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5.0/5
Star Star Star Star Star
Seven Beyond
by Stella Atrium
Fiction - Fantasy - General
280 Pages
Reviewed on 02/16/2014

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This author will review your book in exchange for a review of theirs This author donates books to schools, libraries and other nonprofits
Author Biography
Stella Atrium is author of SEVEN BEYOND, re-issued in 2014 as a 99¢ fantasy ebook to reach our friends in the UK, EU and the extended global audience.
Three fantasy books of the DOLVIA SAGA are SufferStone (launch 1/12) HeartStone (launch 6/12), and StrikeStone (launch 7/13). Book IV is due out in 2015.


Book Review
Readers\' Favorite Book Contest Award Winner
Reviewed by for Readers' Favorite

Seven Beyond by Stella Atrium is a fantasy lover’s fantasy. The world of Seven Beyond is so detailed and vivid that the reader can truly escape to another plane. Seven Beyond will tolerate any degree of scrutiny, giving back just as much as the reader wishes to put in. Here you will find ample fodder for linguistics study, model building, costume play, gaming (Tsing Tse, the glass bead game) or an annual convention - this work reveals itself in layers and will continue to reveal itself as long as one keeps reading and re-reading. Seven Beyond has a distinctly medieval (specifically, Chaucerian) feel, with one delightful ‘tweak’: the story is peppered with references to things modern - travel on the Concorde, the New York fashion industry, and contemporary TV personalities, to name a few. It is as if the world of Seven Beyond is evolving around us - next to us - as opposed to being removed by time or distance.

The plot of Seven Beyond spans generations, worlds, and ideologies and is therefore far too intricate to fully convey in a brief review. Taken on the most simplistic level, it is a quest novel; in broader terms, it is a sociological cautionary tale with many tongue-in cheek references to the vagaries and injustices of contemporary society. As Dr. David Christopher Meenins sets off with Lady Drasher Elizabeth Tasgneganz, Dr. Virgil Augustus Grammario, and the mysterious Linda Deemer to make contact with the Longists (whose life span exceeds 800 years) we find ourselves on an odyssey rich with symbolism and metaphor in a world where little is what it appears to be at first glance.

Much like the fabled VSOP brandy produced at the monastery, Stella Atrium’s Seven Beyond is intoxicating and represents a lifetime of wisdom and talent distilled into a single draught of ambrosial liquor. Perhaps Lady Drascher Elizabeth Tasneganz says it best: “And now we should have a story,” she suggested. “A fanciful tale that will transport us to another time. Full of simile and metaphor, a broad-shouldered allegory elastic enough to convey some great truth in our lives.”

 

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Katelyn Hensel
In Seven Beyond, the Longists have been searching for their new home. In a forced exodus from their home in order to survive the destruction of their planet, many members stayed back to become the voice of the dead. Prophecies, blood feuds, and all kinds of adventures unfold in the journey to the Blue Mountains of Flint. In an odd combination of this real world, and some kind of extraterrestrial journey, Stella Atrium has created a vastly different kind of fantasy and science fiction story than anything that is out there today.

I love me some fantasy, and Seven Beyond by Stella Atrium was one of the most unique and original takes on the genre that I have seen in a good long while. It was a cross between epic fantasy with the hero's journey and an epic quest and all that, with science fiction and the use of planets and grave destruction as a kind of apocalyptic story line. What I loved the most about the story was that it was so plot driven. Yes, you get a good feel for the characters, but the fact that every scene had something going on, every action affected the outcome of the story, and every character had a role in the eventual climax of the story was great. This was a fun ride and I was deeply sad when it was over. The best books end that way, and if you love stories like that, give Seven Beyond a chance!

