, there is a taste of the medieval. “Seven Beyond” is a masterfully constructed story.
While all of Atrium’s characters are interesting in their own way, Lady Drasher comes into the story with the most defined personality. She is strong, sympathetic, take charge and wise. Lady Drasher has a good idea of what she wants and has no shame talking about her desires without coming off as lascivious or trashy. Lady Drasher does not appear to be titillating to the reader instead saying, “This is who I am and you will like me.” She crosses within the story line effortlessly because she is a character who belongs everywhere.
Atrium’s settings are a step back in time reminiscent of the greats of science fiction. These characters are a world apart from us and their freedom or lack thereof in this somewhat foreign and somewhat familiar world is enticing and speaks to Atrium’s creativity. I have read other novels by this author and there is a continuity of feeling.
The plotting of Seven Beyond is perhaps not traditional, but readers won’t care. The ending is spectacularly good and will have readers seeking out other works by Stella Atrium. This is a story that won’t let go once it has you. Atrium’s work is unique and takes on a spectrum of emotions. If you like science fiction and eclectic tales, Seven Beyond by Stella Atrium is the novel for you. Read an excerpt and buy on:
Stella Atrium is author of the Dolvia science fiction series. Read the review of the third book StrikeStone.