The Body Politic

The Tribal Wars Book 2

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
393 Pages
Reviewed on 10/31/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Stella Atrium presents planet stories about female protagonists of diverse ethnicities who encounter obstacles relatable to our lives today. How do women in a conflict zone gain voice in the public square using the few tools available to women?

THE BUSH CLINIC received an Editor’s Pick from BookLife, a 2023 Readers’ Favorite Honorable Mention for Young Adult Sci-Fi, a 2023 Independent Press Award for Science Fiction, and a 2022 Artisan Book Review Award.

The second novel titled THE BODY POLITIC also received an Editor's Pick from BookLife and the Artisan Book Review award.

HOME RULE debuted in the Top Ten Amazon ranking for its genre category in August 2023, securing an Editor's Pick from BookLife, a Literary Titan medallion, and another coveted Artisan Book Review Award for Science Fiction.

TRIBAL LOGIC: Book IV of The Tribal Wars is scheduled for release in January 2024.

Also be certain to pick up Atrium’s standalone novel SEVEN BEYOND that won a 2014 Readers’ Favorite Award in Science Fiction.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

The political science fiction series The Tribal Wars is back with its second book, The Body Politic by Stella Atrium, which I was fortunate enough to read just a couple of weeks after finishing book one, The Bush Clinic. Women are burning themselves up in Cylay Square when the lead protagonist Brianna Miller returns to Dolvia. Readers will remember the horrific oppression revealed in book one, which felt like a couple of Molotov cocktails away from absolute ruin. This book does what the first book didn't, which was to give some backstory on earth and how space colonization occurred. Points of view alternate and I found Kelly Osborne, an assistant taken on by Brianna who states that she is “not blessed by Dolvia”, to be the most pressing. Power disparity, desire, ideologies, corporate greed, and absolute control escalate from boiling to spilling over in the space of this single volume.

Stella Atrium strikes again with an intelligent, powerful work of science fiction that grasps the natural tendencies of individuals to clamor for dominance even when the opportunity to start over presents itself. The Body Politic is interesting in that we are now exploring the minds of two young women who are half 'other'. It was fascinating to me that Kelly viewed Brianna as opportunistic and patronizing, highlighting the disparity even for those who were not direct colonizers or 'Softcheeks'. The testosterone point of view comes via an embedded journo named Hershel, and Mark Shaw is back as well. Atrium is already a spectacular writer so going in I knew this would be an intriguing continuation of the novel I had so recently finished. The follow-up is better still and felt more descriptive, being even better at capturing the emotional toll of war regardless of where you stand while fighting it. The only downside for me is that I may have to wait quite a while before the next book is released.

K.C. Finn

The Body Politic is a work of fiction in the epic fantasy genre and is the second installment in the Tribal Wars series. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Stella Atrium. The book follows the protagonist Brianna Miller as she joins the women of Dolvia in resisting the tyrannical rule of the Rabbenu Ely. Taking on an assistant named Kelly to help with the tribal schools she’s established, Kelly’s journey takes her to the planet Cicero and back again when she meets a photographer determined to capture both sides of the ongoing tribal wars.

I absolutely adore fantasy stories that concoct a fascinating world and premise then take us on a finely crafted adventure that doesn’t waste an ounce of the potential inherent in the setting, and such a story is The Body Politic. The world-building on show throughout this novel is completely sublime with a finely crafted geographical and political setting that underscores the core themes of the novel to create a meaningful and impactful narrative that will stay with readers long after the final page is turned. Author Stella Atrium is a writer of a high pedigree, creating a cast of memorable characters with powerful motivations and careful grounding to ensure that readers walk away from the book feeling like they have read a historical account of real people rather than a work of fantastical fiction. The narrative is charged with high emotional stakes as the protagonists struggle to overcome daunting issues which have many parallels with the issues of our own modern world. Overall, it is a must-read for fans of the genre, and I highly recommend it to all.

Asher Syed

The Body Politic by Stella Atrium is a science fiction off-Earth novel and book two in the Tribal Wars series, preceded by book one The Bush Clinic. In this follow-up, readers will recognize several familiar characters and meet a few new ones, some of which share in the point of view switches that Atrium uses to give each a voice. I am reminded of the Arab Spring in Brianna Miller's arrival in Dolvia amidst an amplified rise in protests against a leadership that pushes its women to self-immolation, subjecting themselves to intense suffering to end that of other women. Greed and power are the fuel for subjugation and the chess players are layers deep politically and collectively with corporate avarice. Readers are also shown the state of Earth and the why surrounding humans leaving the planet.

As I stated before after reading The Bush Clinic, in the non-fiction world I grew up in a country that had been colonized. I am also an immigrant to another country and this is the main reason why The Body Politic by Stella Atrium resonates deeply with me. The space setting combines the multi-species cultural aspects and settings of Star Wars and the horrifying details of Goodman's Price of Honor. Within the independent stories is a whole world of imbalance even amongst characters we view as 'good'. Brianna Miller is a prime example of a driven woman with a head for the altruistic, freedom, and aid, but it is pointed out that there might be ulterior motives that are carved in her bones of which she is unaware. I like Atrium's very intentional nod to what can be most closely related to a white savior, save-the-children cause that ignores the systemic cause. It's a band-aid to the true problem but the positive impact is too great to give up. The dichotomy exists and we see how one person can only do so much, but collectively through the independent actions of the other characters, like Hershal, Mark, and Kelly, we see how those individual pieces click together into a collective. Very highly recommended.

Pikasho Deka

A sequel to The Bush Clinic, The Body Politic is the second book of The Tribal Wars Series by Stella Atrium. The book opens with Brianna Miller, a mixed-blood woman from Dolvia who has made a name for herself as a successful businesswoman on Earth. Duty calls her back to her home planet where tribal women are immolating themselves in protest against a ruthless regime under Rabbenu Ely. When Brianna stumbles upon the treasure of one influential deceased protester, she is determined to put it to good use. Meanwhile, her young assistant, Kelly Osborn, reluctantly travels to her aunt's place on the planet of Cicero, where she learns the nuances of negotiations. Kelly's return to Dolvia lands her right in the middle of a violent tribal war with a young Australian journalist witnessing it all.

There are events described in The Body Politic that have some striking real-world parallels to current world events, such as in Iran. Stella Atrium infuses plenty of geopolitical intrigue into the narrative, including its ramifications concerning trade, culture, and regimes, while brilliantly showcasing the ever-changing dynamics of powerful hierarchies. There are three main characters in the book, and each of them offers a different perspective from their position and place in a war-torn land. The book delves into the cyclical nature of relationships as well, with Kelly's relationship with Brianna somewhat mirroring Brianna's feelings toward her mentor, Dr. Greensboro. I have thoroughly enjoyed both the books from this series so far, and if you love character-driven novels about war and politics, the latest will be just up your alley.