 

Teodora Totorean
Seven Beyond by Stella Atrium is a fantasy and science fiction story. It is a fantasy because it has all the ingredients of this genre, starting with the main character, the 800-year-old Dr. David Christopher Meenins, and continuing with the plot which unveils the journey of Dr. Meenins and his companions in search for a new home after the destruction of his planet. Yet it is also a sci-fi story with its specific elements: habitable planets, latest gadgets (laptop, videotape), German-made cars, alien races, etc. Dr. Meenins is accompanied in his quest by two strong women, Lady Drasher Elizabeth Tasgneganz and Linda Deemer, and Dr. Virgil Grammario. The four travellers exchange stories and play Tsing Tse along the way to a monastery, renowned for its brandy, and beyond.

The book Seven Beyond by Stella Atrium is enjoyable to read. It has the right dosage of mystery, fascinating characters and good descriptions to keep the readers’ curiosity. What is Clem’s story? Will he remember his past? What is Dr. Virgil Grammario reading? Who is Linda Deemer? And, ultimately, will they discover the resting place? The story is unveiled by more than one narrator which gives it a modern twist, while the quest of the characters, the monastery, and the mysticism in the book makes it atemporal. The journey of the four friends is metaphysical and emotional. I particularly enjoyed the analect of David Shanklen unveiled as a story within a story and the bookish references such as the Tsing Tse game which made me think of Hermann Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game.

 

Lit Amri
In Stella Atrium’s intricate fantasy Seven Beyond, the 800-year-old Dr. David Christopher Meenins is also a channeled Longist named Clem who seeks out the blue Mountains of Flint, a new place for his race after their home world is destroyed. However, Dr. Meenins has forgotten his past. Traveling around the world, he brings along Lady Elizabeth Drasher Tasgneganz and Dr. Virgil Grammario in his journey to a women-run monastery to witness a guardian’s ecstasy. The three meet pregnant Linda Deemer, a Longist Thespian, on their way. She is sent by other Longists to help Dr. Meenins/Clem attain his full memory.

The story plot is rich and has an excellent, unique complexity about it. There is a subtle transcendent quality that this literary piece projects. The writing style is high end, at times poetic and beautiful. That being said, I must be frank that it was not an easy read for me in the beginning. It took me quite a while to understand Dr. Meenins’ past and present. Nonetheless, after I sorted these out, it was easy to immerse myself in the story and connect with Dr. Meenins and his companions. My favorite character Lady Drasher, the fascinating wealthy Russian, is incredibly witty and, in my opinion, stands out the most compared to the other characters. Not even protagonist Dr. Meenins/Clem holds my interest like Lady Drasher does. On the whole, Stella Atrium’s Seven Beyond excels as an original fantasy fiction, one that does not come along that often.

 

Bil Howard
A pilgrimage to find the resting place of the dead has Dr. David Christopher Meenins in its haunting grasp in Seven Beyond by Stella Atrium. Joined in his search by Lady Drasher, Dr. Virgil Grammario and a mysterious, perhaps alien, Linda Deemer, Dr. Meenins is forced to confront secrets from his past and the lingering ghost of David Shanklen, a patient and mentor that claimed he was an exhibit in an alien zoo by the Longists. As the group travels to and waits at a remote abbey inhabited by a cloister of nuns known to possess great wisdom, mystical knowledge and an even better brandy, they hope for the reappearance of the Longists on earth to help Dr. Meenins clear up the mystery which is deep within. The travelers exchange stories and witness all sorts of strange and mysterious events as they seek the answers to Dr. Meenins’ questions. Will he discover that which he seeks? Will he be able to rest?

Seven Beyond takes the reader into a deep and mysterious place which unfolds layers of the haunting mystery which lingers in Dr. Meenins’ mind. Stella Atrium has done an excellent job of setting a tone that is foreboding and dark. The heavy shroud and the variation of emotions as each layer is unraveled places the reader within the story to the point of feeling the shivering winds of the tundra. Dark, mysterious and profound, Seven Beyond is a deep searching of the soul which will leave you wondering if “they” really are out there.
       
 
 
 
 
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