On Trial: Seven Beyond by Stella Atrium

Posted December 8, 2014 by Kayla in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Review Type:

Seven Beyond Book Cover Seven Beyond
Stella Atrium
Science Fiction
BookBaby
February 9, 2014
e-book
280
NetGalley

Dr. David Christopher Meenins is a man in search of his past. Accompanying him on his journey of discovery are the powerful Lady Drasher Elizabeth Tasgneganz, the pedantic Dr. Virgil Augustus Grammario, the mysterious—and possibly alien—Linda Deemer. Dr. Meenins is haunted by memories of alien places and of a race called the Longists, who inhabit faraway planets. Together, the group travels to the one place in the world the Longists might reappear: a remote abbey inhabited by an order of nuns known for their wisdom, mystical insight and quality brandy.

Throughout the journey, the specter of David Shanklen—once Meenins’ patient and perhaps also his mentor—looms. Shanklen claimed that he was kept prisoner in an alien zoo on the distant planet maintained by the Longists. Through Shanklen, Dr. Meenins must confront the secrets of his past to find the New Restingplace of the Dead. Meenins’ journey is more like a pilgrimage than a quest. The travelers exchange stories along the way à la The Canterbury Tales, and the discovery of the resting place grows out of their long friendships.

Warning: This article contains spoilers.

My Impressions:

Before you start, please read my half-way review if you haven’t done so yet.

So after spending a while on this one, I must admit that I have some mixed feelings. I really loved the originality of the story but I admit that I really did have a problem understanding in what time the story was written. The book started with horse and carriages, and moved on to airplanes and fiats. However, I also really like the dialogue and way the story was written. It was almost poetic sometimes, even quoting poetry and philosophy. Atrium references bible quote several times and calls it “the book of ancients”. This gave me the impression that they were in the future. However, then there’s an African man they meet who doesn’t want to travel with them to the new world because people of this colour are not treated as equals and aren’t allowed in certain places.

The group in the story travels from Asia to the US, all the while trying to let Dr. Meenins remember who he is in order to lead the Longist to their new homeland. Most of the past is told through writing of a “temporal” named David and Linda Deemer’s memory.

I enjoyed the story enough to recommend it but I will say, I do think that this is one of those books that requires rereading. Perhaps if I reread it I will gain a better understanding of the timeline.

About the Author:

Stella Atrium was tired of medieval-aged science fiction with dragons and decided to do something different. The book Seven Beyond won the Bronze Award for Science Fiction 2014 Reader’s Favorite Award.

The Verdict:

Recommended

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